The process of sales and marketing remains as important as ever for bringing in new and scaling existing business. Yes, nowadays even more research and purchases are conducted online. But yet, at the same time customers and prospects are more cautious with their buying decisions. This highlights the importance of being able to communicate with your target audience.
Why transitioning into virtual sales meetings is a must for your business
Virtual sales meetings have experienced a rapid rise to fame over the last few months. Even before the current crisis reared its ugly head, more and more companies resorted to online sales meetings. People these days do not have much time and the world was not showing any signs slowing down. Even though things move at a slower pace now, it is expected we will return to full speed sooner or later. Traveling to someone’s location, conducting a meeting and then going back to report is time consuming after all.
Hosting a virtual sales meeting can be a daunting task if you have never done it before. Even with the tools at your disposal, there is always the concern you will not be able to create the same energy as opposed to meeting someone in-person.
At the end of the day, doing sales is all about building relationships. Even before the pandemic, one could already tell that the way we are meeting prospective buyers is shifting. Online sales meetings were slowly but steadily becoming the new norm. Adapting means mastering the way you conduct a virtual sales meeting while at the same time maintaining your selling style. This last part is vital, as more than 80% of business buyers is making their decision based on experience.
Last but not least, the mayor benefit that a virtual sales meeting has is that you can show all sorts of data to the attendees. After all, 80% of the information that we see is retained, opposed to about 20% of what we read and just about 10% of what we hear.
How to get the most out of a virtual sales meeting
Virtual sales meetings are all about effective communication. Every online meeting you host is an opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition and build on the cornerstones of your brand.
Regardless of the experience you have with it, video conferencing will always be a better approach to a proper real-life meeting as opposed to only using audio. Several studies have shown that doing online sales meetings using video increased participation overall.
When hosting an online sales meeting, the setting is as important as you are. As cheesy as it sounds, when you meet a prospective buyer in a backwater conference room the atmosphere can be a deal breaker – this does not change online.
When we are talking about the setting, you have to consider both the space you are in as well as the equipment you are using.
Set the stage for your virtual sales meeting
- Reduce echoes: big, spacious rooms with a nice hardwood floor may look good on camera, but they create a lot of echo. Not ideal when hosting a virtual sales meeting. Even if you decide that a carpet is not your cup of tea, a rug can do wonders for the acoustic.
- Neutral background: even though a fancy room outfitted will as sorts of artsy objects is satisfying in its own right; it creates distractions for people looking at you. The best thing to do is keeping the background as neutral as possible.
- Lighting: try to use natural lighting as much as possible.
Use proper equipment
- Use a laptop or computer, rather than a mobile phone: the reason is fairly easy to guess, aforementioned creates a stable image where you can see quite a bit of the participants for yourself. With a mobile phone, you will always be limited in this respect.
- Use a proper microphone: if you are using a MacBook, or an iMac, then the build-in microphones are usually sufficient. But even if you are in Apple’s corner, the best results will be obtained using an external microphone.
- Eliminate distractions: this one is easy to forget, as even we sometimes go into meeting with our Outlook application still open. Nothing is more annoying than constantly hearing messages and other sounds disturbing the quality time with your prospect or customer.
Key factor in any online sales meeting: you!
Rest assured: even if you are about to host your first virtual sales meeting ever and you have not covered everything for the perfect setting, there is still you. Yes, you! Talking to prospects and customers is your job, so even when technology is not 100% on your side – you got this. But, just to be sure, we have some pointers lined up for you in this department as well.
- Show up early: just like in real life, you are never late for a meeting. Set the stage, make sure you are ready and well prepared.
- Dress the part: even when hosting your virtual sales meeting from the comfort of your own home, the energy changes when you actually dress like going into the most important meeting of your life.
- Limit body movement, constantly flailing your arms when you are talking into a camera is distracting for the people trying to follow you.
- Look in the camera: even though it is natural that you are looking at the image of the person you are speaking to, looking someone in the eyes creates an instant connection.
How to keep people engaged
This is a tricky one, as this one is not just about you. Even when you are doing the best you can, it is still possible for people to get distracted. Let us be honest here: when you are in an online meeting, it is easy to just check that one e-mail or going through the news.
Here are a few tips to keep participants involved during your virtual sales meeting.
- Sense of familiarity: if you have a meeting with a prospective buyer, there is always something that has drawn them to you or the company you are working for. Make sure that everything, both in your setting as well as the way you conduct yourself, is represented as if you were meeting the participants in person.
- Create connection: all good meetings start with creating a sense of community and connection. Just because you are not meeting in person, does not mean you can skip the introduction entirely. It helps people ease into the meeting.
- Stay focused and on topic: important, when talking about a subject it is easy to just throw in something you thought of when formulating your sentence. Do not give people the chance to zone out.
- Address people directly, if you have a feeling that they are not 100% with you address them by their name and direct a question directly at them.
- Give people your full attention: when you are not the one talking, look straight into that camera of yours, anyone talking will get the feeling you are giving them your full and undivided attention.
That is it for now, we hope to have given you some go-to’s for hosting your own virtual sales meetings. Even when the world does return to “normal”, online meetings will continue to become a bigger part of the way we do business. You will want to make sure you master this skill.