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Nancy Carter

Welcome to the Sales Made Simple Podcast! I'm your host, Nancy Carter of the Sales Made Simple Podcast, and I've created a basic sales training series for you - someone in a sales position with little to no sales training! Are you in a sales position, but no one has ever taken the time to give you any "official" sales training? Would you like to improve your sales, and your paycheck? Well, you are in the right place, my friend. Welcome to class, where I will go through one new sales skill/technique a week so that you can master the sales game, and provide a better income for yourself and your family. We all have to start somewhere, and I started like you! In sales (for whatever reason) and trying to make it on my own. If had I training like this when I started, I could have gone so much farther faster. So subscribe, set the reminder so know when I publish a new video every week, sit back and let the training begin (from the comfort of your own coach). Thanks for allowing me to help you grow in your sales career.

What’s the best cold call opening line?

What’s the first thing you say when you are making those cold calls to new prospects? Learn the best cold call opening line and why it works!

What's the Best Cold Call Opening Line?

The cold call “How Are You?” Debate …

I have tried asking, “how are you today?” Asking if they’re free or if they have a minute or if they’re busy or even “I hope your day is going well so far”.

If you’ve ever received a telemarketing call, or even a robo marketing call lately (they sound so real, don’t they?), you may have noticed that they just jump right into their pitch, without any niceties at all. Like if they talk quickly enough without giving you a chance to speak, that you might actually listen – not.

What cold call opening line works for you? For me, I get great results by saying “Hi, this is Nancy Carter with XYZ company. How are you doing today?” I’ve done this forever, and if it ain’t broke, I’m not going to fix it.

You have to do, obviously, what you feel comfortable with. What works for me and a lot of other people, may not work for you. So try the words, and the meaning or psychology behind the words, that aligns most with who you are.

Let me explain why starting a cold call phone conversation off with, “Hi I’m Nancy, how are you today?” resonates with my overall message.

For one, you can get a pretty good feeling about the way your conversation might go by getting the response to this question. 

Some responses you might get are:

 “I’m terrific. How about you?”

 “I’m good, what can I help you with?”

 “Or I’m busy, now is not a good time.”

Three different responses from a prospect that will get three different responses from me. Notice I didn’t say outcomes. When I am cold calling prospects, my goal is to set an appointment. And it is possible to set an appointment with any of those three answers – you just need a different approach with each Prospect. You will adapt your answer to their response.

Secondly, if I say “How are you?” with a smile on my face and use it as a true attempt to engage a prospect in a conversational way, I am setting the tone for a future, two-sided relationship, where they speak, and I listen. Not just “I am going to talk and tell you how wonderful my company and products or services are without understanding first if you even need us!”

Like a telemarketer that jumps right into their 60 seconds sales pitch about whatever they want to get you to buy. They just keep talking, right? Most of them don’t even know what they are saying and that becomes apparent very quickly, as they read through their script without even knowing, or caring, what they are saying.

One phone call and they’re done, no follow-up, no real interaction, no relationship forming. And what  they get is low response rates and a lot of frustration.

I’ve had telemarketers say to me, how is your day going, or how are you doing, but the difference is in what happens after the prospect responds.

Without missing a beat, the telemarketer says “that’s fantastic”, or “good”, or “I’m sorry to hear that”, and then they’re off with their sales pitch. Am I wrong?

Whereas what I say next to engage them, and qualify them, by using a consistent, strong message and quickly create authority, trust, believability… and an appointment.

And if I don’t set an appointment with that first call, then I have a follow-up system and cadence that I know will work until the appointment is set, or I can disqualify the prospect. The messaging I use allows me to set better-qualified appointments faster and have deeper, more meaningful conversations with prospects. That’s what asking how you are today does for me.

To save you some time, I Googled what is the cold calling opening line for a prospecting call? Here’s what I found – 

Don’t use how are you because it gives your prospect the chance to disrupt your flow – however, in the first script they provided, they asked how are you???

Another answer said to ask “Is now a bad time to talk?” To me that’s either a yes or a no answer and it doesn’t give me a whole lot of room to try and establish a relationship, or understand the prospect. 

Here’s another one I found that I’ve tried before, “Did I catch you at a bad time?” In my experience, that’s almost always a yes.

