In the white paper entitled “Nailing It! 9 Strategies to Ace the Online Sales Meeting” written by Jill Konrath, she suggests thatconnecting with today’s crazy-busy prospects is tough. Customers have always judiciously protected their time. But now you may not even be meeting them in person. More and more, your conversations today happen over the phone or online.
Savvy sellers have discovered that the ability to quickly move a phone conversation online yields a richer, deeper interaction with prospects. It enables them to discuss, demo or present using a variety of resources. As a result, prospect engagement goes up, new opportunities emerge, and deals close faster.
That’s a competitive edge worth paying attention to—especially since only 58% of salespeople met or exceeded their quota last year. But right now, most sellers are barely tapping into online meetings because they don’t know how or when to best use them.
In this environment during a phone call, when you spot a need or when inspiration strikes, you should immediately suggest jumping into an online meeting to delve further.
That’s sales agility at its best. The key to success with these impromptu online meetings is strategic spontaneity. Savvy sellers are prepared. They know the best times to suggest this option and they know how to do it, seamlessly. They know what they’ll ask, point out, suggest or clarify.
In doing these on-the-spot online meetings always think: What outcome do you want to achieve from jumping online with your prospect? Always start with this question, then craft a meeting plan that supports it. The best “purposes” are typically aligned with the various stages of a prospect’s buying cycle. These are the three main ones.
Pique Curiosity. If you’re prospecting, know that more than 90% of the people you contact are reasonably satisfied with their status quo — whatever that might be. When you connect, your objective is to get the prospect so interested that they want to learn more—either now or in very short order.
Drive a Commitment to Change. Once you’ve piqued your prospect’s curiosity, their next step is to determine if it makes sense to change. This is your opportunity to help them determine their business case. It’s also a chance to explore the factors they need to consider if they do go ahead.
Close the Deal. When your prospect has decided that changing is worth it, your purpose shifts to that of showcasing why working with your company makes the most sense, provides the best value and is the least risky.
So, you are probably thinking: When does it make sense to have an impromptu online meeting? Start by mentally identifying when it could be beneficial to jump online. Often visual elements are involved and referencing them while you’re talking enriches the conversation.
You might want to consider an impromptu online meeting to:
Spark a new idea. If your offering enables prospects to do something they hadn’t conceived of, pull up a graphic to trigger their thinking. You could also highlight relevant research or data that supports a change from the status quo.
Expand on concepts. Once prospects are ready to change, they want to discuss factors such as configuring the right solution and implementation issues.
Do a demo. Give your prospect a quick tour of your solution. Whether it’s an actual demo, screen shots, or animated, you can gauge their reactions.
Review in real-time. Any time there are questions or concerns re: proposals, pricing, layouts, design and more, the quickest way to resolve them is to jump online. When people post a need or comment regarding an issue you can solve, invite them to a virtual meeting.
These days everyone is already online. They just need to be online talking to you. So go out there and get these critical meeting going.
Michael Hammond is the founder and president of NexLevel Advisors. NexLevel provides solutions in business development, strategic selling, marketing, public relations and social media. A seasoned technology executive, Michael brings close to two decades of leadership, management, marketing, sales and technical product and services experience. His expertise spans start-ups to multi-billion dollar corporations, running businesses, business units, marketing, sales, strategy and product and services organizations. Michael brings exceptional insight, leadership, passion, and strategies that create profitability.