By Henry Feng, Facilities Sales Specialist, Charlotte Products

On a typical day, does your iCalendar look like a wall of appointments? Without travel time to account for, it’s easy to fill a day with client meetings. But not all virtual meetings are equal; there is an art to a successful virtual sales call. By keeping a few important factors in mind, you can make the most of selling in a virtual environment, take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves and gain an edge on your competitors.

Send a quick video ahead of time. One of the ways to focus a virtual meeting is to send a video ahead of time that covers the things you’d like to get out of the way. In calls with new or potential customers, this would be a great opportunity to introduce yourself, your company or your product. Videos that outline the objectives for a scheduled virtual meeting will also enable you to spend the time in the virtual meeting more wisely, and encourage participants to think ahead about what they’d like to accomplish with their time. 

Focus on the positive. The majority of what we are talking about in our sales calls, and what my role is in  supporting my customers’ business objectives and growth, revolves around COVID-19. That doesn’t mean these conversations need to be depressing. It’s important during these difficult times, when so many of us are siloed in our homes for remote work and when the news is often depressing, to find some positive information to share. Be intentional about bringing positive information to the call. This may require spending some time researching your customer’s region, or finding a positive news story to bring to the conversation. For example, you may want to talk about the shift in the public perception of the cleaning industry that has come as a result of the pandemic. 

Have empathy. Try to have empathy for each other. These are trying times, but it is good to remind ourselves that we are in this together. It can be frustrating when our customers have to reschedule meetings, throwing a packed calendar into disarray, or throwing off our time management efforts. Remember how much each of us is dealing with, from the struggles that come with working from home for the first time ever, childcare complications due to school closures, and more. Empathy will help us to get through the frustrations of working in a virtual world, but it will also strengthen our relationships and help us to tailor solutions to meet the goals of our customers. 

If you’re in the sales business, everything about your job is different now that we’re operating in a global pandemic. Using the tips above to connect through your webcam, respect each other’s time and make our interactions positive can turn this year around. When you are able to meet with so many more customers in a day, the opportunities for sales growth are limitless.