The best Google answer I found was, … be confident. To me that means knowing what you plan on saying, no matter what the response you get from the prospect.

I have found that asking how are you when I am cold calling, three simple words, produces 3 fairly predictable responses that I can prepare for and quickly guide the conversation into an appointment, or at least a follow-up conversation.

Whatever you do, don’t just wing it. Just like you are intentional in what you expect to achieve during your sacred prospecting time, be intentional in what you plan on saying. Intentionality breeds confidence breeds authority.

And let me know what your best cold call opening line is and why!

If you’ve been listening for a while, you know I love podcasting because I don’t have to do my makeup or hair, or even get dressed to do it. And it’s easy for me, record, edit, put it all together and have it ready for Tuesday Mornings at 12:05 am Eastern Standard Time, and you’d be amazed how many downloads there are by 6:30 a.m. when I get up. So I have a feeling there may be some early birds that want to listen to a new episode before it’s even published! You can join me weekly LIVE on the podcast and after the recording is done, I will stick around to answer any sales questions you have, either about the episode I just recorded or any other sales questions you might have.

I hope to see you there to discuss our next sales dilemma.

Recent Posts:

Are Sales Scripts Helpful?

Are Sales Scripts Helpful or Just a Waste of Time?

Are Sales Scripts Helpful?

The other day I got an email “why I don’t love sales scripts”, and it basically said that sales scripts take the human-to-human connection element out of sales.

So, my analytical brain immediately went into overdrive about why I think sales scripts are instrumental in a salesperson’s success, when used properly.

Meaning, you understand the how and why behind each script, and how and why you should incorporate prospecting into your daily activities, including time to research your prospects before you make that call.

It’s the same with closing techniques and scripts. You are probably already using some type of closing technique that is working for you, at least a little. But do you know why it works, or the science and psychology behind it?

When you really understand not only what you are saying, but why you are saying it, I believe it allows you to create a deeper human-to-human connection. Because you learn how to ask deeper, more meaningful questions and to understand your prospects’ wants and needs in a deeper and more meaningful way.

It creates empathy and understanding into your prospect’s current situation. That’s one.

And two is, it helps the salesperson to have more confidence to pick up that phone, or send that email that will help to move the prospect in the right direction, while making sure to include relevant points and have competent and effective responses to many prospect objections. This helps to take the uncertainty and stress out of the sales conversation.

In my opinion, sales scripts are designed to give you talking points to touch on.

While customizing those talking points for each salesperson and each prospect, without sounding robotic.

To “avoid the robot”, I also say the sales scripts to the person I am teaching them to. Or, in the case of the Cold Calling Magic scripts and mini course, I provide videos so you can hear how natural and conversational they sound, before you use them. 

Take the scripts, reword them to fit how you naturally speak, while retaining the basic essence and ideas.

The goal is, that as you grow and become more confident, you will create your own talking points.

I remember how terrifying it was when I was first given a list and told to pick up the phone and start setting appointments.

I’m not being dramatic – I was terrified. Phone Anxiety is real. And I didn’t even know the term for it back then. But I knew if I wanted to sell, I was going to have to prospect.

As an introvert, I knew that I would feel more comfortable if I just had some idea of what to say before I picked up the phone – a security blanket, if you will.

Just like I had to learn to take a deep breath and ask for a sale, I picked up the phone and started calling.

The more calls I made, the more appointments I set. And my managers took notice, and soon I was teaching my simple script to other sales people. Instead of having five appointments a week I now had ten.

I actually started to enjoy the conversations I was having over the phone, and I set even more sales appointments!

Why? Because people can feel your energy over the phone. And if the energy you give off is positive and caring and happy, other people will want a part of that energy and will want to meet you.

Prospecting and cold calling is just the beginning of creating the interest, and the relationship where someone wants to meet you and learn more about what you do.

And if having a little “cheat sheet” helps you to get started, there’s nothing wrong with that. Whether it’s a script you adapt from someone else, a script you create for yourself, or a hybrid of both.

I think you should create for yourself any advantage you can to help yourself be more successful in your sales career, and that’s what I teach in a 5-Figure Paycheck Sales Membership.

