You cannot forget 2020, no matter how hard you try. Let’s not even get into the personal and widespread health-related stress of the world. That is a different story entirely.
We came to know a whole new virtual world, sales professionals in particular. We came, we saw, we adapted. But there are still some serious similarities between then and now. We had to, and have to, close sales. That did not stop with the 2020 pandemic. We just had to find a new way to do it.
It’s not that virtual selling did not exist before, because it did. But you may have been one of those businesses that had to turn to virtual sellers to stay afloat in those uncharted waters. Finding a new way to belong in your already competitive industry was impossible without them.
And now, virtual selling is sticking around. Though it existed before, now it has staked its claim and said “I’m here to stay. Pay for a ticket or get thrown off the ship!”
If you are one of the many who now relies on virtual sellers as your salespeople, this one’s for you. Keep reading.
What is Virtual Selling?
Virtual selling is remote selling. It is a kind of remote work that consumers rely on, even if they do not know it.
It is when each sales process and conversation, from start to finish, takes place 100 percent online. Back in the day, all sales happened in person. A “salesperson” was a physical “person.” Now, a large portion of them are virtual sellers. A sales rep will use email and phone calls to close a deal but rely on video chats for the most part.
Every meeting is a virtual meeting. Every conversation is a digital one in some capacity. Virtual sellers talk to their leads, prospects, customers, and coworkers on a digital platform.
Without video, virtual selling would not work. Times have changed, but people still want to put a name to a face. They do not want to trust a shady, shadowy figure with their hard-earned money if they cannot make eye contact.
More old-fashioned folks may think in-person sales is a lost art. What these people do not realize is that virtual sellers put in just as much work, if not more, as salespeople you might meet in the flesh.
And virtual sales are not going anywhere. They are on the rise, with more companies than not adopting some form of digital selling within their business.
What Do Virtual Sellers Exactly Do?
First and foremost, virtual sellers have to engage. They have to hit the ground running and keep up the pace. At first glance, it may seem like they just do a lot of Zoom meetings. But in reality, it is a lot more than that.
Just like in-person salespeople plan, virtual sellers have to do some pre-meeting planning too. They prepare for their upcoming meetings so they can pay attention and ask questions (the right ones) when the time comes. They make sure their prospects know how to log on to the call and what their potential customers can expect.
Next comes prospecting. You have a lot of rivalry throughout the world of sales. So you have to personalize when you prospect. Successful virtual sellers send customized videos to their prospects to engage them.
Only then do you get to the actual sales meetings. You do everything you would in a typical meeting, but you host it on a video chat platform, like Google Meet, Zoom, or Skype.
Then comes following up with prospects and current clients. It is a process, not just a one-time effort.
Common Mistakes in Virtual Selling You Need to Avoid
Sometimes, things get lost in translation. Or, virtual sellers lose things because they put them in the wrong spot on purpose. There are plenty of things you can do wrong, but we are here to tell you how to do them right initially.
Some people find great relief and discover that virtual selling is their time to shine. They do not have to leave their front door to get the job done. To others yet, it feels daunting to have to readjust to a virtual cosmos when they are so used to the in-person one of selling.
Other people have already made the same mistakes you might worry about now. And there is no better place to learn from their mistakes from right here, right now. Avoid the following six common mistakes to climb the ranks of virtual sellers.
1. The Background Noise (Yes, Pets Included)
Background noise is more than an annoying side effect of remote selling. It can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back when it comes to your prospects. Background noise, no matter what it is, makes virtual sellers come across as careless and unprofessional.
Some virtual sellers forget to tell Alexa to “pause” before they hop on a client call. That leads to some less-than-desirable, often-inappropriate music while you try to make introductions. Others have their dogs barking in the background, or slopping up water from their noisy tin bowl.
Of course, you cannot always tell your teenagers or spouse to “Get. Out!” before a sales meeting. They live with you. Maybe someone else in your household also works from home. But you can change the level of background noise. Tell everyone in your home that you have a call from this time to that time, and you need them to be quiet during that time.
Maybe you have rowdy toddlers or neighbors, though. It is not always much you can do in those situations.
