Remote meetings have become a norm for many of us. From kids’ schooling, family get-togethers, virtual yoga lessons to virtual conferences. As people are now more comfortable in turning on their cameras and greeting virtually, the question is: how effective are remote meetings?
Not all remote meetings are created equal. One type of remote meeting seems to be much harder than ever – the remote sales presentation. According to a McKinsey report, the amount of revenue generated from video-related interactions has jumped by 69% since April 2020. Together, eCommerce and videoconferencing now account for 43% of all B2B revenue. If done right, virtual engagements can be fruitful – the key is making it powerful and memorable.
As customers made clear that, given the choice, they prefer video to phone; however, a lot of sales reps scrambled to continue to do what they do, in the virtual forum. This includes making phone calls, having meetings and continuing to present. But is this really working? Are your customers engaged during your remote sales presentations?
Key elements for a great remote sales presentation
PowerPoint presentations used during virtual meetings can work both for and against you. Leveraging the right tech platform is just the start. More importantly, were you able to stand out and differentiate yourself?How clear was your value articulation?Were you able to foster a two-way customer-centric conversation?
Let’s deep dive further into these elements.
Selling face to face requires you to dress the part, show up on time, come prepared and organized, and be professional. The net result – building trust and presence – is paramount. The challenge of remote meetings starts when cameras are turned off or minimized, the presentation deck is shown on full screen, and you continue to talk with little to no engagement with your customers. In this scenario, you have no idea if you are making any impact at all.
Your presence should be more important than your content. Your customer can read and refer to the deck both during and after the session. By just repeating the information that is printed is highly ineffective. The key is to make a ‘real’ connection with your customer thru eye contacts and body language – you need to elevate your presence in a remote meeting.
Having knowledge of your product and understanding the value proposition – inside and out – are prerequisites to all sales meetings. What’s more vital is the ability to demonstrate that you are the expert, and you have an answer to all of their questions. If your customer brings up the topic of a competitor, what can be more impactful than to pull up your competitor’s brochure against yours, immediately comparing and identifying the unique features and capabilities that you offer versus what your competitors don’t. To emphasize this point, what can be more valuable than bringing up a customer testimonial (such as a video or case study) to further substantiate how your product is helping others solve similar problems better. This is how you can build trust with your customers.
With face-to-face sales meetings, a lot of prep time are spent in creating the perfect deck to assist in presenting the information flawlessly. However, in virtual sales meetings, the ability to engage the customer to talk and ask questions becomes paramount. Leverage the PowerPoint deck as a visual aid only and bring up any type of content as the conversation evolves – be non-linear.
You need to give your customer the visual feedback that you’re listening. For example, pull up a note and start typing their concerns. Underline, highlight and mark up the document to reflect their comments. Set aside questions that you want to address with the customer later. For example, if the ‘price’ conversation comes up too early in your discussion, and you want to defer until you’ve had the chance to address other key points then capture it right on the screen as a reminder you’ll come back to it later. This way, you can demonstrate throughout that you have their topics and their concerns in mind.
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