There will always be someone out there that says “sales scripts don’t work”,

or “cold calling is dead”, or “selling is manipulation” – whatever.

I believe that selling is helping another person to achieve their own goals and meet their own needs.

Prospecting is an unavoidable part of the sales process.

There is no “magical” cold calling script, or any other sales script for that matter.

The magic is in you, and how you use it to create the confidence you may actually need to pick up the phone and start calling.

In my case the “magic” was twofold.

One, that I was able to pick up the phone at all and talk to strangers, and

Two, that I came to actually enjoy prospecting over the phone.

The “magic” is that you can actually confidently set qualified appointments over the phone and grow your business into a 5-figure-a-month income for yourself. 

Recent Posts:

Are You Coachable?

There are two types of Salespeople – those who are Coachable and those who are Uncoachable.

Are You a Coachable Saleswoman?

Which one are you?

First, let’s talk about coachable salespeople

This has nothing to do with how long you’ve been in sales, because getting better is not just about learning more stuff, it’s about finding a mentor that can help you grow and get better, no matter which phase you are in on the Sales Transformation Road-map.

Coachable people are always looking to get better and increase their sales production.

They’re open to feedback and willing to work on themselves. I will even go so far as to say they encourage feedback! And they evaluate what they could have done better and done differently when things don’t go as planned or expected.

Coachable salespeople have an incentive to change.

They have a strong, compelling why and high aspirations and goals that they want to achieve. This is the biggest sales motivation I have found. When you need motivation, look to your why.

Coachable sales people understand and accept that there may be things that they don’t know yet.

Coachable sales people are willing to do the work, because they have a “whatever it takes” attitude.

Coachable people understand that they can learn from others.

This allows them to reach their goals faster by surrounding yourself with the right people.

And coachable sales people have perseverance and an understanding of how to nurture their own positive attitude and mindset. 

Over my years of private coaching salespeople, I have learned that just having one of these things isn’t enough. You need all of them in place to become more successful.

I think most coaches have a way of knowing who these people are, by asking questions, and assigning homework with deadlines.

The coachable salesperson will almost always see the results for the work they do, because they do the work and are open to receiving the fruits of their labor.

Let’s talk about sales objections for a minute. However, these are not the objections that your prospects give you, because those are relatively easy to get through. You can read more about How To Handle Sales Objections here.

In that episode, I talked about the objections, or excuses, that your prospect gives you. But there is a part 2, the objection to your excuses that you give yourself. Which leads to …

The Uncoachable Salesperson.

The characteristics of uncoachable sales people are:

You don’t like to listen to or follow other people’s advice.

Because you don’t believe that someone else can help you or you don’t want someone in your face telling you what to do.

You don’t want to ask for help, even though you need someone to help you feel your fire so that you can reach your maximum potential.

You think you can figure it out on your own.

After all there is tons of information about selling that you can find in books, listening to podcasts, and watching YouTube videos, right? I call it learning by osmosis – if you inhale enough of it, you are sure to learn something.

Pouring copious amounts of information into your head – then forgetting about it, or even worse, you become overwhelmed so you do nothing.

You already feel you’re the best you can be …

And you’re happy where you are – so why bother changing? You’re already hitting your sales numbers and you don’t see any reason to work any harder. 

My question to this group is, why not reevaluate your personal goals? Are you afraid of dreaming and even thinking even bigger?

You don’t have enough time for coaching.

So you’re just going to work harder, because the way you’re selling isn’t the problem, right?

You really don’t need coaching or a mentor because you are already doing everything right – even if you’re not getting results because of things that you have no control over.

You’re in a very specialized industry, so you don’t feel anyone can help you with exactly what you do.

However, most sales principles carry across industries, and accountability is crucial, no matter how specific the field.

The next one is my favorite, because it’s is how I used to feel before I came to understand there was no one charging in on a beautiful white horse to save me…

You’re waiting for your company to provide you with more sales training.

And pay for it. Even if you have an amazing sales management team that understands and cares about you, they can only do so much to help you. 

So, my question to this group is, why wouldn’t you take control of your own outcomes and destinations? After all, it’s your money and your paycheck, right?

And I have learned, no one is coming to save me – I had to learn that committing to being successful in sales is ultimately my responsibility and no one else’s.

