In this episode of Virtual Selling Concrete Results, I’m covering a very important topic in our sales conversations: the information exchange that needs to happen. Because whether we’re sitting physically with somebody or if we’re virtual and remote, the information exchange drives the productivity of that sales effort and makes everything that follows easier.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve paid very close attention to this aspect of the sales conversation and I’ve discovered that there are some things that are easier because we’re virtual, while other things are different, and maybe more difficult if you aren’t prepared. Fortunately, even for these more challenging aspects, there are strategies we can use to combat them.

How Do Virtual Conversations Make the Information Exchange Easier?

Let’s start with the easy aspects of the information exchange – the discovery or investigative part of the sale:

  1. You can have job aids and cheat sheets around you and the buyer doesn’t know! For example you may have notes taped to your monitor reminding you to “Slow down!” or “Pause and Listen.” Or even just “Shut up!” Pam, who went through our Genuine Sales training, sent me a picture – she has her whole pocket guide pinned to the wall above her monitor!
  2. You can easily type notes directly into your CRM.
  3. You can record the conversation – with permission – and listen to it later, review key parts, share with team members, or use it for coaching on your skills.
  4. More people can be included more easily because traveling and physical distance are no longer an issue! This applies on both the selling and buying side.

How Do Virtual Conversations Make the Information Exchange Different?

Now what’s aspects are different – maybe more challenging – but they don’t have to be:

  1. You might miss out on some of the emotional and energy connection that occurs when you and your buyer are in the same physical space.
  2. If you’re talking to more than one person, it can be harder to see and hear each person’s responses.
  3. Eye contact and maintaining everyone’s attention is more challenging.

Here are some strategies to overcome those obstacles:

  • Overall be more audible and use more verbal cues.
  • Let them know whenever you are referencing something so that there isn’t an awkward pause or a noticeable dip in your attention level.
  • Paraphrase a lot more – allow them to hear the context of what has been said and make sure everyone is on the same page.
  • If you’re talking to multiple people, call them out by name and ask to move the speaker closer to the computer if needed. Let them know “It will be helpful for each of you to respond to this question…”
  • Be energetic and interested – when you ask a question – look at the camera so they feel they are being looked at.
  • If you look away to take notes, let them know.
  • If you need something repeated, ask again.
  • Bring your personality and expertise to your questions. For example, “In working with people like…” Or “Something I’ve observed over these past months is…” And then segue into your question.
  • Ask more questions about risks and rewards – or “impact” – to make sure the emotional motivators are uncovered’’

Stay Tuned for the Next Video in This Series

These are some strategies for making your information exchange in virtual sales conversations more productive. This will set you up for success and earn you the right to advance to the next part of the sales conversation, where you will be doing the explaining and sharing the information. And that’s what we’ll cover in the next episode, so stay tuned for more!

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