Susan looks up as a new calendar notification pops onto her screen. Another Zoom call in 15 minutes.
A big sigh.
She’d been able to steal a few minutes between virtual meetings to finally concentrate on writing the new design specs and now, another Zoom meeting. These virtual meetings are endless, she thought. How in the world was she expected to get any real work done?
Then a silver lining. THIS Zoom meeting was with a salesperson – a vendor. Ahhh, a reprieve. Like most people, Susan asked herself before every Zoom meeting, “was this meeting multi-tasking friendly?” And outside meetings with vendors almost always were.
She could lend them half an ear and still get some work done on the design doc. If she missed anything, she needed to make a decision, she’d just ask them for a copy of their deck.
Susan’s problem is solved.
A problem solved for Susan is now a BIG problem for the salesperson.
That’s your salespeople’s new reality - distracted customers and prospects who are sick of virtual meetings and feel they don’t NEED to have conversations to make decisions because they can just read your slide deck or brochure later.
Back to Susan. There are three major challenges that a salesperson now has entering their Zoom call with Susan:
- Their powerful selling points are reduced to words on a slide
- Their ability to build a relationship with the customer is hampered
- Their value proposition has a much shorter shelf life
Their powerful selling points are reduced to words on a slide
The verbal delivery of a message has the ability to make any messaging much more impactful and memorable than simply the sum of the words on a slide. But those powerful selling points are worthless if the customer is only half-listening while multi-tasking and just wants a copy of your deck.
Their ability to build a relationship with the customer is hampered
The relationship might be the single most important factor in closing business. People buy from people they like and trust. But, that’s almost impossible to build if the customer is only half-listening while multi-tasking.
Their value proposition has a much shorter shelf life
One powerful outcome of an effective sales presentation is the listeners are able to repeat the messages they heard to others within their own company. But that becomes much harder if the message is weakened and reduced to a PowerPoint deck that gets buried in someone’s email.
A sales presentation is too important to be diminished to a sideshow in your client’s day. There are several ways to remedy this situation, but one of the most effective techniques is the use of STORIES.
A message can take two forms: Narrative which are just words, figures, facts etc. And Stories which allow the listener to see the information in their minds eye and relate to it on a completely different level.
The most powerful sales messages include BOTH narrative and story. In fact, a sales message without a story is an incomplete message.
Which brings us back to Susan’s Zoom meeting. How could stories mitigate our three big problems?
If the salesperson has the ability to effortlessly weave stories, examples, anecdotes and word pictures throughout their presentation they can completely change its impact on the client.
But powerful selling points are meaningless if the listener never hears them. And that’s the risk you run when you have a multi-tasking audience. You have no idea what they actually heard and what they missed. Add a story to your selling point and the listener will stop typing mid-email to hear the story. Everyone loves a story. It’s instant engagement.
A story changes the relationship of your client to your value proposition. It helps them relate to the topic in a way that’s impossible with just narrative. They can see themselves in the challenges you’re describing. Storytelling makes the value proposition much more impactful.
And when the salesperson includes a personal story, the impact is multiplied. A social worker once remarked, “It’s impossible not to like someone once you’ve heard their story.” A personal story fundamentally changes the dynamic between the speaker and the audience.
And finally, any significant sales opportunity is going to require your key messages and differentiators to be remembered long after the meeting ends. The meeting attendees need to be able to repeat YOUR message to others who weren’t in the meeting. Good luck having them remember and repeat bullet points on a slide, but you can just hear them say when asked about the meeting, “they talked about a time when they…”
Tell a story. Close a deal. Even on Zoom.
Conducting a hybrid meeting, one where some of those attending are in the room and others are virtual, is a lot harder than many think—and it’s quickly becoming the new norm.
Focusing on a few key aspects of your delivery can help you take advantage of this new meeting mode.
With remote jobs increasing in 71% in 2020, many leaders continue to manage remote workers as if they were managing a co-located team.
Yet, fifty three percent of leaders we surveyed at a recent webinar said that they had NOT received any training on leading a virtual team.
Under normal circumstances, staying present and being able to fully commit to listening is difficult. However, in this new reality of digital interaction and mental fatigue, listening has a new set of challenges.There’s good news. We can make listening easier in our virtual meetings, improving the experience of our participants! Here are a few tips.
What does the hit on Netflix called The Queen’s Gambit tell us about how to sell in a virtual setting? Actually, something very important.
Before we break down how this show teaches us the key to virtual selling let’s look at the backstory.
Sales professionals need a mix of soft skills to be successful. While rapport building is often considered the top sales skill, listening is the most critical skill for closing sales, and building long-term client relationships.
Learn 3 crucial tips to closing sales, and why listening is the top sales skill of 2021.
With the beginning of the New Year, it’s the perfect time to address the virtual communication mistakes that have become common with so many of us working virtually this past year.
Here are 3 of the most common mistakes when communicating virtually, and what you can do to overcome them.
People in communities across the globe are adjusting to communicating while wearing masks. As we’re all experiencing, masks present both verbal and non-verbal communication challenges.Given this, we’ve prepared 5 tips for effective communications while wearing a mask, and compiled several insightful articles from leading publications on additional best practices.
In every virtual training workshop that Mandel delivers, we dedicate a Virtual Meeting Producer (or moderator or facilitator) to act as the Trainer’s co-pilot.
A Virtual Producer manages the meeting platform functions and mitigates any technical challenges, allowing the Trainer to focus exclusively on the learning and development of the workshop participants.
As someone who wears a virtual producer hat, here are 5 best practices to help you create engaging virtual meetings.
- Welcome to the Future of Sales (Hint: It’s Virtual)
- Listen Closely: Your Company Culture Depends On It
- How to Deliver Impactful, Engaging Hybrid Meetings
- Leading a Virtual Team Means Doing Things Differently
- Are You Really Listening?
- 4 Listening Tips for Improving Your Virtual Meetings
- The Irresistible Power of Stories in Virtual Selling
- The Top Sales Skill for 2021!
- Top Virtual Communication Mistakes – and How to Overcome Them in 2021!
- Tell a Story. Close a Deal. Even on Zoom.