How to Sell Remotely (When Your Team Are Experts in Face-to-Face Selling)

a salesperson working remotely

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Mastering how to sell remotely may be the key to strengthening your sales pipeline this year.

Nadjia Yousif, managing director and partner of Boston Consulting Group, one of the top three management consulting companies worldwide, said it best: 

“People have been more patient in learning new technologies and engaging with them, simply because they’ve had to. I think we’re all developing new muscles to work virtually.”

In the US alone, over 40 million people and counting have filed for unemployment. The global pandemic has hit a lot of industries hard. It’s forced a change in how businesses scale, sustain growth, and sell.

Simply put, business owners have to learn how to sell remotely to new prospects. Virtual selling has forced us to develop new skills for how to navigate the digital world. What was once done in face-to-face meetings now needs a new approach.

Traditional sales teams must adapt to these new times… But it can be done with a bit of work and creativity. The following tips can serve as guidelines for making a smoother transition from face-to-face sales pitches to remote sales pitches.

Tip 1 for Remote Selling – Be Empathetic and Focus on Engagement Over the Hard Sell

Trying to make a hard sell isn’t how top performers close deals today… Try this tactic with remote sales, and you’re doomed.

Yet too many businesses still use this tactic. 

Given our research into top sales performers, some sales psychology principles might help out here… 

First, generate interest by providing education. When a prospect asks for more information, you can show them how your product/service aligns with the ultimate result they are after. This helps the prospect feel understood. 

Because all selling involves solving a problem, empathizing with your prospects is key. Ask personal questions. Ask about their interests, discover their needs, and then offer a solution to their problems.

Always use an appropriate tone for the situation at hand. Express concern about your prospect’s worries. Understand that sometimes postponing a sales pitch is the right thing to do. 

Prospects who feel a connection with the salesperson will eventually reach out on their own.

Tip 2 for Remote Selling – Have All of Your Tools Ready

Virtual sales require the proper sales tools – such as Zoom, a virtual demo presentation, and a good CRM to keep everyone on the same page.

This will help ensure that everything goes smoothly. You can’t risk getting caught unprepared by a prospect. You’ll also want the option of quickly informing your team of any new client demands or telling your client about new benefits of choosing your business.

To do that, you need to have your sales data at your fingertips. This means focusing on a single CRM system for fast access and getting details about your prospect from LinkedIn Navigator (among other sources).

Choosing Google Drive over other file storage suites is also a good idea. It makes file sharing faster than ever before. Regardless of the exact system you use, though, the point is to have as much information available for your sales team as possible.

Lastly, think about how you come across to your prospects and clients. Use a proper setup with a dedicated microphone and headphones, and a quality webcam. 

In the next tip, we’ll discuss the importance of video calling in virtual sales.

Tip 3 for Remote Selling – Understanding Your Body Language 

Communication has a lot to do with body language…

According to Dr. Albert Mehrabian in his 1971 book on communication, Silent Messages, it’s 55% body language, 38% tone, and only 7% actual spoken words. Considering these numbers is key to making a sale.

Just talking on the phone is limiting, but using video conferencing allows you to leverage both audio and visual elements. 

Video calling has never been easier (and it’s a great way to establish rapport faster)!

To get the most out of your video conferencing, get farther away from the camera. More distance means more of your body will show during the call, and that ensures that your body language is on full display.

Use as much natural light as possible, and buy the best gear your company can afford for audio and video capture.

Video calling is the closest replica we have to a face-to-face chat, so use it to your advantage!

Tip 4 for Remote Selling – Encourage the Team to Share Knowledge

Virtual B2B sales are different from traditional pitches. This type of remote selling involves more teamwork, and effective teamwork demands good collaboration skills.

It involves retraining face-to-face experts for the digital world.

Here’s how you can prepare your sales team for remote work: encourage collaboration by redefining roles and routines within the company. 

Host briefing sessions on a daily basis. Invite team members to share their knowledge. Have them focus on success stories, and ensure that failures get discussed too. People learn from mistakes, and one person’s mistake may help others avoid making the same error.

Tip 5 for Remote Selling – Get Creative with How You Communicate

A scheduled face-to-face meeting almost ensures you have enough time to get your message across. Unfortunately, this isn’t true of virtual sales meetings… Remote sales pitches often fail before they even begin.

This doesn’t mean you’re out of luck, it just means you need to get creative!

Try out these creative ways of communication between salespeople and prospects, tailored for the digital environment:

  1. Try using a video sales pitch within the email to establish a personal connection. Focus equally on your business and yourself. A personalized video pitch helps bridge the gap between salespeople and prospects.
  2. Talk to your salespeople about being more open. Have your sales agents share a picture of them working remotely, outside the traditional office environment. It may not seem like much, but it’s an effective tactic for forging a personal connection between prospects and salespeople.
  3. Develop rapport. With most people working remotely, share common challenges and rewards about working from home.

Conclusion

Adapting to the virtual world is critical to succeeding today. The good news is that many traditional sales tactics are still applicable in the digital world.

You still need virtual salespeople who are experts in body language… People who know the right tone and words to use to pull in those prospects.

Remote selling all comes down to teaching your team how to use some new tools, as well as a few key aspects of communication and sales psychology.

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