Businesses have embraced the virtual platform, and many are increasingly handling all of their transactions over email, videoconferencing and social media. Sales is no exception. All over the country, real estate agents are selling homes, dealerships are selling cars and agents are selling insurance, without ever meeting in person. Improving your virtual selling skills is crucial to keep up with the rapidly changing business environment.
When it comes to sales, the key to success is always the relationship. As a salesperson, you build a rapport with your prospect, and the promise of an ongoing positive relationship is what ultimately drives their decision to do business with you. This emphasis does not change simply because your selling activities have gone virtual. Selling virtually means that you will have to put in a little more effort to gain your prospect’s trust, so understanding and utilizing the three techniques for virtual selling will help you to close the sale.
Provide Value Immediately
Don’t save the best for last or lead with a long pitch before you offer your value proposition. People have short attention spans, and you need to give them a reason to keep listening to your pitch. If you drone on and on about yourself or make way too much small talk, the person is likely tuning you out or becoming impatient. Get to the point early. Talk about their problem and how you are going to solve it. Then add in the details afterward.
One of the main problems that sales people face is the ability to hold the attention of the prospect in the virtual environment. If you are conducting your sales call via videoconferencing, your prospect is probably getting popups about new email, text messages and other notifications during the meeting. You have a limited time to sell your value, so get to the point quickly.
Don’t Be Afraid to Engage Them
Some salespeople think that the best way to get someone interested in their product is to talk at them for an hour and then try to close. Research has shown, however, that getting your prospect to be active in the conversation—taking notes, clicking a link, visiting your website—gets them more involved and invested than listening alone. Engage them by asking them to draw a picture, write down a few ideas or act out a scenario with you. According to a study by Corporate Visions, using interactive tools in presentations increased sales by more than 24 percent.
Use Your Visuals
Remote sales meetings can be quite boring to your prospect. They have to sit there and try to make eye contact and remain engaged throughout the presentation, which can be a challenge. Using visuals will keep them focused while you talk about the features of your product or service and help them to retain the information. Remember that your prospect is only going to remember a small fraction of what you tell them, so using visuals helps to cement the information in their minds. Use your visuals to make your message stick and close your sale.
Remote selling is the new normal. Companies are increasingly transitioning to remote workforces, and virtual selling will accompany, if not replace in-person sales. Understanding how to reach this audience and engage them is the key to enjoying robust and profitable sales.