You think you already have what it takes to be successful.

Because you have the desire to help people. And you’re right!! Your prospects don’t want to feel like just another sale.

But, I hate to tell you this, but that’s not enough. While wanting to help people is a crucial part of being successful in sales, you need to have a structured and defined sales process that is adaptable for each individual prospect so that you can connect with your prospects, earn in their trust, and build organic relationships.

 Which type of salesperson are you? Coachable or Uncoachable, and why? 

Recent Posts:

5 Ways to Maximize the Potential of Your Existing Sales Opportunities

If you haven’t already read Understanding Your Sales Manager, please make sure you take a few minutes to read that for valuable insights on how to improve your relationship with your sales manager. Today we were talking about 5 ways to take your existing opportunities and maximize your sales opportunities.

5 Ways To Maximize the Potential of Your Existing Sales Opportunities

1. The number of “sales touches” before you can close the sale is growing. 

Have you gotten better at creating relationships with your clients through email and text? Every one of them is a touch that brings you closer to a sale.

I find, especially with email, that it helps me to see if my prospect is interacting with me, or not. I can see if they open my email, how long after I send it they open, and how many times they open it. This is an added benefit provided by using my sales CRM. Paying attention to this metric has helped to maximize my sales opportunities and increase my sales by allowing me to focus my attention on the prospects who are interested and to quickly follow up after I see that an email has been opened. Decision makers are spending more time online than ever before, including checking their emails.

2. In SalesForce’s annual selling report, they outline the importance of having better customer relationships and learning what customers really need. 

Another thing I learned is the importance of creating those long-term relationships with clients and prospects. Those people that look to you to be their main authority or “go to” person in your field, and who call you with their problems, questions, and sales.

You form these relationships by continued contact after a sale. And while it sometimes overlaps into my “off – duty” hours, by having direct access to me through my personal cell phone number, they can text me and reach me relatively quickly and consistently. That goes a long way to make them feel important.

And it is probably my number one secret sauce for maximizing my sales opportunities and being successful and growing my sales. I agree, it’s not for everyone. But in light of all the adversity of the past year, I think the benefit outweighs the input of my extra availability.

In the Salesforce report, 75% of sales reps reported they are connecting with clients on a more personal level. 86% say that they really care about the challenges their customers are facing. 

3. Do you use your CRM to help forecast your sales for this month, and next month? 

How nice would it be to be able to predict your next two months of sales? 

Your upper management is doing it, so why shouldn’t you? When you input and maintain the correct data, you will be able to see which prospects to focus on this month, and if you currently have enough prospects in your pipeline to reach your goals. 

It only takes about 15 minutes a week to update the information in your CRM forecasting report and be intentional in your sales.

You can also look back at last month’s report to make sure that clients you didn’t close last month stay in my pipeline instead of just dropping off. 

Then take a look at next month’s report to see if you can speed up the process for any of those prospects.

4. The two biggest challenges sales reps face when seeking these customer insights is …

• Having enough time 77%, and 

• Figuring out what info is the most valuable 75%. 

Can you find the next 15 to 30 minutes a week to get this info? Especially if you knew that your ROI return on investment, for spending this small amount of time would be 100% and help you increase your sales and create a more predictable income for yourself.

5. Just like we need more time to implement all the info our companies are giving us, your prospects have more information available for them to sort through 

… before they make a buying decision. I agree that it takes more touches, and conversations, to close a sale. The key is to take this knowledge, maximize your sales opportunities and create a systematic sales process that fits into today’s sales timeline.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to take longer. When you understand the current sales process dynamics and you create a system, you can put a plan in place to speed up your follow-up time. Instead of waiting 3 to 7 days before you follow up, make it one to two days. This way even though you have more steps, or touches, you are completing them faster. The more meaningful touches you have, the more trust you will build.

Add in a link to the sales masterclass. 

Recents Posts:

How To Create a Better Relationship With Your Sales Manager

Is your company expecting more from you lately? Maybe they’ve raised your quota? Or expect you to have more activities or appointments in your CRM (Customer Relationship Manager)? Do you feel like the micromanaging is out of control?

