The covid-19 crisis has somewhat changed the dynamics in the world of Business Development. Lockdowns and travel restrictions have made it difficult to meet new Customers, and sellers face more challenges now than ever before.
Those salespeople and businesses who are comfortable with distance selling will have a better chance of winning in these new business landscapes.
The mechanics of physical and virtual meetings may seem similar but in reality have important differences. In a face-to-face meeting, it is unlikely that the buyer will pull out their phone to respond to a text or an email or watch the news. However, a large proportion of people would admit to multitasking during virtual meetings which makes their attention much more difficult to keep.
In a sales meeting, it is the seller’s job to capture and keep the attention of the buyer.
Before the Meeting
Preparing for the sales meeting is extremely important in a virtual context. Here is a list of what you need to do before the meeting.
Do your Research on the Company
It may seem obvious to you, but a lot of salespeople don’t take the time to research their customers. You need to be specific in your approach and be able to provide more information than a youtube video. Project yourself in your buyer’s shoes.
Do your research on your Buyer
Likewise, find out about the person you will be talking to. Tools like LinkedIn can give you information about their area of interest or their length of service with the company for example.
Prepare a PowerPoint Presentation
A PowerPoint Presentation will help you maintain a frame and allow you to share your screen. Build your presentation so as to deliver key information about your Products and Services while considering regular times to re-engage your prospect. Remember, no one likes to listen to a stranger talk for X minutes; your Presentation should allow the prospect to talk about them, their problems.
Schedule Meetings earlier in the day
This will save you from being the 5th meeting and therefore will increase your prospect’s patience.
Check your video / audio system
Make sure that everything is working correctly, that the video and sound are of good quality (also make sure the background is suitable).
During the Meeting
Turn on your Camera
You are the Seller and must give your Buyer an opportunity to see you. Even if they keep their camera off, giving them the opportunity to see you will make communication easier. In most cases, your buyers will turn on their camera as well.
Take the lead
Introduce yourself and explain how the meeting will go. Explain that you have prepared a PowerPoint Presentation and that you want the meeting to be as interactive as possible. As such, invite your Prospects to interrupt you if they have any questions.
Keep any delivery or talking short
Keep your speaking time below 3 minutes, 5 minutes maximum before asking a question or re-engaging your prospect
Use your buyer’s first name
The first name of your prospects is the sound they like the most. Using their first name regularly in your questions or affirmation will immediately recapture their attention.
Define the next steps
Take advantage of the meeting to define with your buyer the next steps, ideally by planning a second call. In a B2B dynamic, the first interview usually allows you to understand precisely the needs of your buyer to be able to move forward on the technical aspects with other employees from both parties. As much as possible, try to schedule the next steps from meeting to meeting.
After the Meeting
The first meeting allowed you to break the ice with the buyer. You are no longer completely strangers and it is your responsibility to gain Momentum to build your Business Relationship.
Quickly after your meeting (within half a day), send an email to your prospect summarising what you have discussed:
- Your understanding of their potential needs
- The avenues to explore with your solution
- The next steps to validate the relevance of the solution
If you’ve agreed on a date for an upcoming meeting, mention in your email that you’ll be sending out an invitation shortly.