PROCESS are the times when the only way to close or sell a deal was through physical means or face to face. Selling costs were obviously higher – you had to factor in travel from home to office to the client, clothing and possibly representation if the meeting was to be at lunch etc. Sort of a production number with a lot of preparation to ensure the deal was closed.
Consumers and customers are now more empowered. Not only can we choose to engage virtually or face-to-face, the initial cost has also become relatively lower. There is usually no need to leave the house and all you need is a decent internet connection and a smartphone or laptop.
Enter hybrid selling, which is a combination of in-person selling and virtual selling. It includes agility and flexibility to cater to the buyer’s preferences.
Hybrid sales ensure greater efficiency. One can maximize meetings by segmenting those that require high (face-to-face) or low (virtual) outreach. Depending on the complexity of the product or service being sold – and the stage of the sales cycle – a salesperson needs to be agile. For example, purchasing an insurance product may at some point require face-to-face discussions, especially when the premium is high and the coverage or usage is complex. Additionally, this agility also allows sellers to be flexible enough to take video calls wherever they are.
The buyer, meanwhile, is free to choose the sellers according to his level of comfort and the relationship built. This is why building relationships online is so important, and companies are investing in activities and engagements that teach their (hybrid) salespeople to develop this skill, among other things.
Sellers need to master virtual selling, especially for post-pandemic industries like banking and insurance, to name a few. While the essential agenda for getting to know your client is in place, gathering the information through online means is still a different experience and the importance of this approach cannot be overstated.
A good working framework to look up:
– What are the future wishes and needs of your customer?
– What is their current condition and are there any pain points?
– Can you assess the gap and find some areas where you might fit (such as your company’s product and service offerings)?
– Which solutions can be offered?
Buyers are essentially looking for value. In fact, buyers these days are looking for long-term relationships as they are looking for the total experience.
In conclusion, here are seven tactical areas of virtual selling that can help hybrid sellers connect with buyers/customers:
– Conversation platform. Can it record meetings for future reference? Make sure consent is given.
– Virtual background. This should be a good representation of the company (companies usually have standard formats that reflect branding etc.).
– Volume. It is important to test this to ensure smooth communication.
– Video. Technically a must for the seller to reflect professionalism.
– lighting. Be sure to use tools if necessary.
– Dress. This adds to the professionalism.
– you. Overall, you represent the company, so make sure this has a good impact.
Kay Calpo Lugtu is Chief Operating Officer of Hungry Workhorse, a digital and cultural transformation company. Her endorsements include food innovation, nation building and sustainability. The author can be reached at [email protected].