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September 15, 2020

To Excel at Virtual Selling… You Need to Master Video Chat; Part 2

For the foreseeable future, using video chat for virtual selling will be the ‘new normal.’ So, if you want to be successful at selling, you’ll need to master one of these platforms. Last week, we explored the fundamentals of video chat. In this blog, will discuss how it applies specifically to the sales process.

To help, here are 9 guidelines to help you become a virtual selling superstar…

1) Make sure to look AT the webcam when speaking. When you do, the others on the call see you looking directly at them – and that’s a good thing. It helps to build trust. If you look away – even for a few seconds – it appears as though you’re bored or uninterested – and that’s not a good thing.

2) When leading a conversation with a small group, do two things:

  • Leave the audio on – no muting. This allows for free-flowing communication, which is much more natural for the participants.
  • Ask everyone to introduce themselves, just like you would at an in-person meeting, so you know who all the participants are.

3) A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog post on delivering effective PowerPoint presentations, and here are a couple of key points worth repeating:

  • Edit the PowerPoint deck way down… no long bullet points, especially. The slides are not a script, just talking points. That way, you become the star of the show… not the slides.
  • When you share your slides on screen, make sure to keep the video of you showing… it enhances your credibility.

4) Don’t forget to hit the record button. Why? Two reasons:

  • Just as a back-up, in case your note-taking is not very good.
  • For sales training purposes… to watch & learn from what you did right on the sales call and what you did wrong.

5) Like an in-person presentations, don’t just talk and flip through the slides… engage your audience. Ask questions, use the whiteboard, utilize activities. Engagement increases buy-in.

6) Question: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” Answer: “Practice. Practice. Practice.” (Wow! That’s an old joke!) Just like you would for an in-person presentation, rehearse like crazy! Don’t be scripted, but be sharp, professional and prepared.

7) Even though the environment is now virtual, all of the fundamental rules of selling still apply:

  • Do your homework before the call… go into it well-prepared.
  • In our industry, selling is still very much about relationships… and while video chat is not the same as meeting in-person, it’s still a great platform for connecting person-to-person.
  • Buyers don’t care about what you can do… they care about what you can do for them. And what you can do for them is help them solve their problems. And to find out what those problems are… make sure to ask a lot of questions.
  • You still need to talk about your product’s and your firm’s benefits… and not just focus on the features.

8) Once the call ends, the onus is still on you to follow up effectively and move the conversation to the next step in the process.

9) Video chat is also a terrific tool for working with your existing clients:

  • There’s no need to schedule telephone calls anymore… schedule video chat calls instead. The more your clients see you on video, the more they get to know you/like you/trust you.
  • Consider using video chat to deliver lunch-n-learn presentations to your largest clients.
  • Schedule a coffee break! Schedule a call with your client… then have a local Starbucks deliver some beverages at that time. It’s not the same as meeting at a local coffee shop, but it’s not bad.
  • Meet for drinks! Like coffee meetings, schedule after-hours drinks with a client. While not the same as meeting at a local bar, when it happens after 5 PM, the conversations tend not to be all business… and that helps you to get to know your clients on a personal level.

Conclusion

Video chat is not the same as meeting in-person… but it’s a pretty good substitute. It’s up to you to leverage the technology to acquire new clients and retain existing ones.

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