Your company’s sales meetings are crucial for building business relationships and landing key customers or accounts. With the recent shift to virtual sales rather than in-person meetings, some sales teams are struggling to adjust. If your sales reps aren’t prepared to sell online, your bottom line could suffer.
Fortunately, there are easy strategies salesforces can use to transform subpar virtual sales meetings into stellar ones that make a lasting impression.
1. Maintain your usual level of professionalism
Sales meetings help to establish a foundation of trust and professionalism between your company and your potential customer, but this is not as easily done in the virtual environment. However, it’s imperative that your team maintain the same level of professionalism in an online meeting as you would in person. Just because you’re hosting a meeting from your living room doesn’t mean you should act like it!
Your customers may not be able to wait in a well-decorated lobby, but you can set up a virtual waiting room. This allows your team to get the meeting ready before letting attendees join. Once the meeting starts, encourage everyone to turn their cameras on, so all participants can see each other’s faces and interact on a more personal level. Of course, your sales team should be careful to create a professional atmosphere with a clean background and business-appropriate attire.
Because it’s not easy to distribute an agenda or sales materials while a virtual meeting is in progress, distribute these items ahead of time. Begin the meeting by ensuring everyone has access to them. After the meeting is over, make sure to distribute notes, minutes, action items, or a thank you follow-up to the participants.
2. Create virtual brand moments
Without meeting in your office, it can be challenging to create brand moments that speak to your business’s culture and customer experience. You’ll need to implement virtual-friendly strategies that infuse branding into your sales presentation to help bolster that awareness. Every touchpoint you have with the prospective customer before, during, and after the meeting should incorporate elements of your brand and messages.
First and foremost, your meeting should maintain a cohesive brand experience. Take care to use the appropriate colors, fonts, tone, style, and messages for your brand.
Also try to find ways to incorporate branding wherever you can. Obviously, your branding should be prominent on presentation slides, but consider other, more unique strategies too. Your sales team could use matching branded backdrops or wear branded apparel to create a sense of cohesion. All pre- and post-meeting communications should also provide a reminder of your brand.
3. Consider how you deliver sales materials
Eye-catching and informative sales materials are key to showcasing your products and services in a tangible way. When hosting virtual meetings, you aren’t able to physically pass these materials out yourself. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still provide them!
If your materials are best provided in physical format, mail them to the customer in advance of the meeting. If you plan to utilize digital materials, don’t just attach them to an email—find a creative way to deliver the materials and make the customer feel special.
No matter what format you choose, make your sales materials an experience for the customer to look through. Digital materials should feel like opening a creative e-card. They might contain flip books, professional portfolios, and interactive websites that encourage customer engagement.
Mailed physical materials should make customers feel like they’re opening a gift box. Pay close attention to how the items are packaged—incorporating your branding here as well—and what materials are inside, such as a printed agenda and professionally designed and bound folders, informative leaflets, or catalogs.
4. Make the customer feel special
Virtual meetings are impersonal by nature—it’s just not the same as sitting across a table from someone and holding a conversation. In order to break through distractions and the virtual divide, put an emphasis on making your customer feel special. Ensure they leave your meeting feeling like they were well taken care of.
Thanks to technology and mail, you can extend your usual in-person meeting perks to virtual participants. If you’re hosting a lunch or coffee meeting that you’d normally cater, go the extra mile by sending a gift card for food or even deliver food to the customer!
Inside your package of printed sales materials, you can also include branded goodies and other freebies, including notepads, pens, stickers, or even apparel. All of these things help you stand out from others who might conduct a run-of-the-mill virtual meeting.
5. Work closely with IT
Few things are more frustrating during a professional meeting than technical issues. Audio/visual hiccups may not just be annoying to your customer—they have the potential to completely ruin the meeting.
Before your meeting, hold a practice session with your IT team to ensure the virtual waiting room, internet connection, audio, and video components and presentation all work as planned. Get familiar with the technology, so you aren’t fumbling to go to the next slide or switch from the presentation to your personal video feed.
Once the meeting starts, ask IT to sit in or be readily available to assist with technical issues. This ensures that they can address problems immediately, rather than have your customers sit in uncomfortable silence while your team tries to fix things.
Unlock your potential through virtual sales
Virtual sales meetings don’t have to be difficult; they’re merely different. There are many ways to ensure your virtual meeting is just as engaging and hard-hitting as a face-to-face meeting. You just have to take the time to make a plan and put it into action!