The world is virtual—that’s not going to change. So Joanne Black emphasizes that we must learn to sell in this virtual world. That means organizations need to give their salespeople the right tools to sell virtually. How do you look into the camera? How do you have a conversation and build relationships? These are the things salespeople can do in person but struggle with digitally. If that’s you, listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented for some tips and tricks from Joanne Black.
Joanne believes you need to have a written strategy that is clearly communicated. How does it apply to each person in your organization? How can you give them the skills to carry out the process? Joanne believes KPIs need to be attached to a social strategy and outreach. Managers tend to shoot from the hip and it leaves salespeople confused. Joanne has been virtual for years and has taken courses on how to sell virtually. She believes you must train and coach your salespeople, allow them to practice, and help them get results.
Joanne notes that the attributes are very similar to in-person selling. You need to build relationships and play the long game. Some people believe that it’s tough to develop relationships with digital selling but Joanne disagrees. If you are well-trained and know how to look into the camera and have a conversation, you will build those relationships. Most people sell complex solutions which means you likely won’t close in one or two calls. You have to think about how to meet the buyers that are essential to closing the deal.
You have to learn how to use digital and social selling tools such as LinkedIn. People go on LinkedIn and pitch, send automated requests, and spew garbage. The best practice is to look at shared connections and read people’s recommendations. You can refer to people’s education, work history, and things they’ve written to reference in a conversation. People forget to be just as social as they would be in person. What are the rules of engagement?
Joanne saw a post on LinkedIn from a head of sales all about referrals. People were commenting all over it and there was a lot of interaction (15–20 were chatting). Joanne added her voice to the conversation and it continued to develop. She decided to write to the head of sales and asked if he wanted to do a webinar about referrals and invite the people who had commented.
He didn’t respond to that question. Instead, he asked her to come in and chat with his group. She had made an offer with no strings attached and it turned into business for her. If someone posts something within your area of expertise, don’t be afraid to share a best practice. It’s about being open and sharing as much as you can.
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