Nearly everyone has moved to digital selling for the last year or so. Even though things are opening, there will continue to be a digital component or hybrid model in play. Plus, organizations are enjoying the cost-savings from doing virtual meetings. Julie Hansen points out that Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80% of B2B sales will take place virtually.
Organizations need to have a strategy in place to handle the continued transition. How can they improve it? According to Julie, organizations need to focus on making a human connection through technology. How can you connect with people on the other side of the screen? Julie shares her thoughts in this episode of Sales Reinvented!
Most companies have enough technology and tools in place to be successful with digital selling. However, a successful strategy begins with taking the tools you have and learning how to connect with someone through a camera. You have to learn to understand what the customer is feeling or seeing on the other side of the screen. It’s an art and a science. You can’t do the same things you’d do in person and expect it to translate through video. It’s why people don’t feel seen or heard. How do you create an in-person experience in a virtual world? It’s not all about technology.
Julie believes that you have to learn how to make eye contact and read on-screen body language. If you can’t do that, you’ll make wrong assumptions, miscommunicate, and misinterpret what’s being said. You have to engage someone with a small amount of real estate. You need to understand how your customer is experiencing the interaction. Until you do that, you aren’t creating that in-person experience. It can be as simple as looking at the camera when they’re speaking to you instead of watching the image of them. You have to adapt.
Julie notes that you need all the same characteristics selling digitally as you do in person—credibility, an interest in others, empathy, curiosity, and trustworthiness. But she emphasizes that those that are successful in the digital world are those that are adaptable. You can’t just “ride it out,” you have to adapt and change from what you’ve done before. If you don’t, you’ll struggle.
The salespeople that recognize they want to have a deeper connection with their customers and make the virtual experience fulfilling and meaningful are those that will succeed. empathy, curiosity, and other traits won’t show up in a video if you don’t know how to use them properly. Someone won’t feel empathy if you aren’t making eye contact. They won’t feel cared about if your face is a blank slate. You may feel all of those things but must communicate them. Julie shares, “It doesn’t exist if the camera doesn’t see it.”
Julie sees that people tend to be very passive virtually. People show up like they’re sitting in front of a screen. They’re in receiving mode and settled into a blank “resting business face.” If you’re not aware that it’s typical on-screen behavior, you may panic. One strategy is to learn how to recognize on-screen behavior and how to interact and break through the passive cycle. Julie shares a few dos and don’ts that can help you do that:
Julie had a coaching call with a salesperson. The business development rep was sent to her because he couldn’t convert calls to demos. She watched some of his recordings and pointed out two things that were impacting his presentations:
They worked through sharing how you feel with your face and making eye contact. The next month, he converted 20% of his calls to demos. It was all about the connection with his audience. At the end of the day, it is your connection with the buyer that makes a sale, not the tools or technology.
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