You don’t need us to tell you that we’re all working from a distance these days. Thanks to COVID, professional salespeople are, for the most part, not seeing buyers in person. We are not in the same room at the same time with the people we want to reach. We are not on site. A year ago, many of us were on site. Clearly, the game has changed.
Sales professionals who are committed to upping their game have taken this moment to ask themselves an important question: How can you maintain the human touch in your sales process, when you’re no longer able to take people out to lunch, drop by their offices, or give them a tour of your facility?
Here are four great answers to that question, great ideas that we’re seeing top-producing teams implement consistently in the era of the pandemic.
Mix it up. Make a point of varying your communication methods. Specifically, don’t rely too heavily on email and text messages. Propose real-time voice-to-voice and face-to-face options, and bear in mind that video conferencing is now the default setting for many people. Ask for a video meeting – or better yet, simply send an invite for one. This is particularly important for long-term clients and other critical relationships you want to protect. Assume that your competition is setting up video calls with these people. Face it: They probably are.
Leave time for bonding and rapport. Virtual meetings need virtual bonding, just like in-person meetings do. Don’t jump straight into business talk once the cameras are on. Leave time for appropriate social conversation, once you do move into the business portion of the discussion, keep the buyer engaged by asking questions. This is not a performance, even though the camera is on you! For help and insights on your buyer’s personality, and the best ways to bond with him or her during a virtual meeting, visit www.crystalknows.com.
Keep the Buyer OK. In an in-person meeting, it’s important to watch out for buzzwords, keep your talk tracks relevant and accessible, make it a dialogue not a monologue, and personalize your pitch. It’s even more important to do these things during virtual meetings…because failing to do them may lead to unstated feelings of disengagement, impatience, or insecurity – and even evoke unpleasant memories of being lectured by teachers. Eliminate uncertainty by discussing the next steps and other requirements up front, so there are no surprises at the end of the meeting.
Sell to the needs. Once you get face-to-face or voice to voice, virtually, remember that your time with the buyer is precious. There are zero available minutes to fixate on your product or service’s features and benefits, so make sure you are using this discussion to uncover, and then sell to, the unique needs of the buyer. Attention spans get shorter in virtual meetings! People will tune you out and begin checking their email if you start talking over their head or boring them with your agenda. This discussion must be relevant to their world. If the conversation is not moving toward how your solution will impact their pain or pleasure, they may just start playing Minecraft in the background! That’s not what you want.
Implement these four best practices, and you will ensure that your sales calls retain the human touch – even during times like these. Learn how to provide premier customer support throughout your sales process, here.