Updated: Feb 23, 2022
Is there really a difference between virtual selling and traditional in-person selling?
I would argue for the most part that there isn’t a difference between the two. Both virtual selling and traditional in-person selling involve selling. In addition, selling has a defined cycle that has to be followed to ensure success whether you are selling virtually or in person. The sales cycle has 7 main stages:
Preparation- Understand your product, understand your competitors, understand your value proposition
Prospecting and researching- Find prospects that fit your customer profile, discover their challenges
Outreach- Start your outreach and engage with prospects
Pitching - Articulate your value proposition in a personalized manner
Objection handling- Address concerns and objections
Closing- Finalize on the agreement terms, get the necessary documents signed and deliver the product/service required
Follow up- Nurture customers and their experience to ensure customer satisfaction
From speaking to salespeople, the number one challenge that they face with virtual selling is knowing how to connect and engage with the prospects. They, therefore, tend to prefer in-person selling because it is easier to engage with prospects. The reason why salespeople are struggling with virtual selling is due to how they present themselves.
There is something absolutely terrifying about seeing yourself on camera. Most salespeople are anxious to sell virtually but are completely confident and comfortable when selling in-person. So the question is how do you become more confident and comfortable with selling virtually?
Communication involves both verbal and non-verbal communication. As a salesperson, you already have the verbal communication aspect down. You know how to ask discovery and clarifying questions to the prospect, you know how to establish value using the prospect’s language and you know how to balance between the talk to listen ratio with prospects. What you might be struggling with in virtual selling is how to communicate non-verbally.
Body language does impact the effectiveness of communication. As a salesperson, the most deadly in virtual selling is having your camera off when meeting a prospect. To be able to connect and engage with your prospect virtually, your camera should be on. When you have your camera on first, you are encouraging the prospects to also have theirs on without having to ask them directly. Secondly, it offers you a chance to have a face-to-face interaction with your prospect which ultimately influences trust levels. It might seem weird seeing yourself on camera, but imagine that you are just sitting across your prospect having face-to-face communication.
The second tip for improving your experience with virtual selling is to stand up especially when pitching. In pitching, you need to be able to articulate your value proposition in a personalized manner to the prospect. It might sound like a silly concept but the act of standing up during pitching or presentation with your prospects will impact you psychologically as you feel like you have more energy and are confident in what you are saying. This psychological impact will positively influence your non-verbal communication skills that will enable you to communicate more clearly.
What other tips do you have for improving your non-verbal communication when selling virtually?