No More In-Person Meetings? No Problem! Virtualize Your Sales Process

Posted by Kameron Hurley on April 20, 2020 at 3:04 PM     SalesStrategy
No More In-Person Meetings? No Problem! Virtualize Your Sales Process

Can’t Seal the Deal in Person? Here’s How to Close Without Leaving Your Office

Most sales pros rely on in-person meetings, trade shows and handselling opportunities to bring in new leads and close deals. So what happens now, when social distancing measures mean fewer gatherings, fewer in-person meetings and limited facetime? 

In this article, we’ll take you step-by-step on how to get you and your team selling again today - without leaving your home office.  

Introducing… Social Selling

What is social selling? Social selling is about leveraging social channels to start creating relationships! Social selling helps you make connections with current and potential buyers by engaging with them on the social media channels they frequent most. 

Selling this way enables you to get to know your target buyer in greater depth and provide more value and personalized service. Remember, the key to social selling is to focus on relationship building first - sales second. 

If you come across as too salesy, your efforts will crash and burn. As with any relationships, don’t spend all your time talking about yourself! Relationships are about sharing information; about give and take.  

Here’s where to start: 

Connect Where Your Prospects Are  

To help with your prospecting efforts, start by identifying your target buyer and building a buyer persona that your sales team can use. You can develop these personas by taking a close look at your current clients. What job titles do they have? What are their common pain points? How do they research before they buy? Most important, which social media channel do they use the most? If you’re not sure, ask!  

As a salesperson, you should be active in the same channels your target buyers are. For B2B selling, the most powerful social selling channel is LinkedIn. Each member of your sales team should immediately optimize their LinkedIn profiles, as well as the company’s LinkedIn page. 

LinkedIn FTW

It’s vital that personal sales pages on LinkedIn include professional, updated profile photos and have all fields complete. Many buyers are wary of engaging with sales profiles that are unprofessional or incomplete.

Once the pages are optimized and you have made your connections, you should make it a habit to post something at least once a day that would be of value to your connections. This could include videos, articles, presentations or original content you create yourself on the platform. This content should be of value to the people you want to engage with!

Actively follow what your key connections are posting, and when possible, provide valuable insights and comments on the content they are posting. This puts your name - and your company - in front of more people. 

Also, try joining groups on LinkedIn where you can share your knowledge. Try a general search using the LinkedIn search bar such as “manufacturing technology,” “consumer packaging,” “human resources,” etc. to get a list of groups that may be of interest to you. Sharing your insights within these groups positions you as a thought leader and gets your profile in front of more potential leads. 

When you have interacted with your connections in the spaces they frequent, providing value and insights, it makes it a lot easier to approach them via email and phone calls. After all, once you have connected and interacted for a few weeks, you’re no longer a cold-calling stranger but a knowledgeable contact. 

Virtually Nurture Existing Leads

Whether you are a manufacturing company that can no longer provide a plant tour or a senior living community struggling with what to do in the absence of prospective resident tours, it’s time to take a look at ways to virtually nurture the leads you have in the pipeline now.

Just because you can’t bump elbows doesn’t mean lead nurturing is dead! Far from it. Here are some ways that you can virtually nurture current leads: 

  • Schedule an online lunch. Answer questions in a one-on-one Zoom meeting; entice prospects with a $25 gift card to a great local restaurant.
  • Create Facebook Live events. Walk your leads and prospects through your manufacturing space or community.
  • Invite leads to informative webinars - not infomercials for your product! These webinars should educate leads and provide value. Explore topics that hit your target’s pain points.
  • Send video emails of product demonstrations or do a fun product unboxing.
  • Continue to stay in communication with leads in your pipeline. Make a personalized video using a tool like Soapbox to keep that personal connection. 
  • Schedule webinars about topics of interest with leads and prospects. Be sure to record these and utilize them on your website and as sales tools for your team.
  • Create video FAQs that sales can share with prospects before a call. These will both save your sales team time and further qualify your lead. 

Most importantly: be creative! It’s a tough time to be an extroverted sales pro, but with a little creativity, you and your team can start nurturing more leads and closing more deals - no matter what the world throws at you. 

Seal the Deal with Video

When it comes to closing deals, it’s tougher to do it over lunch and a handshake these days. However, by investing time, personalization and empathy in your communications and throughout the sales process, it will make getting you up and over that finish line a lot easier. 

Always focus on sharing valuable content and resources with your leads. Not only via email or social media but also via video. Use a platform like Soapbox to create personalized videos that you can be sent with an email. This gives you the ability to virtually “get in front of” your leads and connect with them one-on-one, without being in the same space. 

Once again - when in doubt, provide value. And when your lead is ready to make it official? Organize a virtual lunch date between their team and yours to celebrate, and invest in those closing gifts. Now more than ever, we’re all enjoying a personalized gift and follow up. 

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