Create a Better Relationship With Your Sales Manager

Something that I have found helpful, as more and more sales managers manage more and more through CRM,  is to make sure you are communicating with your sales manager other than through your CRM.  Even if you don’t always feel like they’re actually listening to you. 

Is there a prospect you are having a difficult time closing? Is there an important sales conversation you have coming up this week? Why not create a plan in advance and bounce it off your sales manager? 

This helps them to feel involved, allows them to set guidelines around discounts or strategy before you meet with the prospect, and may give you some valuable insights into an idea you hadn’t thought about before.

Creating an open-door relationship with your sales manager goes a long way in these days of micromanaging through CRM.

Another newer tool I see with my CRM is automated tasks being completed for me. Because of the better communication between the sales programs I use, I am finding that presentations and sales are logged in for me in my CRM. 

In the most recent Salesforce State of Sales report, a trend I see is that top sales performers are more likely to look at this “interference” for more sales data as having a positive impact on their sales. 

When you change your mindset to understand that these upgrades to sales automation and CRM as a good thing to help you sell more, and you use them to your advantage to help increase your sales, your sales will increase.

Do you feel like your company is implementing more changes faster? 

It’s not your imagination! 71% of sales leaders say they implement changes faster than they did in 2019. It can be a bit overwhelming to keep up with, right? 

I’ve been taking more notes during our weekly meetings, and dating them. I take notes right on my cell phone, and I find I go back and review them more often.

For one, because there’s so much new info every week and

Two, because it changes all the time.

I also see these changes happening right in the sales tools I’m using. My point is that we as salespeople have to learn to be more adaptable and more able to decide what’s important .

Thirdly, does your sales manager review your results with you monthly?

What if you reviewed your results yourself before you had that meeting? If you’re not getting that review every month, you can learn to understand your results yourself and how to use them to improve your own sales.

And, instead of having a one-sided “this is what you did” meeting, you can turn that into a conversation. 

For example, over the past few months, my “activities” have doubled, my appointments have increased 30%, but my closing ratio has not increased in relationship to my efforts. But my average sale amount has increased 10%, ultimately increasing my monthly sales by about 10%

While a sales manager might be confused by this info at first, because I keep an open line of communication, including my current sales cadence and sales process, it all makes sense. 

It takes more touches to close a sale. 

The days of 7 sales touches before you close a sale are gone. I’ve adapted by using more email communication, text, and increasing my follow-up between touch time from 3 to 7 days to 1 to 3 days, resulting in more “meetings” with the same prospect. This helps to build more trust and results in larger sales.

It allows me to have more flexibility in creating my prospect’s experience, while not trying to explain to my manager why my closing ratio has decreased. It hasn’t, I just spend more time nurturing each prospect to make sure I am providing them with the best possible solution tailored to their needs!

In Phase Two of the 5-figure Paycheck Sales Mentorship, there is a module designed to help you create your perfect sales cadence, including a suggested timeline and roadmap to help you move your sales through the pipeline faster. 

Recent Blog Posts:

Females In Sales

Gender Equality In Sales

Being a female in sales for 30 years, I understand the responsibilities of taking care of your family while trying to grow a successful sales career. It can mean a lot of early mornings, late nights, and making decisions that put our families first, even if it’s not the best financial decision for our careers. 

Taking care of your family while working full-time is challenging. Juggling family responsibilities and work hours is not easy. But I realize that one of my biggest struggles as a female in sales was getting my managers to listen to me. To listen not only to my ideas and suggestions, but to listen to what I needed to be successful at home and at work.

I’ve learned to ask for help when I need it, to be very clear about what I need by using exact and concise words and ideas. I’ve learned how to plan my day to get the most out of a workday, and I’ve learned to cut back on using the phrase “I’m sorry” so much.

Do you see a lot of unconscious bias in your companies?

Let me ask you, are most of the higher-ups in your company men? 

According to Vanderbilt University, “unconscious bias is often defined as prejudice or unsupported judgements in favor of or against one thing, person, or group as compared to another, in a way that is usually considered unfair. … As a result of unconscious biases, certain people benefit and other people are penalized.”

The University of California, San Francisco goes on to say that “unconscious biases are social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form outside their own conscious awareness.”

Which means that many companies don’t even realize they are doing this!  The good thing is, with more social awareness and responsibility, many companies are changing and adopting healthier ways. But it’s slow going and it won’t happen overnight.

