Sales Series Part One
Not too long ago, the sales gurus across the globe would say “in person” conversations were the king. Get the prospect to agree on a time & place, whether coffee, drinks, or a golf tee time, and you’ll be much more likely to close the deal. Now, Zoom/Skype and other virtual methods are the number one way people want to meet. If you want to make sure you stand out from the rest when it comes to online sales, read on!
As I write this, less than one year ago, we were all still in the rat race, barely hearing about COVID, and utterly unaware of the future’s online/homeschool, work from home, eat/cook at home new routine. Where once you were running off to Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks to have a latte with a prospective client, now, you are drinking the finest K-Cup over a Zoom with people you don’t even know. They don’t even know that your bottom half is sweat pants while your top half is business casual. It will be our little secret!Team meetings went from conference room style, socializing over danishes and muffins to virtual-chic where there could be 20 people on Zoom at a time or even a Facebook Live Training to the entire company. Are you paying attention, or are you like most people- cooking, scrolling social media, having conversations with your kids, playing with the dog, and typing in a comment or two here and there? Are you present? What do you have on your video screen? Despite the vaccine and a masked nation, virtual business culture is not going away. It’s just getting started. People might not want to drive to meet you, but they still want to buy. Don’t get left behind.
Do you remember when COVID first happened? Just stick it out at home for two weeks, and everything would be back to “normal”. As the months went by, we realized that the world pre-pandemic was a thing of the past. There’s no “going back to what it was”. The world is different. People are different. Life is different. Business, networking, meeting, and sales are much different now. It’s time to stop wishing and reminiscing and start embracing virtual sales. Engage your prospects and create a relationship with them. It’s still do-able from Zoom or the old-fashioned telephone. Get comfortable with the new way of doing business. It’s here to stay. Set yourself apart by being willing to be “face to face” on video or voice-to-voice on the phone. Too many people are stuck on only text and emails. These people are going to get left behind.
The new virtual world resembles the time before computers. Back when you needed to call your customers and develop relationships. When you set appointments, wrote thank you notes, and when the personal touch was personal! You can still do this today by heeding the advice of ‘back-when’ and adding personal touches on social media and technology platforms. Use Twitter, LinkedIn, text, and email to support you. You can send video or voice messages. Use the prospect’s name in the video and be sure to be confident and smile. Adding in a video to your virtual emails/texts is a great way to make things personal even when you and your prospect are staring at screens in pajamas.
Zoom burn out is a real thing. Being exhausted from all the video conferencing is something many, if not most people, feel right now. It will be very tempting to refrain from wearing professional clothes, looking groomed, and keeping video off. Don’t fall into the temptation. Show up. Be on-screen with a smile and a professional attitude. Some are falling through the cracks because they think it’s okay to look like they are in their pj’s in the den. Don’t get on video with your Pjs! You might be ready to meet in person, but the truth is the consumer is not. Research is showing this more than ever. Buyers want to stay at home.Show your prospect respect. Give your prospect the same courtesy you would give if you were meeting for coffee or lunch. Wear appropriate clothes. Don’t have your child or grandchild screaming in the background so loudly that the customer can’t think straight. Think about your surroundings. Sit up straight in a chair, don’t slub on the sofa. Sounds obvious, right? Just ask consumers, and they will tell you it’s a wild world out there right now!
Sounds so simple right? Accept this is the ‘new normal’. Add personal touches, like personalized video. Be camera-ready. But right now, this is what will separate you from the herd. Up your game and watch the respect and sales flow in! I’m telling you, it’s easy to do (and easy not to do!). People are watching. People are making judgments. People are buying. Show them why and how to buy with YOU.