Selling is hard. Selling a product or service over a video call is even harder. Think about the bigger purchase decisions in your life, whether that’s a vehicle, a house, or an expensive piece of furniture. Now imagine having to purchase it without physically being there, and instead only seeing it online. That is exactly what most companies are facing in 2021. In-person meetings have been greatly reduced, if not altogether canceled, and anyone in sales is looking for ways to connect with prospects online.
Let’s take a look at three things you and your team can do to increase the quantity and quality of your sales conversations, while also leveraging this new digital sales environment.
Virtual coffee meetings save time and drive lead volume.
While building rapport with sales prospects may sometimes take multiple meetings, many sales leaders are finding success in connecting with qualified leads on LinkedIn and being totally transparent as to why a 15-minute virtual chat could be mutually beneficial.
Given the fact that most industry conferences and sales summits have been put on hold for the foreseeable future, we’re seeing that people are much more receptive to a quick virtual introduction over video.
From an efficiency standpoint, traditional in-person intro meetings often required a 20-30 minute drive to the coffee shop, 30-60 minutes to have the meeting, and another 20-30 minutes back to the office for a total time investment of anywhere from an hour to two and a half hours.
In the virtual environment, we’ve seen successful salespeople hold up to 12-14 meetings per day, introducing themselves and doing the initial sales qualifying, knowing that the other person is doing the same.
Utilize the video camera to build trust and read body language.
In-person meetings are great because they allow you to read the room and the body language of your potential buyer or buyers. This can still be done in the virtual environment, but you need to encourage the use of the video camera at all times.
Personally, we like to provide prospective clients with a heads’ up during our outreach that informs them who will be on the call, and that this will be a video chat.
Once on the video call, showing that you are actively listening by smiling, nodding your head, and repeating back what you are hearing is critical in building that rapport and trust with your prospect. Just as you can tell when someone is “leaning in” to a conversation at a conference room table, you can tell on a video chat when you have someone’s attention and if they are genuinely interested.
Engage with prospective clients or buyers where they are digitally.
Research since the COVID-19 pandemic shows that time spent consuming digital content has nearly doubled to over 6 hours per day compared to pre-pandemic norms — take advantage of that!
Finding your prospective clients and buyers on social media and following their likes and interests is a great way to build a relationship, when done tactfully. If you feel following them with your personal account is a little too far, too fast, try using your company’s account and following your prospect, or start with following their company.
It can’t be understated that behind a company’s corporate posting on social media is someone (maybe a junior team member, but a team member nonetheless) that is excited to report up to their leadership that another company has really started engaging with them via social media.
Another way companies are finding success closing deals digitally is by reinvesting budgets that were originally allocated for travel and in-person meetings into digital marketing. A fraction of typical travel budgets can go a very long way in reaching niche audiences on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, while also allowing you to retarget prospects who have visited your site previously but didn’t convert.
More than anything, personalizing your outreach will go a long way. Human beings are hungry for connection right now, perhaps more than ever before, so being human with your prospects is a great way to make an impact.