A Proven Strategy for Growing Sales in a Zoom Meeting World
Zoom was perfect for supporting our new work from home mode of operation. It’s great for sales calls when in-person meetings just aren’t practical. Who would have predicted how widespread Zoom’s use would have become just a few short months ago?
Zoom, and other tools like it, are part of the new normal. People who never used Zoom before, use it. People who thought in-person meetings are a must, use it too. It’s been accepted as the tool to use, but is it all you need? Can you market, prospect, and sell using only what Zoom gets you?
Let’s explore together to discover some of its shortcomings and discuss how we can overcome them.
Good salespeople know how important it is to connect with prospects on a personal level. You’ve likely heard people say, “People do business with people they know, like and trust.” This is very true and meeting in-person to build rapport is probably the best way to do that. Zoom is certainly better than a phone call, but it’s not 100% like being there.
The thing to consider is that you and your competitors are facing the same obstacles. It’s not like you’re meeting with the prospect via Zoom and your competitors are meeting face-to-face. Because I do business with people across the country and across the globe, I rarely meet with anyone in-person. I’ve been doing it over the phone or Zoom and I follow the same strategies and tactics used by salespeople in in-person meetings when I meet online.
What I have discovered is you can start building that rapport by publishing information about yourself on your website and social media. You can also forward this information to people so they can review it before your meeting. You can consider recording a video with a message so people getting ready to meet with you can connect with you before they ever see you. That way, you’ve had a chance to make a good first impression and you haven’t even met yet. It gets you moving down the know, like and trust path from the start.
I publish what some people have told me is too much information about myself. I’m a wide-open book. Anyone can do a quick Google search on me and they’ll know I’m big on red wine. They know I like dogs and that I have a big standard Poodle named Mango. Without digging much farther, they’d know I was been married 35+ years to this one sweet lady, that I’ve got three adult daughters (“Yes, only girls at home.”) and that I’m very involved at my church.
I intentionally make it personal because business is personal even though people want to think it isn’t. You have to put as much effort into your personal brand as you do your company brand and that includes the personal brand of the people that work for you. Many people meet with me already knowing why I named my company Larry Jacob Internet Marketing. It’s a very personal story published on a video on our LarryJacob.com site home page. I record a lot of my video blogs out in my yard with Mango running around behind me. Sometimes he even makes a guest appearance.
- you don’t like my story,
- you don’t like dogs or
- church ministry is NOT your thing,
you may not want to meet with me. That’s alright. I want to get that “no” from you as soon as possible so we don’t waste time. What I find is that the people that do meet with me feel connected to me because they’ve started to get to know me.
Before we get too much further, we should cover how Zoom does with getting a lot of information across to prospects. I’m not a big fan of long slide deck presentations where you give a ton of information along with a big backup package of documents. You schedule a meeting to go over these documents. When I worked in corporate, we called those, “Death by PowerPoint.” Presentation meetings like that, in-person are tough, but doable. You can sprinkle in breaks where you mingle which helps with the sales process. Doing this via Zoom, it’s torture.
What I have found works better is to schedule a Zoom meeting to introduce the material you are going to share with the person. Then you schedule a follow-up meeting where you go over the document after they’ve had a chance to review the documents to answer questions. That makes the meeting less painful and a lot of customers’s like it. They see you as more of an information provider and less of a sales person. If done right, it puts you in a consultative role which is good too. Since they are asking the questions, it makes the prospect feel like they have more control since they are doing the asking.
Zoom is part of our “new world order.” With the right adjustments to your sales process and by beefing up what you share about yourself and your individual team members online, you can amplify what you can do over Zoom. You’ll be able to establish that rapport before you even meeting your prospects and you’ll be able to share information your prospects need more effectively. This will put you in an optimal position for leveraging the tools available as we move into this new Zoom world.
Hope this helps!