Virtual or remote selling isn’t new, I’ve worked remotely for 8 years, but there was always the option to go to a client’s office. Now, no company is going to allow people to visit their offices, and the choice to take people for lunch seems to be a fading memory. It would seem that we are all in “inside sales now” with that being said, we are selling sitting at desks remotely.
This year has been a wild year with Covid-19, and virtual selling has become a must-mastered technique for your sales department. Employees are scattered throughout the world, less and less are working in-person nobody is attending live events, salespeople are inundated with “digital” communications and platforms and struggle to sell virtually.
Let’s state this upfront. Virtual selling is not sitting at home, doing what I did for the last 8 years, calling people and emailing them. I know some sales gurus will have it that virtual selling is blasting people with video messages, rather than blasting people with cold calls!
Don’t make this mistake, virtual selling is not about being skilled at video calls, phone calls, emails, and text messages, this is about selling virtually, in an internet-enabled world. Blasting me with pitches on LinkedIn is not social selling, it is cold calling on a social network! Plus, COVID-19 has transformed our world, and the old world has moved on.
Let’s Take a Step Back
If we think about selling, my background is a web and application developer. I’ve always needed to be able to build relationships and trust and do it quickly. Back in the 1980s, there was no internet (honestly), and the only way you could get through to prospects was the telephone. Then in the 1990s email arrived. The problem is that now everybody has a phone and everybody has email. That also means that people have email blockers and call blockers.
Sales Have Changed
There was about this time when being able to create relationships wasn’t enough, and so you needed to be an expert in what you sold.
Then The Internet Arrived and Changed Everything
But things have changed big time. The internet arrived. While in the past, the only way you could find out about my products and services was by talking to me. Now you can go online (without me knowing) and get all the information you need. You can add me to a shortlist or disqualify me from a shortlist, and I won’t even know.
The Sales Problem Today Even in A Virtual World
This blog is about remote selling, so how on earth can I as a salesperson have conversations with prospects and customers and do it in a way that will
1. Show prospects that you can trust?
2. Show prospects that you are an expert?
3. Collect customers database and have live Q&A section with record.
I can ring people up (cold call them), I can send emails (I can email them), but this does not create trust. In fact, I’m just another salesperson.
The average person is bombarded with up to 10,000 brand messages a day, so how are you going to differentiate yourself and not be “just another salesperson?”
Many companies are also still stuck in 1998 when it comes to selling, measuring things like salespeople demos. The problem is for all sales and marketing team is that the internet has meant that the customer is now smarter than you. They know how to play the game and drive your margins down. But I digress. Let’s get back to virtual selling.
There are 5 Possible Outcomes From a Traditional Virtual Customer Approach (Cold calling or sending Emails)
1. The person blocks you, probably without telling you.
2. The person tells you to go away, I’m being polite here.
3. The person tells you they purchased one of those 3 months ago.
4. The person tells you to call back in 3 months.
5. You hit the person when they are ready to buy – Congratulations!
HubSpot research shows that email marketing has a 98% rejection rate.
Social selling, some people call it remote selling, some people call it virtual selling, isn’t new. I know people think that social selling is spammy people with connection requests, or you hit people with a connection request and then hit people with a pitch or doing live on Facebook to tell people how good is your product. This is just what you always did, it’s cold calling on a social network. This does not create trust, relationships, conversations, or win you deals.
Your Competitor Is Already Doing This
Your competitor has empowered their salespeople to use webinars, backed by a world-leading methodology. What does that mean?
It means that your competitor salespeople look Interesting, they are proactively building networks, they are creating and sharing content. This content is insightful and educational. They don’t look like “just another salesperson”. (Note: There is a difference between a network and a contact. Contacts don’t remember you, a Network will. Just building Contacts on LinkedIn is a waste of time, you need to establish a network, as these people will remember you. The difference between a B2B and a B2C sale is that in B2B, the client knows the name of the salesperson).
Virtual Selling – This is How You Have Been Outsold If You Cold Call Or Send Emails
So while you are calling me and emailing me wishing that I will go wow! That is the solution just for me. Your competitor’s sales team will have already, connected to me, they won’t have to spam me because they know that spamming and using templates does not build trust. It also does not create conversations. What we are looking to do is to build relationships and conversations. Your competitor salespeople know that “know me, like me, trust me” and if I do all of those things when it comes to buying I will buy from somebody I know, like and trust. Why are your competition who has built a relationship with me, that I know, like and trust? That’s why you have been outsold if you are still using legacy sales methods like cold calling and email. This is why you need to switch to virtual selling.
Where Do We Go From Here?
For those unsure of what to do, Check out our latest webinars web solution. Hosting webinars is a farsighted strategy for introducing business in the mercilessly demanding offline and online markets. It doesn’t matter whether you are an aspiring speaker with an ambitious startup or an experienced business owner with an innovated brand. Smartly run webinars can turn your business into a large-scale, promotional channel that introduces an original novelty and reminds about an already familiar product equally well. Check out this webinars web solution with the function to host live and automated webinars directly on your business website with fully functional backend management.
Although a webinar remains a helpful, widely applied educational tool, intelligent marketers have unleashed its true potential and now making the most of its Informational, advertising, and entertaining powers for businesses. Well, that’s the theory of webinars in a nutshell. You can see that they are promising, universal, and useful. But what real-life benefit can these features bring to a business? In the marketing environment, a webinar doesn’t and shouldn’t just to teach. A webinar should convey an idea of a product or a company’s philosophy and lead the customer to the sales funnel.
So, here are the top 5 benefits that this webinar solution can bring to your business.
• Using webinars for business can bring interaction with customers, interested in offered products or services, and increase popularization and the company’s reputation.
• Get connected with customers regardless of geography. Running a webinar is a perfect way to attract customers from different countries and hence to introduce the product or service abroad.
• Interact with real customers directly. Interestingly, the lack of interaction with customers is considered one of the heaviest drawbacks of sale. The most common arguments include the impossibility to check the viewers’ reaction to the information they receive as well as the limited possibility to discuss product information, ask questions, and respond to the customer’s comments.
• Save Time, Money, and Other Resources. The webinars’ digital technology eliminates the necessity to spend money on live events, paper materials, and snacks. It allows a business to manage the time of presentation and interaction with customers.
• Help to Learn and Encourage buying. The content of a webinar should teach a target customer about your business’ values, philosophy, and aspirations. Yet, since your product or service is their material representation, the content can and should soft-sell this representation.
Smartly run webinars can turn your business into a large-scale, promotional channel that introduces an original novelty and reminds about an already familiar product equally well.