When the pandemic first hit us, most of us had no idea how much it would change our way of living. Almost every aspect of life has been forced to adopt new ways of surviving or stop functioning. Many people have been forced into learning how to sell virtually. Among those affected, most are those in sales. Suddenly they could no longer conduct the activities in the physical world. Like many other sectors, sales reps are forced to turn to online platforms to conduct their businesses. They had to learn how to sell virtually.
Selling virtually is not a new idea or thing. Virtual sales were on the rise, according to a survey conducted in 2018 among 2900 sales pros. In 2021, virtual sales skyrocketed. The pandemic has played a big role in increasing virtual sales over the past two years. Since the trend was rising even before a big player (pandemic) came into the equation, we can safely assume that virtual selling is here to stay. Have you been wondering how to sell virtually? How does one even start selling virtually? If you are new to this game or want to sharpen your skills, this guide is for you! I will share seven key steps that you need to take to be successful in how to sell virtually. These aren’t simple strategies that you know by now; I know you know what you’re doing. I’m here to help you improve what you’re doing so you can be more effective.
Preparing for any meeting is a wise thing to do. Some might skip it, but many swear by it. Preparations become more vital when operating in a virtual environment. There are many things at play, and distractions can decrease your effectiveness. Preparing for a virtual meeting means ensuring that you consider your client’s preferences and mitigating the challenges they face while working remotely. You can start by booking the call at a time you are both comfortable with.
If need be, you may have to compromise because you do not want them distracted at any point during the meeting. You should also condition your mental faculties to your game plan. Mental preparations go a long way in terms of efficiency or effectiveness. You want to make sure you bring your A-game and hit every goal you had during the meeting.
The second step for effectively selling a product virtually is to create a virtual connection with the customer. When we move from selling face to face into a virtual environment, we get hung up on the technology we’re using. To some degree, technology is important, but you still need to create a connection with the person you’re dealing with. Now, how do you do that in this kind of environment?
Well, you still need to be observant. Just like you would in a face-to-face environment, you want to be looking around at what’s in the office that you can notice. Something that you can strike up a conversation around it. Make sure you watch their facial expressions and tone. Ask them questions to understand what’s going on in their world. Don’t get so hung up on the technology that it pulls you away from creating that connection you need to build if you want to have the opportunity to sell.
The key is to focus on the individual and build some connections.
Buyers deal with sales reps every day and hear all sorts of pitches. However, they hear basic or common approaches. You may book a meeting, get online, have some pleasantries, run through some slides, ask a couple of questions and probably book the next meeting. They’re accustomed to what’s going on. If you want to get their attention and stand out, you need to provoke them a bit. I am not suggesting you irritate them, but that is kind of what Provocation is. How do you do that in a virtual setting?
Make sure you ask questions throughout the conversation. Ask questions that they do not expect. For instance, you may ask why they are looking at making this investment right now instead of in the past or future? That’s an odd question because most sales reps would hope that the customer will make the investment rather than ask why they are making it.
So, consider the questions you’re asking and make sure they are a little bit unique and different. Your questions must stand out because it’s through Provocation that you get and keep the client’s attention when you’re selling to them.
If you have been around sales for any period, you may have heard of mirroring. If I’m sitting in your office and you lean forward, I lean forward. If you sit back, I sit back. If you scratch something, I will do something similar, although I shouldn’t copy it. That’s mirroring, and the whole idea is that I’m mimicking you to a degree and extent to which you start to believe that I understand what’s going on in your world! It serves to support my case.
In a virtual environment, you don’t necessarily have that opportunity. A lot of sales reps turn off their cameras when their clients turn off theirs. That is not the kind of mirroring you want to do, and it’s pretty hard to sell when everybody’s in the dark. You should mirror the things that are positive and constructive. Mirror things move you towards building a rapport and good relationships rather than simply mimicking exactly what your buyer is doing. Therefore, if they smile, you smile. If they lean towards the camera, you might do the same, and that is what I call constructive mirroring.
When selling virtually, you don’t have room for mistakes. You have to hit the ball running from the beginning. If people have short attention spans when dealing with them face to face, the attention span is shorter when dealing with them remotely.
You have to learn how to grab and keep their attention throughout the meeting. Make sure that your clients will think about your products once your call ends. This is a skill you must learn through a lot of practice. When you perfect it, virtual selling will be a piece of cake. We hope this article has given you an insight into how to sell virtually.