Source: Business 2 Community
If face-to-face meetings provide the best route to securing a sale, video conferencing is the next best thing. After all, video is the most useful platform out there to improve the customer experience, having a much greater impact on sales than plain content ever will.
Making a sale can be a complex business, depending on several factors, in addition to the quality of your service offering. You’ll need to earn the trust of your contacts, as well as present your brand as something worth investing in. Video conferencing offers all the benefits of a face-to-face meeting barring physical contact.
The global pandemic of 2020 has seen a rise in video conferencing as a tool to boost ecommerce sales. Social distancing and work-from-home initiatives have seen the use of video become a necessary tactic in pushing sales targets forward. However, using the medium to its potential raises challenges for even the most experienced salespeople. There’s a whole new art form to learn, on top of the need to become acquainted with the equipment itself.
Follow our guide below, and you’ll be sure to make the most of the sales opportunities offered by video conferencing.
If you’re going to use any new hard- or software tool, it pays to buy the best your company can afford. With the trust factor so important when it comes to sales, presentation of yourself and your brand is a number one priority. You’ll need both the visual and audio capabilities of your equipment to be perfect and for potential hazards to be kept at a minimum.
Getting the best platform you can afford is no different from equipping your reps with a first-rate sales playbook or using the best website builders to ensure your site is navigational and well-organized. And the impact of the global pandemic means it could be some time before businesses can return to the face-to-face meetings of old. Don’t forget to consider network security and ensure your system has a secure video conferencing infrastructure.
Once you’ve got the tools, make sure you can use them. Test your equipment inside and out, and put plans in place for any potential mishaps. If you’re using cloud-based software, check out fuze competitors to ensure you’ve got the right package for your own enterprise.
Once you’ve started a call, it’s essential that both you and your contact can focus 100% on the detail. Even the slightest malfunction can prove a major hindrance to a sale. Just as you would invest in ecommerce classes for your technical staff, ensure all sales reps are well-trained and more than capable of using any new gear.
It can be difficult to get across all the information about a product or service on a video call simply due to time restrictions. If you’re dealing with a technical or complex issue, empower your contact by sending across any info in advance. You might have an in-depth product eBook available, spreadsheets, or case studies. Services like Bitrix can make it easier to share files without corruption, as well as providing an overall platform to integrate your whole sales process.
Practice Your Video Persona
Using positive body language is a major part of a successful video sales call. As well as the information you provide, your physical actions can help earn a contact’s trust. Learn the art form of visual communication. Remember, it’s not an all-in, lockdown video call with your siblings and a glass of wine. But it’s not a corporate, be-suited boardroom meeting either.
Video conferencing in sales takes practice to succeed. It’s not just about what you say but how you say it. You’ll want to get the whole of your brand’s philosophy across in your appearance and personality.
It’s well worth doing a few test runs and watching yourself back. 5 minutes is enough. Get used to seeing and hearing yourself on the screen, and pay attention to the minutiae. If you notice that you’re glancing away too often, scratching your nose, or looking too serious, make the necessary changes and try again.
Reach the point where video conferencing becomes as comfortable for you as taking the stage is for an actor. Butterflies in the stomach are perfectly natural of course, but any glaring traits that could put off a potential customer should be ironed out well in advance of any call.
Add a Personal Touch
Don’t go straight into sales mode when a call starts. The right level of small talk can set the scene for success. If you’ve spoken with the contact previously, make sure you’ve kept a note of any personal information they’ve divulged. Maybe they mentioned they had to pick their kids up after work. Perhaps their partner had a yoga class that evening.
Anything you can drop in about their personal life is a great mood-softener before the selling gets underway. Consider investing in a sales and marketing software platform to keep up with your contacts and record interactions and successes.
Work on Visual Presentation
We’ve mentioned working on your own persona above, but what’s going on behind you is equally important. Make sure the backdrop is uncluttered, but not so stark that it looks like you’re calling from a prison cell. Remember that every sales call is a representation of your brand – it’s essential that your backdrop looks professional.
When it comes to the call itself, make sure your offering is diverse. Few people can get everything across using conversation only. Where necessary, introduce presentations and other visuals – anything that keeps your contact’s attention and pushes the sales process forward.
Control the Agenda
Have a clear agenda in mind before the call starts, and stay in control as subtly as possible. It’s easy to lose focus on a call, especially if you’re talking with more than one person. Topics of conversation can quickly diverge until you’re on a path that has no relevance to the sale you’re trying to make.
Keep a personal agenda to hand and refer to it constantly as you go. If you’ve planned in advance and sent any necessary information to the client before the call has started, a shared agenda – created by you – can also be helpful.
Focus on Time Management
Sales contacts are human after all, and all have different personalities. Some may simply adore the art of conversation and be happy to discuss things all day. Others may be less sociable and like business matters to be short and to the point. Bear this in mind when you’re setting a timescale for your video call. It may be easier to get a less-sociable contact on a call if you’ve only booked out 20 minutes of their day.
If your company is still in its infancy, consider using one of the 10 best free messaging apps for small businesses to synchronize times with your contact before a call. A sales pitch should start only when both parties are ready and in the mood.
Once on the call, keep one eye on the clock throughout without making it obvious to the client. If this is your one and only chance to make a sale, you’ll need to be aware of the time to cover the agenda you’ve set and make sure the conversation is always moving forward.
A verbal summary of a call is always useful before you say goodbye. Make sure this is in the form of a call to action, outlining the next steps that both parties have agreed to take. Follow this up with a written summary, clearly outlining the calls to action again. Always include any deadlines that you’ve agreed with your contact. Set a date for a follow-up call whenever possible.
However well the call has gone, you’ll be able to learn something from a repeat listen. Give yourself at least 24 hours before doing so. Aspects of the call will be fresh in your mind for some time, and the distance will help you view the interaction from a third-person perspective.
Don’t be overly critical of yourself – simply look for positives and negatives, as if you were engaged in a coaching role. Remember that no sales call is ever perfect, and it’s the next one that carries the most importance. Small improvements made after every call will quickly grow into major progressions over time. Good performance management is one of the keys to success.
Also, use video conferencing as much as you can! There’s a theory that it takes a person 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at something. It needn’t take that long, but the difference between making your first call and making your tenth will be huge.