Remote selling is not going away anytime soon and as many companies have discovered, it can be equally as effective as in-person sales. Reducing costs aside, remote selling still satisfies your prospect’s need to read the salesperson for warmth and competence. To be persuasive remotely, it’s important to remember to do all the little things that make us likable in person.

In this article, we will concentrate on the sales presentation rather than the prospecting or follow up sequences. Here are the Top 10 Things your salespeople must do well to sell remotely:

  1. Research your prospect
  2. Check your environment
  3. Show up on time
  4. Build rapport
  5. Get qualified
  6. Demonstrate value
  7. Review options
  8. Select exact option
  9. Ask for the sale
  10. Close the deal or next steps

Research Your Prospect

When you know a little (or a lot) about your prospect you have the ability to appear in-sync with their beliefs, values, and needs. Don’t believe for one minute that your prospect hasn’t googled you, crept your social profiles, or even asked around about you and your company. They are looking to find someone they like and are aligned with. They want to believe you have their best interest at heart.

The more you know, the better a solution you can propose. 

When you are well equipped with the knowledge you need to help a person win in a trustworthy and grateful manner, the greater your chance of closing the sale.

Check Your Environment

We go to fancy restaurants for the atmosphere. We are willing to pay outrageous sums of money for a fancy drink and a nice steak because of it. The same psychology holds true online. Ensure your background is elegant. Check that your hygiene and uniform are crisp and clean. Be well prepared and ready to impress.

This also includes your digital environment. You will want to ensure you don’t have a host of programs running or web pages open that slow down your connection, and your computer’s desktop should be tidy and free of any sensitive information or clutter.

Unlike work environments that typically have stable internet feeds, your home may be susceptible to lagging speeds if you have shared internet. If the kids have Netflix on the tv while surfing the web, or are gaming on a console you could struggle with a clean connection.

Your prospects are judging you. 

Don’t let your appearance or controllable environment let you down.

Show Up On Time

Vince Lombardi famously stated, “If you’re 5 minutes early, you’re already 10 minutes late”. In a digital world, we aren’t pressed with traffic or roadwork, but we can get distracted. By preparing yourself for your upcoming meeting 15 minutes beforehand, you can get yourself in the right frame of mind to achieve your desired outcome.

Get in the zone.

Set an alarm. Review your notes and reverse engineer your close or the call-to-action you want to achieve. Be prepared to be awesome. Check your tech. Be the first to arrive. If your prospect logs onto the call 5 minutes ahead of time you are there to greet them. This means booking your appointments with enough of a buffer to give yourself the time to prepare.

And finally, finish on time, every time.

Build Rapport

The tendency in remote selling is to either be presentation-focused and miss the client bonding opportunity or have no presentation at all. All ‘talking head’ style in remote selling can be hard to handle too, for the seller and the buyer.

Many people think of online calls as presentations. They believe they have to begin by giving a bio and presenting in a lecture-style. This is now farther from the truth than ever. Drop the bio all together. Anything you feel you need to say about yourself they have already found on the internet.

Start by bonding. 

Make it all about them. Demonstrate your warmth and compassion by showing your vulnerable side. Be invested in learning about your prospect. Demonstrate your gratitude and good nature. Heck, make them laugh…if you’re funny.

When you find common ground, people will feel they know you, like you, and can trust you. 

In short. Be human.

Get Qualified

One of the greatest misnomers in sales is the idea of qualifying. Forever, Sales Trainers have peddled the belief that it is a customer that must be qualified to buy. That all the decision-makers must be present, that they must have a transformational need, and that they must have the money to pay for it. They insist it’s our job as sales thugs to pull this out of them before giving up the goods, or that is to say, your best price. It is these very same Trainers that make their living preying on the frustrated and disenchanted salespeople who struggle to “close”. Teaching aggressive, manipulative, and unethical techniques to get paid TODAY!

Not once is the customer considered. Not once do we think how we would like our grandmother to be treated in the same situation. Sure, some salespeople sympathize, but since they’re on 100% commission, they have to play the game the way you play to win. Too often that means no mercy.

When you reframe the intention of what it is you are trying to achieve, you quickly realize it’s not the customer that needs to be qualified, it is you that needs to become qualified. 

When you go to the doctor, he or she asks you a bunch of questions to understand your symptoms. If necessary, they run some tests and come to the best possible conclusion to diagnose you. The Doctor may still be wrong, but through the process, they provide the best possible remedies and cures for you to get healthy.

In sales, it’s no different. When we rid ourselves of the qualifiers that have us misjudging the situation, we are free to sell our customers in the way they wish to buy. This will establish and build trust, allowing the sale to happen faster.

Demonstrate Value

In a desperate attempt to speed things up and avoid the pitfalls of being sold, customers have coerced salespeople into giving up their best price to start a negotiation since the onset of modern selling. They profess that they don’t want to negotiate and then immediately proceed to negotiate.

