The Reality of Online Sales – The Pros and Cons
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed an unprecedented opportunity for businesses around the world. With video conferencing expected to grow at a huge 15% year on year for the next decade, the businesses that can sell their products more effectively online are more apt to succeed with finding opportunities in new markets, connecting with different buyers and growing their business globally.
Enabling employees to conduct work from any location can dramatically decrease costs and increases flexibility. Selling over video allows for a higher volume of potential buyers who are likely to make quicker decisions through improved communication. Further, technologies such as screen and file sharing allow for more visual communication. Collaborating and brainstorming on documents is now easier than ever due to the tools available when selling over video.
Although, there are many benefits of using Zoom and Microsoft teams for selling. These platforms still present challenges for businesses to adapt to. Many people may find a lack of personal interaction to be limiting to their ability as it becomes more difficult to build rapport as opposed to face-face selling. Furthermore, technical and network issues now become more prevalent whereby dropped calls and lagging video or audio can stifle successful sales systems. Nevertheless, learning to sell online has become increasingly important. Below are 5 tactics for selling over video to improve your conversion rate.
5 Online Sales Tactics:
1. Set your Scene
A good practice before starting your call is to ensure that your setting is optimised for selling. This means clearing any clutter in the background such as trash or boxes and taking the necessary steps to be well-presentable and professional.
Using elements such as books, plants or other items can help break up the background of your workspace without being too distracting to the prospect. Choose elements that compliment your values – for example, if you want to demonstrate intelligence, using a bookshelf in the background can portray a smart aura.
Furthermore, check that your scene is well-lit. An influencing factor of successful communication is good facial illumination. Natural light is preferable however try to avoid bright rear lights which may cast a silhouette over your camera. If your lighting is not adequate, be sure to invest in a ring light or lighting kit if which will eliminate any shadows which may appear.
2. Be Prepared
An extremely common mistake that people tend to make when selling over video is not being well-prepared before the meeting starts. For the Zoom meeting to go as smoothly as possible, you must not only prepare your setting but prepare your content after having conducted sufficient research on your prospect.
Knowing and understanding your customer is the key to providing them with good service and in return a strong long-term customer relationship.
Your prospect should be made aware of the information they will be receiving in your meeting and particularly tailored advice to their business needs.
You should have a strong arsenal of stories, testimonials, and questions that you can deploy to make your sales meeting more engaging. Creating a positive experience for your prospect will make them more inclined to purchase your product or service.
A caveat to this is the risk of overly structuring your presentation. Your video meeting may sound too systematic, whereby you will appear too robotic and disconnected from the needs of your prospect.
3. Use the Inbuilt tools
Whether you are using Zoom or Microsoft Teams, most modern video conferencing software have inbuilt tools that you can leverage to further illustrate your point.
Tools like screen sharing with your prospect will provide an opportunity to present any necessary graphs, diagrams, and customer testimonials – something which is absent in a traditional sales call. Screen sharing can aid in overall communication of your benefits and reinforce brand identity. By visually presenting and demonstrating a more tangible product there is a lower chance of miscommunication and therefore a higher close rate.
Similarly, with the whiteboard function available on Zoom and Microsoft Teams, you are able to collaborate and brainstorm and facilitate in demonstrating your expertise.
Technology has enabled easier cross-communication allowing you to scale your pipeline with cost-effective solutions which allow for quicker decision-making. Utilise the tools available.
Be sure to smile. Multiple studies demonstrate how smiling is directly linked to an increased perception of approachability and trustworthiness. When performing over video conferencing, smiling will trigger positive emotions and make you feel more confident and optimistic.
A smile is contagious and demonstrating a good attitude and friendly demeanour will often be reciprocated by your prospect. Remember, smiling won’t always guarantee a sale, but a sale usually starts with a smile.
5. Close the Sale
Towards the end of your performance, be sure to encourage direct action. The prospect should be made aware of the next steps that they should take. Dropping a link in the chat or verbally walking them through the payment method are good practices that stimulate action from the prospect.
It is important to repeat your key takeaways and recap your unique selling point that is applicable to your prospect’s needs. The meeting should also be succeeded by a follow-up email containing the aforementioned information with the aim of moving the prospect further along the sales funnel.
It appears that online selling over video conferencing is here to stay as the world further shifts towards a digital landscape.
A responsibility directly lies on the business owner or sales team to continue to train and adapt to these changes as best as they can.
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