Water Well Journal

September 2015

Water Well Journal

Issue link: https://read.dmtmag.com/i/557876

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Page 49 of 71

O pportunities for salespeople to connect with prospects online have increased exponentially over the past few years. As companies and employees get more scattered and the cost of travel continues to rise, this trend will only grow. Are you and your team ready? While the benefits of being able to reach more prospects with a smaller investment of time and resources is tempting, virtual communication is not without its drawbacks. In fact, prospects and sellers who don't always agree are typically unanimous on one point: Virtual sales calls have all the sizzle of a week-old soda. Virtual Problems Whether you're Skyping with a prospect, holding a web conference, or delivering a presentation over the Internet, you are presented with some unique challenges: • Your prospects are invisible. Unless you're on Skype or another platform where your prospect is using a webcam, you can't see your potential customers—so gauging their interest is difficult. Even more important, your prospects know you can't see them, making it easy for them to lose focus. Distractions abound in a virtual world and it's easy for your potential customers to mentally wander off if you fail to keep them engaged and focused on your message. • You're invisible. Your physicality—presence, movement, eye contact—plays a huge role in your ability to connect with your prospect. Eliminate that physical piece entirely and you've lost one of your most powerful communication tools. How are you compensating for that fact? • Lack of movement. We live in a world of constant stimu- lation. You can't ride in a plane or on an elevator without watching a vide o. Today people are quickly bored with a static visual. Not taking that into account when planning your virtual call is a common mistake you can avoid. • The setting is passive. When a screen comes up, people get ready to sit back and be entertained or informed. A web presentation places your potential customers in that famil- iar environment—minus the popcorn. Your prospects won't be inclined to jump in and participate without some plan- ning and encouragement on your part. • Technology is imperfect. Login problems, connectivity is- sues, frozen screens—the list goes on. The first 5-10 min- utes of a web conference are often spent working out the bugs or waiting for others to join the meeting. Although sometimes preventable, these engagement killers always require alternate plans to reduce their sometimes disastrous effects. Virtual Solutions While the challenges may sound insurmountable, the fol- lowing virtual selling tips can help you take your web sales call from a bore to a score: • Be visible. Use a webcam or at least a slide with your photo on it when you begin your call or take questions. People respond to faces and movement. The more you can make yourself "real" and not just a disembodied voice, the more attention you will receive. Think about how easy it is to turn down a salesperson on the phone vs. in person. • Leverage your voice. When your voice is your sole tool, you need to make sure you're using it to its fullest poten- tial. Record yourself and listen back to see if your voice is conveying meaning and emotion. Are you using enough vocal variety to keep your prospects engaged? • Embrace the pause. Salespeople are often afraid if they stop talking they're going to lose their prospect, especially during a web call or presentation. But the opposite is often true. Non-stop talking can cause your prospect to tune out just as easily as too much dead air. Leave space for poten- tial customers to process what you've said or formulate an answer. If you answer all of your own questions too quickly, your prospect will sit back and let you answer all of them. • Create word pictures. Your words have to work even harder than in a face-to-face sales call. Choose words that JULIE HANSEN ACT LIKE A SALES PRO SALES TIPS FOR A VIRTUAL WORLD Presentations with customers are going online. Are you ready? waterwelljournal.com 48 September 2015 WWJ Leave space for potential customers to process what you've said or formulate an answer. Got a Topic? This month's article was inspired by a Water Well Journal reader. If you have a sales topic or challenge you would like to see addressed in future issues, send it to me at julie@acting forsales.com and I will do my best to tackle it!

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