Well-intentioned salespeople have been duped for years into this race to zero, struggling to close the sale or make even the slightest profit. They are convinced that customers only care about the price and they “just don’t stand a chance”.

In reality, what customers care about most is value or image. Otherwise, everyone would drive a basic Kia Rio and only eat the cheapest food, and shop at the discount stores. We all know this isn’t the case. So how do you sell your stuff for more than the competition? By presenting the benefits of the product before discussing the price.

Product before price. 

That’s right. Until you demonstrate that the thing you’re offering is far more valuable than the money in their pocket, your prospect will keep what they value most – their money.

Take this opportunity to do the things you would do if you were face-to-face. This will help you create a personal connection in an impersonal environment. People are looking for a connection, and constantly judging your warmth and competence. Cut back on the polish in your demos and add more raw, uncut authenticity.

Think about how you can combine micro-presentations that address specific elements that become most relevant to discuss when demonstrating value with face-to-face communication that allows the salesperson and client to bond. This is a departure from the endless slide deck strategy of old.

Video, digital whiteboards, and micro-presentations that address a single point all in concert together will allow for a more interesting and palatable collaboration. 

When you focus on the points they care about most, you will be speaking their language. When you present your solution well, they will anticipate the price to be greater than their money.

When you present a price after zhushing up the product the value of their money will be less than your thing. That’s when you make a sale.

There’s only one exception to this rule. Read about it here.

Review Options

Once you are fully qualified to provide a diagnosis for your prospect and you have demonstrated the value of your solution(s), you are ready to review options with your prospect. In the Options Review™, it is proposed that you present the three best options for your prospect’s needs.

When you offer a variety of options your prospect will be more inclined to choose from the best of the options presented or to create a custom solution that best suits their perception of value.

Use this as another opportunity to interact with your prospect. Scratching things out on a whiteboard, for example, gathering feedback along the way, continues the human-to-human connection necessary to build on trust.

Select Exact Option

The missing link in most sales presentations is selection. Until you have landed on the precise product(s) you are simply having a conversation.

Lack of precise selection makes it impossible to close the sale. 

This is where salespeople awkwardly ask for the sale but haven’t yet finalized the selection.  Until you have clearly identified what the customer most values and is willing to trade their money for, asking for the sale is like proposing marriage on the first date.

When you pin down selection, there are a million ways that a client can pay for it, from a single payment upfront to a number of finance options that fit their budget, either actual or perceived.

Without a specific selection, you can never move the sale along.

Ask For The Sale

If your salespeople are feeling awkward enough that they haven’t found the right solution for the customer, they may not ask for the sale. If they feel like they are betraying themselves because they haven’t yet earned the right to sell the customer, they may not ask for the sale. If they don’t have enough product knowledge or sales skills, they may not ask for the sale. Or if they assume that if they just keep talking that eventually, the customer will ask to buy, they are not asking for the sale.

Whatever the situation, when you sell remotely, you can record the call and review the tape like a professional sports team. The best athletes in the world don’t stop practicing once they make it to the big leagues.

Asking for the sale is effortless and natural when you’ve put in the hard work up front. 

When you have taken the time to properly diagnose the best solution for your prospect, you earn the right to be persistent. People will find you pushy if you:

  1. Have not solved their problem but ask for the sale anyway.
  2. Keep asking for the sale the same way over and over again without changing their belief that you have the right solution.

Professor Frances Frei of Harvard University says, “You cannot change a person’s behavior until you have first changed their belief.” You cannot change a person’s belief until you introduce new information that first gets past the mind. Roy goes deep into this idea here. This is why it is so important to approach problem-solving (sales) from a variety of different angles.

Close The Deal Or Next Steps

If you have put in the time and skillfully navigated your prospects’ perceptual reality, you can close the deal. This requires some sort of exchange to take place for it to be solidified in your customers’ mind. Getting a verbal confirmation is a good start, but getting something signed and submitted is far more powerful. You want the customer to feel a sense of conclusion and commitment. This is best done when you have a device, like a bill of sale or contract, ready to go when they decide to purchase under the terms and conditions agreed upon.

Remember that the deal is not legally closed until you have delivered the agreed-upon product(s) under the terms and conditions of the contract as mutually agreed upon. Continue to see the sale through until you deliver your last bit of delight.

In those instances where closing the sale cannot or does not happen, you must get a solid next step in place. It is far easier for a customer to ghost you if you don’t agree to continue to communicate upfront. If you both agree you have the best solution to the customer’s problem, and you agree that there is a reasonable chance for a sale to be made, then defining the next step is a natural option.

If the prospect is hesitant or uncooperative, you are best to turn over your prospect to Columbo before they leave the call.

If your business is making remote selling an option for your customer who wishes for a contactless meeting, and you need help reviewing your remote selling process, send me an email. I’d love to review and discuss the finer points with you to ensure you’re giving your business the greatest chance for success.

Good selling.