With extensive social distancing in light of COVID-19, companies are moving to fully remote work spaces and shifting to virtual meetings, such as phone or video conferencing. While for some of us remote working is the norm, transitioning from in person sales meetings to digital conferences may impact your sales pitch and ultimately your conversion.
Below are 7 tips to transition your meetings from in-person to virtual.
1. Use video conferencing.It may sound easier and less intimidating to take your meetings by phone, but best practice is with video. Video can help to bridge the gap when you’re losing inherent social cues online. At Sapper, we utilize Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Loom for video calls and updates.
2. Pay attention.In digital conferencing, you lose nonverbal cues that you would otherwise pick up on in-person. To combat this loss, pay more attention to the tone and pace at which someone is speaking. While it may not feel as natural as an in person meeting, these subtle cues can help to inform your conversation.
3. Practice.While transitioning to remote meetings, many will choose to use video. Video can be more impactful than a phone call and can help to build rapport faster by putting a face to the name. Unless you’ve spent a lot of time on camera, video calls can feel clumsy or uncomfortable. For many, video is a new stage craft, especially when it comes to delivering a sales pitch. It may sound silly but take time to practice your performance. Run roleplays with colleagues to practice your delivery on camera.
4. Don’t force it.In an in-person meeting, there’s usually flex time before and after the business conversation. There’s coffee and small talk. In short, it’s a natural setting to build rapport.
With these prize elements missing, a lot of sales reps will overcompensate. They’ll force rapport and try too hard. A study by Gong.io showed that top sales reps do not mirror their prospects. While it may seem counterintuitive, by not seeking approval from the prospect, sales reps were more likely to gain approval.
5. Have a Plan.From subject matter experts and sales reps, to directors and account managers, when moving to remote conferencing, many of us have multiple people on a call. This is an opportunity to miss social cues simply because non-verbals are limited or don’t exist. Multiple people talking at once or a series of awkward silences can make your call feel unorganized. Before your call, plan who is going to talk and when. Perhaps you designate a leader for the call or you focus on rotating speakers during a Q&A. Regardless of your strategy, be deliberate about who is contributing and when.
6. Keep their attention.In person, your prospective leads will feel obligated to pay attention to you. Even if your pitch is 10 minutes too long, chances are you’ll both be there for the duration of the virtual meeting.
Digitally, you’re significantly more likely to lose the attention of your prospects if your pitch allows it. When moving to a new platform, consider shifts you may need to make in your delivery and script. Focus on being entertaining, crisp, and concise.
7. Set concrete next steps.
In an in-person meeting, you typically have a sense of how the relationship will continue. Social niceties will dictate some kind of resolution before the meeting ends. On a call, it’s easy to wrap up quickly and leave things open ended. Instead, set concrete next steps and ask about timelines to move forward. This will help you to both be on the same page while keeping your momentum going.
Moving to virtual meetings does not need to impact your bottom line. Now that you've got virtual meetings covered, let's talk about hitting quota: