Is virtual selling working for you? If your team hasn’t discussed staying at least partially virtual, you might be surviving vs. thriving in inside sales.
Virtual selling is like riding a unicycle—seems fun, but it’s really hard, and, well…WHY?
Because virtual selling is less expensive, more efficient, and can be every bit as fruitful. I’ve had the same chat with PC manufacturers, software developers, and supply distributors in my career. Eventually (nearly) all products and services move from field to virtual to e-commerce channels.
If you embrace virtual selling sooner than your competition, you’ll win.
Learn how to unicycle and love it with five simple and effective techniques:
- Make calls to your book/list for an hour at 7:30 am/12:30 pm/4:30 pm (their time zone). These three-hour blocks should produce 50+ dials and 5+ conversations each day. Without this effort, your customer influence will dwindle daily. (If you want to triple this, check out ConnectAndSell in the Sales 3.0 Conference lineup).
- Keep calling until you reach them. I know it hurts, but “phone isn’t a face.” If someone blows you off in person, it’s personal. Not taking or returning calls is just normal. Studies show you’ll make six attempts before reaching most of your list.
Set a goal for each call. Yup, just one. You don’t have 60-90 minutes and the luxury of in-person communication. If your call isn’t a scheduled meeting, 3.5 minutes is a success. Don’t waste it on “touching base,” “checking in,” or other nonsense. Add value and get info. Give something. Ask something. Repeat. The value keeps them taking your calls, and the question advances your sale. Try sharing research and asking a qualifying question (e.g. number of users or budget). Virtual sales are made in ten thousand baby steps, so always be ready by charting out your asks and checking them off one by one.
- Fix your intro. Most people use some version of their value prop to start a warm or cold call…
Don’t scream sales call with sentence one!
The goal of the first 10 seconds (call introduction) should be to get them talking. Keep it ultra-short, focused on the value for them, and end with a closed question. Trust me.
- Always bridge to the next call. Reaching people virtually is hard (Yes, I double as Captain Obvious on weekends). So don’t set yourself up to repeat the torture. You dialed seven times to reach Cindy, so do NOT let Cindy off the phone until you’ve booked your follow up meeting.
- Make it impossible for them to no-show. You can’t show up in their office so…
You need people to show up for you.
Do this by making it ridiculously easy while increasing your mindshare: Send a calendar invite. Outlook, Google, whatever. Include the bridge or link, short agenda, and your cell number. Get their cell number. Try, “In case anything comes up, my cell is in the invite. Could I have yours?” Send a text reminder one hour to 24 hours before the meeting. Email the agenda one to two days before the meeting. This grabs you more mindshare. They won’t read it, but they’ll be impressed with your organization! Give them an action item to bring to the meeting. Most won’t do it, but it increases their show rate and your mindshare before the meeting.
Bonus: A study by Robert Zajonc called the “Mere Exposure Effect” proved people like things they are exposed to more often. So your name in their inbox works for you!
Field sellers hustle to have one or two presentations a day. Virtual sellers hustle to reach people to book those meetings. Using these techniques consistently can double or triple your daily sales meetings. (Double bonus: You will always have the brochure, product info, or answer as close as your screen share button!) See? Unicycles are fun!
For more virtual selling tips and tactics, check out our Factor 8 Virtual Sales Training Masterclasses for BDRs, SDRs, ISRs, AEs, AMs, and field reps who are now selling virtually. Masterclasses blend self-paced, e-learning along with bi-weekly “Happy Hours”, which are live coaching and networking sessions hosted by a Factor 8 sales expert. Learn more here.
“LB” is the founder of three successful brands: Factor 8, The Sales Bar, and #GirlsClub. A proud “AA-ISP Most Influential” recipient for the past 10 years, she’s also been billed as a Top Coach and a Top Woman in Sales. Her mission is to change lives by helping more people find confidence and success in sales. Known on the speaker circuit for her “No B.S.” style and spunk, look for LB to make you laugh, keep things moving quickly, and help you take immediate action with her tactical tips.