Reliable partners and “carers” are even more important in times of crisis. The sales team should foster existing customer contacts and cultivate new ones. How can this work despite the corona distancing rules? Find out here.
Corona crisis: how it has impacted the sales force
The corona pandemic has changed the everyday business activities of sales staff enormously. Customers cannot be reached easily and are dealing with budget shortages, while the sales team itself is often tied to home office. Trade shows and other sales-pushing events have been cancelled. The personal contact with customers that many feel is so important is not only limited – the sales talks must largely take place in the virtual realm.
The digital transformation is therefore advancing faster in sales than many staff would like it to. More and more companies are building up their online sales via marketplaces or an own Web shop in the current situation. In addition, they are increasingly using social media channels and business networks such as Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn to reach their customers.
Why the sales team must now take initiative digitally
Reliable partners and “carers” are even more important in times of crisis. Customers could be in need of a special product and require support in their planning after corona has passed. A reinforcement of the personal connection will pay off in the long term.
The name of the game is therefore to build up customer connections from afar and to foster them. Forms of digital communication are essential to achieve this. In addition to an increase in telephone and email contact, virtual meetings above all are experiencing a boom in times of corona. Video conference tools such as Zoom have become a standard must-have in the everyday business of many sales staff. Sales talks via virtual channels require, however, a little practice and tact.
Five concrete tips for leading virtual sales talks
Successful consultation via video conference is characterised mainly by a well-structured sales process based on active discussions, without your business partner getting loss in all the details. Here are five concrete tips for leading a virtual sales talk:
1. Ensure the technical requirements are met
Make sure the required technical conditions are in place. Become familiar with the functions of your conference tools in advance and set up a joint working screen so that all the participants have the same view on their monitors.
2. Adapt how you appear and your demeanour
Adapt your appearance and your demeanour to the virtual situation. Your talk partner only sees a small portion of your body, which is transporting the entire message of your personality. Patterns on your clothing or a low neckline could distract your business partner, while expansive gestures may not be really recognised as such. Good lighting is just as important as a quiet, clean background.
3. Create a personal atmosphere
Don’t get straight to business, but instead create a personal atmosphere first with a bit of small talk featuring some nice words. During a talk on-site, drinks or snacks are frequently offered and a little small talk takes place at this time to loosen up the mood.
4. Loosen up the sales consultation situation
The increased use of media in times of corona leads to tiredness and even a feeling of fatigue. There is even a new term for this phenomena: Zoom Fatigue. So, avoid ongoing monologues during video conferences. Loosen up the sales consultation session with explanatory videos or graphics.
5. Actively integrate the customer
Let the customer actively participate in the path to making a decision. For instance: ask the customer which price he would expect for a certain product or service. With the help of a slider, he can provide his estimate himself on the computer. This enables the business partner to be completely focused on the topic and discussion.