Remote sales may have been made commonplace by the pandemic. However, they won’t lose their value after the vaccine is widely available to the public. Many companies are considering allowing their sales teams to continue working from home permanently if they so choose. According to a SellingPower article by William Craig Reed, 80% of B2B decision-makers actually prefer virtual sales meetings.
These decision-makers prefer virtual sales meetings for three reasons. The first is that they feel it’s easier to schedule sales meetings online and remain on schedule for those meetings since no one has to fight traffic to get somewhere on time. Second: Remote sales save reps money by cutting down on travel expenses and the time it takes them to travel to each sales meeting. And the third reason is that it’s safer for reps to meet with clients virtually during the pandemic. Two of those three reasons will continue to be relevant after the worst of the pandemic is behind us. So, it stands to reason that remote sales will continue to be commonplace in the future.
However, Reed says that there are two remote sales challenges that reps need to overcome in order to continue successful virtual sales when prospects are back to experiencing a mix of both meeting styles:
- Building Trust
- Balancing Your Pitch
Remote Sales Challenges
Body language is one way of building trust between reps and prospects. You may not realize how important body language is until it is gone. “Reading eye contact and non-verbal gestures can be vital to building customer trust,” writes Reed, “and 90% of customers buy on trust, not facts.” Using video during your remote sales can help you build trust using body language, but it still isn’t quite the same with all the other distractions on screen. You need to find ways alternate ways to build trust that are independent of product information.
Reed says that you can build trust during remote sales by establishing rapport with your prospects. You do this when you, “adjust their approach and style to the personality of the prospect.” When you use a one-size-fits-all approach to sales, you’re basically telling prospects that you don’t see researching their needs and goal as something that’s worth your time. How can they trust someone who sees them in this way? By taking the time to research the prospect and personalize your sales approach to suit them, you’re already building a subconscious groundwork of trust.
Balancing Your Pitch
“We must persuade customers by delivering balanced information that appeals to our logical, emotional, and instinctual motivators,” says Reed. According to Harvard neuroscientist Dr. Paul D. McLean, these are the areas of the brain that are directly related to how humans make decisions. You need to satisfy all three areas of the brain in order to make your prospect as comfortable as possible when making decisions. People are careful with their money, especially during times of economic crisis. Make them comfortable with their decision and they’ll be more willing to sign a contract with you.