Are you succeeding at virtual selling or ‘winging-it’ ?
Virtual selling is alive, well and gaining more popularity by the month. In 2020, there were over 300 million downloads of the Zoom application. zoom. We all know why and most of us are embracing the changes. Face to face meetings have ended since Covid became a worldwide pandemic this year. Most optimists believed the pandemic would end quickly and life would simply return to normal. But, that may not happen for many months to come because this pandemic is worst than most predicted.
Today, thousands of companies are meeting virtually and adapting to what many are calling the new normal. We are now accustomed to seeing torsos and smiling faces in a small frame on our screens. Life goes on as we adjust to so many changes and embrace virtual meetings. But, the learning curve for salespeople is a bit steeper than most expected.
Buyers are disappointed with Sellers
One of the greatest challenges for sales companies today? Teaching their sales team how to sell to the buyers in a virtual setting, because most have never been trained. It sounds easy doesn’t it? You just develop rapport, make a case for why they need your product or service, discuss the ROI and BAM, they buy. Not quite! Buyers aren’t buying products and services as easily as they did when meeting sales reps face to face. So, what’s the disconnect?
RAIN Group Research on Buyers and Sellers in 2020
RAIN Group (one of the top 20 training companies in the world since 2015 according to Selling Power and Training Industry) conducted a global study of 528 buyers and sellers In May 2020, to better understand experiences with virtual selling on both sides of the proverbial table. Link to the article: https://www.rainsalestraining.com/resources/sales-white-papers/virtual-selling-skills-challenges
The 5 worst mistakes sellers are making in virtual sales meetings
Sellers believed they were as effective as always, but Buyers disagreed by a long shot. They say that many sellers are terrible in presentation skills, and their presentations are not very engaging. Sellers aren’t developing rapport and they aren’t listening to the buyers. They go for the sale too quickly without thoroughly explaining the ROI.
The Selling Game has dramatically changed in this virtual setting.
According to the hundreds of Buyers interviewed globally, the Sellers they met with virtually lacked rapport building skills, could not keep the buyers ‘engaged’, did not create a case for ROI and subsequently didn’t persuade them enough to close the deal. There is a serious disconnect between the sellers and the buyers. I get it! Many of us have dozens of years selling face to face. It’s our comfort zone. But selling by phone or on a zoom call is a very different story. How often did a seller walk into the office of a client or prospect, look for something to talk about before they talk business and gradually warm into developing rapport? The best of us have had years of training and excelled at it.
Most sellers are ‘winging it’ and not prepared for the meeting.
Most salespeople have been attempting to embrace virtual meetings and sales calls for eight months now, and many of them are ‘winging’ it and hoping it works out. Winging it rarely results in a successful outcome because your prospects know when you are prepared and when you are NOT. If you want to be successful at virtual selling and meetings, then you must make a commitment to improve your skills. https://hubs.li/H0BMNcN0 It’s actually easier than it sounds because there is an abundance of articles, links and blogs to coach you along. You can make your own mistakes and learn lessons – or you can learn from the mistakes of others.
If you’re willing to learn, there are plenty of resources.
Become a student of the sport because so many sales people are not connecting or even trying to improve. YouTube, RAIN Group https://hubs.li/H0C2p-00 , Allego and many other top companies offer blogs on LinkedIn and other platforms. Learn what the people and trainers are sharing, and then implement it into your calls. Rehearse your presentations on the platform you use. Then rehearse or role-play with other people in your company, until you feel more comfortable. The more you practice, the more effective and successful you’ll be, and that’s what separates the top 20 percent from the rest of the pack!
“If you’re determined to learn, no one can stop you. If you’re not willing to learn, no one can help you.”
Listening skills are easy to improve
When you are probing in the discovery stage of your sales process, make sure you really listen and take notes. If you are on Zoom or Microsoft Teams, use the whiteboard to take notes, because you can teach them how to use whiteboard at the same time. Also, ask if you can read your notes back to them and clarify if you understood their challenges clearly.
2 Tips for Rapport building
Many calls start at the top of the hour. Ask if your prospects or clients can log in fifteen minutes early, so that you can catch up before the business meeting begins. Most of my clients enjoy this casual start before we get down to business, because so many are ‘zoomed out’ from only talking about business. This is refreshing and a good moment to build rapport. We also like to ask where they are calling from. When clients use the video on their laptop, look around in the background for something to talk about. Photos, pets, children, their library and art on the wall creates an opportunity to get to know them better and of course, build rapport.
Share your success stories
Success stories inspire others and fuel the enthusiasm of making more calls and having better results. Yes, we are all in this together and it’s a competitive marketplace for many, but we can help each other prosper also. When you find a good resource to improve your skills, make sure you learn all you can to become even better than you are. When you get out of your comfort zone, you’ll realize that learning to master virtual selling is easier than you thought.
Feel welcome to reach out with your success stories or challenges.