In some ways, it doesn’t matter if you’re knocking on doors or conducting a video call; the heart of sales is still the same. But in the latter case, there are some nuances that, if properly understood, will significantly increase your odds of success. Do you know what they are and how to leverage them to your benefit?
Why Virtual Sales Is Different
It is possible to merely translate your in-person sales process to a digital, virtual environment. But this won’t necessarily lead you to success. There are several differences when conducting sales over a video call that you’ll have to keep in mind, including:
- Call fidelity. In person, you don’t have to worry about technology failing you in the middle of a meeting, and unless you’re in a crowded restaurant, you probably won’t have to worry about not being heard. On a video call, you will need to think about the fidelity of your interactions.
- First impressions. First impressions and introductions are also very different. You won’t be able to walk into the same room and shake hands like you could before, so you’ll need to start off your interactions differently.
- Etiquette. There’s also a different ebb and flow to virtual interactions—and a different kind of etiquette you’ll need to follow. If you breach these social norms, it could set the tone for an entirely different type of interaction.
How to Crush Your Next Virtual Sales Meeting
Now let’s get into the tips and tricks that can help you succeed in your next video sales call:
- Dress for success. Just because you’re meeting virtually doesn’t mean you can slack on your attire. You should still be wearing a suit, or whatever attire is appropriate for your job, while on a video call, and make sure you pay attention to your personal grooming otherwise. If a prospect catches you wearing pajama pants, or if it’s clear that you haven’t left the house in five days, it could set a bad tone for the interaction. The best rule here is to fix yourself up as if you were meeting in person, period.
- Make sure your technology works. If you’re the one hosting the video call and your technology doesn’t work properly, it can lead to a terrible first impression. Take the time to make sure your app is working. That means choosing the right video call provider in the first place, and testing your connection before the meeting starts to make sure everything’s in place. It may also mean relaying effective instructions to your prospects.
- Be prepared to start on time. Because there’s no travel time required, too many people end up starting their sales calls late. Be in front of your computer and ready to start 10 minutes before the actual meeting, and have a backup plan ready in case your app doesn’t start right away.
- Choose the right background. Next, think about your background. In most video conferences, your other attendees will see a stretch of scenery behind you. Consider making changes to make that environment look more professional—such as adding a bookshelf full of books and a couple of houseplants. Alternatively, you can put up a green screen and turn your background into anything you want.
- Be conscious of your body language. When we’re in front of another person, our body language instincts kick in. But in front of a computer, it may be harder to relay those secondary communication signals. Remain conscious of your body language—including what your prospect can and can’t see. Be expressive with your face, and if you use your hands to gesticulate, make sure you use them in front of the camera.
- Avoid interruptions. Virtual interactions often carry interruptions, either because there isn’t enough body language to signal who’s speaking next, or because small delays make it hard to maintain a functional conversational rhythm. Be conscious of this fact, and give plenty of conversational space to your other participants. Occasional interruptions are fine, but if it seems to be a habit, take a step back and rethink your approach.
- Read the (virtual) room. Finally, learn how to read the virtual room. You won’t have access to the same cues you would in person, so learn to ask different questions. Does this person seem engaged or distracted? Are they asking lots of questions? Do they appear to be multitasking?
Like any other aspect of sales, it’s going to take practice and experimentation to perfect the right strategy. If you’re going to be working primarily with video calls for the foreseeable future, you should have plenty of opportunities to do this. Keep track of your results, tweak your approach, and gradually inch closer to perfection.