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!