Sales is a process and it always has been. It was done in open air markets, businesses and even in homes. It was simple. If you had something to sell and there was a person who wanted to buy it, a sale happened. The transaction was made, and hopefully a relationship began for future business dealings. This process has changed over the years, but it still comes down to a buyer and a seller.
Before the onslaught of technology, we sold face-to-face. As time went on, we started to use the telephone to make an appointment for the selling process to begin. As we progressed and technology really ramped up, we had many additional methods of getting the appointment. Some of these included fax, text and email.
Now we are moving into yet another new territory. During the COVID-19 pandemic, so many people and companies have started to communicate through video conferencing, which has actually been with us for the last 50 years. AT&T invented the videophone and displayed it at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Next, Skype came along in 2003 and FaceTime in June 2010. Then came Zoom in 2011.
While we were all displaced under mandatory stay-at-home orders during the pandemic, we started to become creative. It was kids with their friends, famous musicians trying to entertain us and actors sharing their talents from home. Everyone began posting fun and entertaining videos for us to enjoy. The nation got hooked and we started to use Zoom to stay in touch with our family and friends. In other words, we all have begun to embrace the platform of video conferencing in our everyday lives.
This is a game-changer.
In business, the key is to form a relationship. That is typically done face-to-face where you can see the person laugh, cry, get frustrated or even notice the twinkle in their eyes.
This can now be accomplished very effectively with a computer screen and a good internet connection. We have started to realize through adversity of the pandemic that we can build rapport without jumping on an airplane or driving somewhere and we can do this in our newly found “home office.”
Get ready for people to say, “Let’s set up a Zoom/Skype call and discuss.” The best salespeople will adapt to this quickly and believe it or not, this type of sales call can be more efficient as you can see more people in a day and there is zero travel time.
Here are the rules to play by and what the pro salesperson should do:
• It is easier to set up a Zoom/Skype meeting than a traditional sales call. The meeting is not as intrusive and takes less time for the decision maker or potential customer.
• When you have your sales call on Zoom/Skype, be on time with your invite or connection. If you said 2 p.m., connect at 1:55 p.m.
• Set a time length for the call prior to getting together and stick to it. By keeping your word, it shows integrity and class.
• Have your notes and questions in front of you. This is a must and not up for discussion.
Think of yourself as Johnny Carson or Jimmy Fallon. They have their notes when they interview a guest.
The way we approach the customer, whether it is to get the appointment or the selling process, has evolved. However, it still uses the same old tried and true methods of question-based sales strategies. You still need to find out about the customer and that only happens by asking them questions and not telling them what they might want.
Be prepared and get acquainted with how to sell with Zoom or Skype. It will happen.
Hal Becker is a nationally known speaker on sales and customer service. He is the author of numerous business books including two national best sellers “Can I Have 5 Minutes Of Your Time?” and “Lip Service.” Hal’s newest book on sales is titled “Ultimate Sales Book.” He can be reached at Halbecker.com.