But what factors must you take into account before using video conferencing for sales talks? How do you build a relationship of trust with your customers when you are operating remotely? And how can you bring sales meetings to a successful conclusion using headsets and webcams?
Follow our free “Remote selling: the how-tos!” checklist to become an expert sales professional in every video conference!
Has face-to-face selling had its day?
The restrictions in recent months made life particularly difficult for people working in sales, who naturally rely on customer contact. Many sales professionals believe – often with good reason – that being there in person is a crucial factor in convincing customers to buy their product.
Since 2020, however, remote selling has inevitably skyrocketed. But what does remote selling actually mean? The “remote” part refers to selling when your prospective customers are in a different location. Many companies were quick to recognize the opportunities that digital sales strategies can offer. They are more efficient in many respects, and customers have now also become used to product presentations being delivered digitally. The time is right to move forward digitally.
Remote selling, virtual sales, social selling – what’s the difference?
Remote selling and virtual sales are two terms that are often used synonymously. Although there isn’t actually that much difference between them, remote selling refers to an online sales talk where the aim is for the meeting to feel as authentic as possible and for participants to overlook the fact that they are not actually in the same place. Remote selling also always involves an actual sales team made up of actual employees.
As sales become increasingly digitalized, virtual sales can refer to both pure sales platforms and automated online formats, which can create added value for customers and interested parties. Virtual sales includes webinars, for example, which are a way to share additional or specialist knowledge, but don’t necessarily have to be live streamed or targeted at a direct sale.
Social selling, in contrast, covers digital sales channels – such as Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp – as well as traditional channels including emails and direct phone calls.
Are you ready to get to grips with remote selling?
There’s no question that being able to sit down with your customer in person is hugely beneficial. But you can also turn the unique environment and particular communication opportunities offered by video meetings to your advantage.
If you want to achieve your goals in remote selling, there are a few things that you should consider before you start:
- Do you perform as well in front of a webcam as you do face-to-face – or maybe even better?
- What are your particular strengths when it comes to using a webcam?
- Where can you find prospective customers, and how do you invite them to a meeting?
- What does your planning phase before the meeting involve?
- What do you need to keep in mind during the meeting?
- What contact and sales activities can you use to follow up the video meeting?
Successful remote selling requires a certain degree of advance planning, a structured framework for the meeting itself, and a targeted follow-up.
The advantages of remote selling at a glance
In the past, business partners generally met in conference rooms and head offices. This frequently involved costly business trips, with the additional restriction that only a limited number of managers, experts, and employees could participate. Although the meeting hosts were not required to travel, they did have to spend time making preparations – and we all know that time is money.
Remote selling offers plenty of room for boosting efficiency, saving time, and cutting costs:
- The number of business trips and the related costs and expenses are reduced
- Less business travel means lower CO2 emissions
- There are no budget-related restrictions on the number of meeting participants
- Less travel time frees up time that can be used more effectively elsewhere
- Follow-up contacts are straightforward, and a subsequent meeting can be arranged for the very next day
- Regular straightforward communication strengthens business relationships
Experiences in remote working over recent months have also highlighted some of the disadvantages of this form of communication. Attention spans decrease significantly when video conferences last too long or are scheduled in quick succession; some employees feel uncertain about knowing when it’s the right time to speak; the setup in private rooms is often less than ideal for holding effective online conferences (the same applies to the lighting) – and many people don’t necessarily want their colleagues to see their private living space.
But this last point can actually be seen as an opportunity: getting a glimpse of our business partners’ private lives can make them seem more likable, and can actually make people feel closer to each other than being in a conference room, which can seem sterile in contrast. Some employees are more likely to be shy in face-to-face meetings and may even find it easier to communicate in the familiar setting of their home office.
Our “Remote selling: the how-tos!” checklist contains practical tips on how to create an inviting atmosphere for your meeting participants!
Your introduction to professional remote selling
Accepting the advantages of remote selling instead of writing it off as the poor relation of traditional, face-to-face sales talks is an essential requirement for making a positive start to digital sales. Ultimately, face-to-face communication will always have a part to play in the business world, even as sales become increasingly digitalized.
Our checklist uses real-life examples to show you how to bring your business partners and your customers on board, which typical mistakes to avoid, and how to use remote selling to successfully boost your business. Our free “Remote selling: the how-tos!” checklist will make sure that you give an impressive performance in your virtual sales meetings.