Virtual Selling: Are you remotely prepared?

While a hot topic of discussion for years, remote selling was never widely adopted until today’s business disruption.

Let’s face it, we’ve got a global pandemic going on, and consumers don’t want you in their homes in fear that you’ll be exchanging more than just information. With social distancing now becoming the new normal, you have no choice but to take the plunge into virtual selling.

Thanks to advancements in technology, jumping on the remote bandwagon is easier than you think, even for the home improvement industry. Though, don’t let the idea of change paralyze your operations. Embrace virtual selling as an opportunity to make your business stronger and more versatile. Many businesses have already begun closing deals without stepping foot in a customer’s home, and you can too!

 

Man reaching hand through iPad screen as to shake hands with elderly couple facing screen

 

Let’s Get Digital!

Successful businesses prioritize their customers above all else. By taking your sales process and operations digital, you put your potential customers first by offering an avenue to your product that doesn’t pose risks to their health. As you start to adopt a new virtual consultation process, be sure to exercise these tips to help you close more deals remotely:

 

Show Prospects You’re Open for Business

While consumers may not be aware of every business open amidst this madness, they are hyper-alert of those offering contactless services. Show prospective clients your company is a viable option by communicating your remote, no-contact, virtual consultation. Whether you add a page to your website or send an email blast, be sure to detail how your process respects the customers safety and yours. For example, a home improvement company might say:

Bring your home improvement project to life, from the comfort of your own home! There’s never been an easier or more convenient way to work with one of our consultants with our NO HASSLE, NO PRESSURE virtual consultation!

Gathering Project Information: To conform to social distancing guidelines, pictures of the outside of homes can be taken and with the help of state-of-the-art technology, 3-D renderings can be completed. Homeowners can participate in the process by having a tape measure handy or by taking the photos themselves!

Virtual Consultation: With the help of online conferencing platforms and other industry tools, demonstrating our products and conversing with clients is easier (and safer!) than ever.

Installation Flexibility: Once product choices have been finalized, we’ll review options for completing the work at the homeowner’s convenience.

 

A description like the one above not only opens the door for more business, but it will keep future and existing customers informed in these uncertain times.

 

Leverage Technology

PSA: You don’t need to spend your savings on new monitors and fancy technology to convert your business to a virtual-selling model. With the help of just a few tools, your sales teams can continue selling while simultaneously closing the information gap created by a remote environment.

A Strong CRM

When you lose an office, you also lose the point of connection for company-wide information. Utilizing a CRM, like MarketSharp, creates a centralized location for all information and provides your staff with full visibility to new lead, customer or process developments. By ensuring access to everyone involved with an account, your employees can track what efforts have already been made and avoid hiccups in communication.

Teleconferencing Apps

Consistency in your interactions will increase confidence with potential buyers, but you can continue to build trust by leveraging a video conferencing tool, like Zoom! Incorporating video lets you observe body language, facial expressions, and make strong eye contact: all benefits of traditional face-to-face selling. Even better, you can easily record calls with a teleconferencing platform, share your screen and keep your meeting consultations more focused.

 

Focus on Your Content

When you sell remotely, you say goodbye to the standard means of connecting with potential customers. There are no client dinners or trade shows to fall back on if a pitch goes awry, making strong content a necessity in closing deals. With travel and commutes eliminated, you now have time back in your schedule to develop well-designed content. By adding something as simple as a sales deck to your presentation, you can effectively create a narrative around the product you’re selling. Be sure to keep it simple though, as filling slides with text and imagery can be distracting and bog down your presentation. Minimal bullet points and visuals will amp up the pitch and leave the story-telling up to your sales reps.

 

Stick to Your Current Processes

Making the switch from in-person to remote selling may call for new technology or content, but it doesn’t have to require building new processes. With a change in modality, it’s easy to assume you need revamped sales techniques. In reality, you’ll be running the same sales pitch, except this time your consultation will be executed through a digital platform. While you may need to make minor adjustments, your sales processes exist for a reason. Don’t abandon just them because your environment has changed!

 

Now more than ever, companies could use a boost of revenue. The sooner you convert to a remote selling process, the sooner you can start increasing cash flow for your business. Whether or not you knock your first presentation out of the park, remote selling, like anything else, can be mastered through consistent practice (and by leveraging our tips above!). As a final point, it’s imperative you’re also engaging with current customers while operating remotely. Reaching out to simply confirm they’re safe and healthy can strengthen your relationship and open the door for re-marketing efforts and referrals.

To further help with the transition to remote selling, we teamed up with Ingage, an industry leader in interactive sales presentations, to develop a Virtual Selling Checklist. We cover everything you need to conduct virtual selling successfully, from setting up your remote office all the way to follow up efforts.