According to a recent study by Equileap, only 6% of Fortune 500 companies are led by women. A report by Xactly in their State of Gender Equality in Sales states that only 26% of sales leadership roles are women. And according to LinkedIn, only 21% of sales vice presidents are women, yet we represent 39% of the sales force.

I think a lot of the reason why sales has been such a male-dominated industry in the past is because sales people used to be encouraged to be aggressive and pushy. But thankfully, it’s changing. For one, because prospects are much more knowledgeable and informed than they were in the past, and they are looking for salespeople who are more consultative. Someone that will listen to their wants and needs, instead of someone pushing the deal-of-the-day down their throat.

I’m going to share with you some things I learned as a female in sales that I believe will help you.

Don’t be afraid of self-promotion. 

We as women believe that our accomplishments should speak for themselves, including when we are being considered for higher positions. However, if we don’t speak up and share what we have achieved, how will anyone ever know? There is no room for meekness in sales – speak up and be heard.

As a female in sales, I often feel underestimated in my knowledge and sometimes being seen as weak …

because I am more soft-spoken and don’t push issues unless I feel they’re really important. I don’t walk around telling people how important I am, I just do my job. And my focused intention of selling and staying away from drama has sometimes made me feel some people look at me as weak. 

I think this happens to a lot of women, especially in sales. I’m not a man, and I won’t act like one. As a woman, I have different qualities to bring to a sale, such as my intuitiveness, my ability to authentically nuture a relationship, and my ability to create a conversation with the prospect to help them get the best result for them. Allow your natural tendencies as a woman to shine through. And don’t underestimate us.

One thing that I would recommend for any woman starting out on any type of sales is to find a mentor.

Having another woman you can talk to who can help you learn and grow is invaluable. Someone to help you not only grow your sales, but to help you move up the ladder into management, and to listen to your own personal struggles as a female in sales.

I am blessed to have many female mentors throughout my career, both paid and unpaid. Women who cared enough to teach me basic time management skills, help me become business savvy, and who taught me how to stand up for myself when necessary. When to speak up, and when to back down. Just like with your children, learn to pick your battles.

Unfortunately, as females in sales in 2021, something we still are seeing is degrading or derogatory comments and behavior towards us.

This recently happened to me while I was being clear in stating what I thought of a inappropriate comment someone had made. And the response to me was, “I think you’re being overly sensitive”. Intuitive yes, … sensitive, no. No one has ever described me as being sensitive. Especially as a Northerner living in the South. Unless it’s a response to my calling out an inappropriate comment.

A commission only pay scale is an equalizing factor.

I love that most sales jobs pay based on results. The more you sell, the more you get paid, right? It’s the same for men and women. 

What specific challenges do you as a woman have in your sales career? 

Leave your answer in the comments below.

Recent Blogs Posts:

3 Tips for How to Improve Your Virtual Sales Presentations

How to Improve Your Virtual Sales Presentations

There are lots of similarities between business-to-consumer sales and online sales, as I found out last year when suddenly Zoom calls were all the rage and my two worlds collided.

I’d already been using Zoom, Calendly appointment scheduling and email marketing strategies for my Made Simple Business Learning sales coaching, so it was an easy transition, but some of us are still struggling and perfecting our virtual and online sales calls.

I thought since we are still doing virtual sales presentations a year later, and will probably continue them moving forward even after the covid-19 epidemic is over, it would be a good time to revisit them again, and share with you my observations and give you my favorite hacks to improve your virtual sales calls.

Let me just say this, way back in August of 2020, before covid-19, when I had the Sales Made Simple Facebook group, I was encouraging people to just “going live” because even back then I knew this was going to be so important in sales.

I had the advantage, with my Facebook group, Instagram videos, and a few virtual events, of feeling comfortable with the “live” part of being on video.

Going live and virtual sales calls have so many similarities, and your success in either is based on preparation and practice.

Let’s talk about preparing for your virtual sales presentations.

Know what you want to say or discuss. Will you need to do a screen share? Or maybe even turn your presentation over to someone else? Can you do that comfortably and seamlessly – barring any gremlin tech glitches like the internet going out?

