Sales is based on relationships. And the art of selling is tough in the best of times. Throw a virus into the mix, add in social distancing, and it becomes impossible to create an in-person rapport with your prospects and customers.
Now you’re selling from home. What does that mean? It means selling is getting even harder. You and your prospect are never in the same location during the sales process. Before the coronavirus happened, the average close rate of sales deals across all industries was 19%, according to this HubSpot calculator. That number is probably even lower today.
So what do you do? You get creative. You build a rapport and nurture the connections you have with your prospects and customers.
Here are 6 pro tips to help you get results and close the sale:
Selling from home? Dress for success!
The way you dress can impact your mood. Get up, get showered, and get dressed like you’re going to the office. It can help lift your spirits and be a motivator to be more productive. And if you have video calls set up for the day, you need to look like you came to work ready and willing to help your prospective clients achieve their goals.
Also, be sure that what your prospects see behind you on video calls is pleasing. Make it clear that you’re in a workspace. Your backdrop gives your viewers an insight into your personal world and creates authenticity. Good lighting also helps set the stage for your video calls.
Be organized – plan meetings with efficiency in mind.
No one wants to have their time wasted. Get to the meeting early so you can prepare and be ready to present on time. Make sure your video technology is working properly. Screen sharing is probably going to be a critical part of your virtual meetings. Use visually impactful content. Take a page from Steve Jobs’ playbook and use images along with short text. If you need to run a demo: practice, practice, and practice. Be brief and hit the features that address your prospect’s pain points.
Connect on a personal level.
Now more than ever, you need to get to know your prospect. When you met in your prospect’s office, you might mention the photo of the wife and kids on the desk. Or, there could be a golf putter propped in the corner. These visual queues give you a jumping off point to make small talk and get to know the person.
When selling from home, a video call is a must to help you connect on a much more personal level. Start with an ice breaker. It might be as simple as the weather. Talk about something lighthearted that’s happening in the news. Or share a joke.
Over time, you may need to get more creative about how you connect with a potential client. Remember your customer’s interests and personal stories. Create index cards or a binder that helps you keep track of what you know about each of your prospects. You can keep this information handing while you’re chatting. For example, you might ask how your prospect’s girls did at their gymnastics meet over the weekend. Or, see if your prospect caught any fish at his lake cabin.
Be personable on virtual meetings.
There are many theories floating around about how tone of voice and body language can influence the communication between a salesperson and a prospect more than even spoken words. Whether or not that’s true, it does matter how you present yourself in meetings.
Be yourself, or even a bit less formal than you would be in person. Use open and engaging body language and maintain eye contact with other participants as best you can. Smile and nod if someone is making a point you agree with. Limit your screen sharing if you can, so that everyone can be seen and stay focused on the reason for the call. Also, make sure that all the participants have a chance to talk on the call.
Research shows that your audience will only remember 10% of what you show them after 48 hours. Be sure to wrap up the video call with the ONE thing you want your participants to recall after the meeting is over.
Use chat instead of emails between video calls.
After the meeting, consider using a chat platform to communicate instead of email. It’s quicker and a less formal way to communicate with each other. Emails often get lost in the user’s inbox.
Keep building client relationships on social media.
In normal times, salespeople might hang out at the country club or a local restaurant or bar to connect with prospects and continue the sales process. Now, the virtual hangout is social media.
Connect with your prospects on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Use the social channels that make sense for your industry and your types of clients. Start a conversation. Ask for their feedback. Share relevant content with them on your social feed. Be personable and helpful.
Selling from home means adapting how we run meetings and finding ways to communicate more effectively. Sales pros can still come out on top. The coronavirus will eventually be behind us, but we will be forever changed. However, virtual conferences and meetings will remain part of our future. Even after we can shake hands again.
At CatalystXL, we want to help you enable your salesforce and connect with your remote and in-office teams. Interested in learning more about how we can build a custom branded app to better engage your audiences? Schedule a demo here.