Virtual Meetings are more challenging than in-person meeting! 91 percent of Sales Reps find it difficult to gain a buyer’s attention and keep the buyer engaged in a virtual meeting (Rain Group). That doesn’t mean you can’t be successful and close more deals in meetings virtually. We will show you step by step what you need to do to be successful in in virtual sales meetings.
It is more difficult to build relationships in a virtual meeting. You are blindsided; you are cut off! Everything that we usually use to build relationships is not there. Sensing the atmosphere of the room and feeling who the other person is is more challenging.
It doesn’t always work the way we want it to, but everyone is in the same boat, and we just got to accept that and make it a part of the situation.
There are more distractions in a virtual meeting than you might think.
- 82 percent of people work on something unrelated.
- 55 percent of people prepare food or eat
- 40 percent of people check social media or text
- 25 percent of people play video games
- 20 percent of people shop online
5 steps to succeed with virtual sales meetings
1. Consider your tech stack
One thing is the video conferencing software you are using (Zoom, Teams, Skype, Hangout, etc.). There is an ocean of possibilities. Find out what works for you and, more importantly, find out what works for the majority of your customers.
Next, is what do you present with? Do you use yourself as the main tool and talk freely? In such a case, make sure you stand up and step away so that the person you are talking with can see more than just your face. Use your body language so they see what they would have seen if you were in an in-person meeting with them.
If you choose to use some presentation tool, make sure that it is engaging, and that is it not flat and static. It’s super important – the human brain is much more prone to remember something engaging and interactive than something flat.
The last important thing in your tech stack for virtual selling is to use tracking after your meetings. It is your power tool! Use tracking to get a feeling of what your buyer is doing after the meeting. It is a way for you to connect.
2. Plan for relationship building
Do your research on your prospective buyer and show that you are interested. Remember to smile and make sure you have your camera on – they need to see who you are. Make sure that you are representing yourself from your best side. Don’t sit in sweatpants unless that is what you are selling. Ensure that you are on the ball in the same way as you would have been having it been an in-person meeting.
Be Attentive and Engaged
Be attentive, be engaged, be intense with your full energy is required more than ever because you are selling virtually, remotely. When you go virtual, that need is being magnified, multiplied.
You need to bring your full attention to the camera, invest yourself, and show who you are with your authentic power. Being yourself engages the buyer, and it creates a strong bonding, which leads to a strong relationship and further on to a strong collaboration.
Sellers find it difficult to build rapport and build relationships virtually. The more you turn on your authentic power and volume, the better. That is what you can control. You can not control whether the buyer is sitting at home with their family disturbing the meeting. Or technical difficulties from the buyer’s side. You can not control this. But you can control the place from which you show up.
Serve the Buyer
Many sellers focus on the sale – they want to close this sale. But instead of focusing on the sale, closing the sale, you need to focus on helping the buyer, serving the buyer, and being there for the buyer. Creating a beautiful and strong experience for the buyer during the virtual sales meeting.
The more the buyer understands and feels that we are there for them, the more they want to work with us. They sense immediately if we are only thinking about how to close the deal. It’s all about conveying value to the buyer, new ideas, inspiration. Making a difference for the buyer already during the virtual meeting, so the buyer is left with a WOW feeling – “this seller is there for me – it’s me; it’s all about.” Serve to sell!
Practice Active Listening
Listen – really listen actively. Listen to hear and understand. Practice deep listening by listening to what the customer wants and needs and not your inner voice preparing what to answer – listen attentively. Rain Group’s study shows that buyers don’t want to work with companies that don’t listen to their needs. It is the second-highest factor influencing the buyer purchase decision.
Understand the Buyer
Understand the customer – a customer can feel if they are not being understood, and it is important to feel meet and understood. This also prepares you better to understand what to present to the customer.
Open a Collaboration
Open a collaboration, open a partnership, close the deal.
3. Visualize your needs discovery
You might think, “I can’t put up my questions on the screen? That is not normal! I can’t do that”. But, when you are in a virtual setting, as long as you are just talking – it’s just words, and then you have all the distractions that we mentioned earlier. By visualizing your needs discovery with something interactive, your buyer will be more engaged because it’s theirs. It’s their challenges and their needs – they own it.
For instance, when your buyer says that it is important for them to convey the ROI of their product and you put a checkmark in ‘ROI.’ Then it solidifies it; the customer not only confirms it to you but to themselves.
On top of that, by writing something together with your buyer, e.g., the visual aspect is important; you engage the buyer, pull them in, and make it theirs. In this way, it becomes your common sales meeting, not just yours or theirs.
By visualizing your needs discovery, you build common ground, and it helps you always make the needs discovery properly. It’s not something you can skip. Doing this will get you further with your customers.
4. Create sales content that facilitates an improved dialogue
What does that mean? When you are in a virtual setting, if you visualize what you are saying, you connect the eyes with the ears. You increase the likelihood that they will remember what you talked about in the meeting (John Medina). And you open up for more questions and deeper dialogue. Visualization is key regardless of which technical tool you choose to use.
An example of this is Berendsen, a Danish cleaning and hygiene company. They wanted to visualize a public bathroom, and by doing this, they open up the buyer’s brain to what the possibilities are and create a common foundation for what you are going to talk about.
By visualizing it, you avoid misunderstanding; you make sure that when you talk about the soap dispenser, both of you know that it is the soap dispenser you are pointing at. You can click on it to create engagement and ask deeper questions about it, such as the product’s relevance, to probe into what the buyer is thinking about this product.
Furthermore, in today’s world, everyone wants things to revolve around them and be personalized, so it is important to display the products in the company colors.
5. Model Customer-specific Impact
We want sellers to talk to us today. We do up to 67 percent of buying research online before we even speak to a seller, so we know a lot before talking to someone. We want a trusted advisor who can help us make the right decision, not someone that pushes something down our throat.
So what is the customer-specific impact? What does it mean? Well, it means building the case together with the customer in the meeting and visualizing the impact that your solution has for them using their numbers. Not using general numbers. Using their numbers! After that, you can take it further, and you can do an ROI calculation easily, but first model the impact that your solution has. That impact can be anything!
In this example, we are showing one of our calculators. We know that our outcome is that we help our customer increase their conversion rate. So what we usually do is ask; what if we could increase your conversion rate by 1 percent? Only one percent!
We know that we have a much greater impact than that, but we start low to create a sense of security and trust. So we ask; how many Sales Reps are you? How many opportunities do you have on average per Sales Rep per month? What is your average deal size? What is your current conversion rate? And then we ask what it would mean for you if you could increase your conversion by 1 percent?
It often shows a significant impact and gives us something to talk about; it opens up the dialogue. Once we have agreed that it is a good solution for the customer, we do an ROI calculation, and the customer is much more open to that, and we set it up with the impact.
This can be done in Excel, in Numbers, in Prezentor, any tool that you have available or would like to invest in. The most important thing is that you do it – it will certainly make a huge difference, especially in your virtual meetings for creating engagement and trust.