You can get headphones that cancel noise for you and limit what other people on your call can hear.
2. The Attention-Seeking Backdrop
Attention is fun! We all love it sometimes. But for virtual sellers, the remote workspace is not the place for it.
You want your customers to focus on the big picture and the holistic goal. That is, you want them to buy what you are selling. Your background noise is important to get rid of, but so are the distractions from your visual background.
Consider investing in a green screen for calls. If you do, you can replace your real-life background with a digital one.
And you want your camera to be on. It gives a more realistic, personalized experience for your prospects and for you. But you have to account for the visual things that may happen if you do not find a calm place as your natural background.
You could have two dogs in the heat behind you. You could have a toddler projectile vomit on your living room rug, in plain sight of your client on your video call. Anything can happen, so prepare for that. Then, no unexpected surprises will impact whether or not your prospect wants to turn into a paying customer.
3. That Tendency Toward Sob Stories
There’s nothing like a sad romance that lets you get out all your emotions in a good old-fashioned cryfest.
There’s nothing like a sob story in your sales pitch, either. But we mean that in the worst way possible. Stay away from it. When you start acting desperate, potential buyers pick up on it. And it drives them far, far away from where you want them.
Anecdotes, in small doses, are fine. But you have to use your sales training and experience to know when the right time is for them. Your tone matters, too. But a wavering, weeping voice is never the answer.
Some virtual sellers turn to sad stories in the beginning, middle, or end of a call. This may be intentional to gain some sort of “sympathy buy.”Or it could be unintentional when you cannot keep your emotions in check. Either way, throw this quasi-technique out the window.
4. Taking and Sharing Advice From Family Instead of Professionals
Virtual sellers have a sales coach for a reason. If you have a trusted advisor in sales, you need to go to them, not your friends or loved ones.
And to avoid your loved ones interrupting your calls, turn your phone and computer on Do Not Disturb. Trust us.
5. Letting in Those Negative Vibes
Negativity. Even the word itself leaves a bad taste in your mouth, right? Imagine how it feels to be on the receiving end of it. That is not the way you want your prospects to feel.
Again, it comes down to not letting your personal life get too strong a hold on your professional one. Be the best salesperson, the best you, that you can be. Your prospects will recognize your positive attitude, and that’s a win for you.
6. Too Much Technical Hassle
Get familiar with the technological tools you use. Do you use Zoom? What about Google Meet? Maybe Skype? No matter what it is, get to know it from head to toe. You do not want any tech snafu while you try to close a sale. It makes you look inexperienced and unprepared.
Also, make sure you actually hang up from the call or end the meeting before you carry on with your work or personal life. Or you might find yourself in an embarrassing situation, like talking to yourself or complaining to your roommate about how the call went.
How Can You Improve Your Virtual Selling Skills?
There are four things virtual sellers have to do to improve their virtual sales skills.
First, remember this: “The interview starts as soon as you walk in the door.” It’s a popular tactic that successful interviewees and salespeople rely on to close a deal. But as a virtual seller, you need to start selling as soon as you turn on your webcam. Offer something of value throughout the entire meeting. Pay attention, and make sure your prospect wants to pay attention too.
Second, you have to engage your target market. Maybe you use social media to go about this beforehand and get the right information to pique their interest. But as far as proven best practices, give your prospects an action item during the meeting. It keeps them in tune with what you are saying and gets them to ask questions too.
Third, use compelling images in your sales deck. If you talk, talk, talk for the whole meeting, you risk boring your prospect to death. But ensure they are relevant images that drive the point home. You want them to buy, so make the images you use reflect that. And personalize them for every individual buying experience.
Fourth, you need to know the general sales training techniques that work specifically for you and your business environment. More on that now…
Do you operate a virtual sales business? Are you a sales manager with a lot of virtual sellers on your team? You need the right sales training to get everyone on board. You need lots of information that keeps up with your industry. Above all, you need solutions that last to bring you long-term growth.
You came to the right place. Here at Selling Revolution, our expert team can bring you all those solutions. Our name says it all; we revolutionize your sales processes with custom-made solutions for your team.
So get excited about your own sales revolution. All you have to do is book a call with us today to get started.