1. Start your virtual sales meeting off right.

Get into the virtual room 10 minutes before your prospect. Or, at the very minimum, have something on your screen that shows your prospect that they are in the right place.

 And please make sure you are in the right room you invited them to.

These tips sound so basic. But I can’t tell you how many meetings I’ve been invited to where I got on their video on time, and no one was in the room – for another 5 minutes. I had no idea if I was in the right room.

 Was it me? No, it was them.

 Make things as easy as possible for your prospects, because things are tough enough right now, aren’t they?

You may even want to text or email the link to your prospect again, 5 or 10 minutes before the meeting so they don’t have to search for it. The easier you can make this process for them, the more likely you are to close the sale.

On the virtual sales meetings that I’ve attended as a prospect where the host showed up late, the salesperson was lucky I patiently stayed on, even though I wasn’t even sure if I was in the right place.

2. Familiarize yourself with the tech.

If you need to share your screen, make sure you have each tab you need to share already opened up on your computer before you start the meeting. You are the professional, so be professional.

I know things happen that are out of our control – do the things you can control. If you aren’t sure if you understand screen share, ask a manager or friend to do it with you, before your meeting. Pretend they are the prospect, and quickly run through your presentation process, share the screen when you need to, until you feel comfortable with it.

You really don’t want to add any extra stress for yourself to deal with during your sales presentation. But if something doesn’t work quite right, during your presentation, that’s okay. Just keep moving forward as best as you can. At least your prospect knows they’re in the right room.

Personally, though, I can tell the difference between a tech glitch and someone that didn’t prepare.

On a quick side note – my daughter, who is not in sales, had to quickly move to online teaching back last year. She hated it at first, but now she’s really good at it and loves it. If you don’t think virtual video selling works for you, maybe it’s just because you’re not comfortable with it, like my daughter at first. I helped her practice and prepare, even though we live 2 hours away from each other. She was forced, by circumstance, to go virtual if she wanted to keep working.

Are you limiting your sales opportunities, or losing sales opportunities because you’re not as comfortable as you need to be on a virtual sales presentation? Many people don’t like something because they aren’t good at it. If this is you, step outside of your comfort zone and figure it out, because it really is limiting your sales opportunities.

3. Your background and lighting.

If you want to see how you look to your prospects, hop on a zoom call meeting with yourself, and hit record. 

Then watch the recording. Is your background clean and uncluttered? It doesn’t have to be picture perfect. But if you find you are doing a lot of virtual video calls, find the best spot to set up, and do it there all the time. It may be a corner of your office or your home.

If you are using a laptop or an iPad, you have the benefit of being able to move. Whereas if you are on a desktop, just clean up the area behind you. Some programs allow you to get around this by creating a background screen, and some companies may even provide a background screen.

I’m not talking about a physical screen, although if you’re really fancy you can buy a green screen and create any background you want. I’m talking about a setting on the program you’re using for your virtual call. You don’t know unless you ask. And the more professional, knowledgeable, and confident you are in presenting virtually, the more confidence your prospects will find in you and your presentation.

I also want to talk about lighting. There are lights you can invest in, like a ring light, for about $85. But if you don’t want the bulkiness, or the expense, you can get a smaller one for about $35 that is easy to move around, or even to attach to your phone. Remember to practice your virtual call and recording. The point is, there are things you can easily do to give your prospects confidence that they are working with a professional.

I would also recommend being completely dressed, top and bottom. No pj bottoms or sweatpants, in case you need to leave your screen and go get something. It happens. While your prospect may get a chuckle, they will also know you’re only half in. You need to be all in to get the best results.

So there you have it, three simple hacks to help you with your virtual sales calls. Sometimes the little things make the biggest difference.

Here’s a bonus tip for when you are able to meet with the prospect face-to- face. Because one question you are all telling me lately is, “it’s so hard to understand what they are really thinking behind a mask”.

Is mask-wearing throwing you off your sales game?

Back in episode 19 of the Sales Made Simple podcast, I talked about body language and nonverbal communication skills. You can read my blog article here – How to use non-verbal communication skills to increase your sales. 

I share eight different types of nonverbal communication skills that I use everyday to better understand my prospects – and only one in eight was about facial expressions!

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