Top Ten Tips for Virtual Sales Meetings
As virtual sales meetings are here to stay (like it or not!) the team and I have collated our top tips to help you with the dreaded zoom fatigue!
You’ll learn how to lead successful sales meetings with vision and purpose. Stuck for questions? We help you work out what to say to break the ice in the first meeting and how to nail that sale with the best closing questions.
Virtual Meetings Are The Future for B2b Sales
According to McKinsey, Covid-19 has changed B2B sales forever:
“70-80% of B2B decision makers say that they prefer remote human interactions or digital self-service (vs in person meetings). Only about 20% of B2B buyers say they hope to return to in-person sales.”
“Ease of scheduling, savings on travel expenses and safety.”
So, as they are here to stay, the team at Ethical Sales have put together our top ten tips for successful virtual selling in a post-covid world. You can download the FREE 12 page report here or read on for our executive summary of the contents.
1) Get Zoom Ready
Due to the lag effect, we have to work doubly hard to build rapport compared with an informal, face to face meetings over a coffee. And that’s not to mention an unreliable internet connection or laptop to spoil the show!
Maximise your chances of sales success by getting prepared for your virtual meeting or sales presentation:
– Check your webcam is working and produces a good quality image.
– Consider the position of your camera to ensure it represents you well and that your whole face (and hands) can be seen.
– Check your audio, microphone and headset to ensure they are all working properly.
– Familiarise yourself with the video conferencing platform you are using to avoid getting flustered in the meeting.
2) Prepare for Sales Success
According to the BBC:
“When you’re on a video conference, you know everybody’s looking at you; you are on stage, so there comes the social pressure and feeling like you need to perform. Being performative is nerve-wracking and more stressful.”
Let’s take some of the pressure off by getting well prepared before the meeting:
– Have all sales presentations, your proposition or pitch deck ready to show if you need too.
– Get used to speaking to the camera dot and not the screen. This increases the feeling of engagement from the participants in the meeting.
– Prepare a meeting agenda and cover it off as the meeting starts.
– Don’t forget to SMILE and show your enthusiasm! Positive body language, like using your hands creates more connection and shows you are really engaged.
3) Lead Sales Meetings with Vision and Purpose
Purpose-driven or ethical businesses have a unique opportunity to get across their mission and vision for the future. By taking your prospect on a journey in the meeting they’re much more likely to buy into what you’re selling or proposing.
How do you do this? We cover our full recommendations in the guide but here’s a taster:
– Take time to really listen, be curious and get a good understanding of their challenges.
– Tell a relevant story which will resonate with their situation and provide insight.
– Share your mission, vision and purpose as a business. Don’t assume they know this from your amazing website!
– Share your networks or add value. If you uncover a need that you know you cannot help with, be generous by sharing some possible solutions (if you know of any) and offer to make introductions to trusted people in your networks.
We cover several more recommendations in the full free guide, which you can download here.
4) Best IceBreakers for Remote Selling Situations
The start of any meeting can be the hardest, particularly if you’ve never met the person or people before. It can really help to have some friendly small talk or opening questions to get the meeting started on a positive note.
Consider these topics:
– Give some praise or congratulations
– Uncover a source of common ground via online research
– Talk about current events
5) Best Open Questions for Introductory Meetings
We provide a list of 16+ questions in the full guide but here’s a selection of our favourite questions to kickoff introductory meetings:
How is business for you?
Out of interest, how did you hear about us? (relevant for incoming enquiries only)
What challenges are you currently facing/what keeps you awake at night?
Can you tell me more about the top three challenges you are experiencing this year?
What are your key priorities for this quarter/six months/year?
It also helps to provide a quick verbal recap of what you covered at the end of the meeting and any actions or follow up steps you agreed upon.
6) Best Closing Questions
If you are holding a second or third meeting that chances are that your prospective client is getting much closer to working with you. We’ve created a list of 10+ questions in the full guide you can use to help get them ‘over the line’ and making a firm commitment but here’s our top four:
I hope you have had a chance to review our proposal, can you tell me your thoughts?
It’s really important for us to learn and get feedback, can you please tell us your honest thoughts about the project/product we are suggesting for you?
Unless you have any more questions or concerns, I think we’re ready to get started?
Have I done enough to get your agreement on working with us today?
7) Best Next Steps or Moving Forward Questions to Ask.
Have you or your sales team got stuck in a meetings that go round and round with no resolution in sight?
Take control of these meetings by asking the following questions and getting useful feedback:
What happens next?
I think we’re nearly out of time – where shall we go from here?
What do you need from us in order to move forward with X? (product or service need)
And the killer close – or not!
We’ve been playing phone tag/had a few meetings now but we’ve not yet reached an agreement. Am I right in assuming this isn’t a priority for your business at the moment?
8) Follow up After the Meeting
Many salespeople are bad at the follow up. After all, it’s the meetings that give them the buzz of that personal connection.
But, it’s really important to follow up immediately from a sales meeting, at the very least within 24 hours of the meeting to stay fresh in your mind and theirs. At the very least send a brief summary of what was discussed and agreed next steps.
9) Stay Connected to Build Relationships
We can forget to stay connected in today’s world, as we’re so busy and moving onto the next meeting or project. But staying connected in sales is a huge part of building long-term relationships. We go into this in more detail in the full report, but as a starting point we suggest you follow these guidelines:
– Use social networks (like LinkedIn) to stay engaged.
– Make the time to get on the phone for follow up calls.
– Add value wherever possible, showing professionalism and proving your credibility as an organisation they would like to do business with.
10) Keep Going for Sales Success!
It’s worth noting that it can take time to secure a new customer or client. Unless your prospect is ready to buy immediately, you’ll most likely need to be gently persistent after that first introductory meeting or follow-up email.
Use the staying in touch tactics above to help keep front of mind and don’t forget to ask for the sale directly when you get the opportunity. You’ll enjoy your fair share of ‘yeses’ but even a ‘no’ is useful as it gives you the opportunity to ask the question ‘why?’, which is hugely valuable.