4 Ways to Make the Most of Virtual Sales Meetings

Author: 
Leeatt Rothschild

Virtual sales meetings have become the norm as a result of COVID-19. However, many sales reps may find themselves unsure of how to best lead a meeting with prospects over video.

Given that video interactions will be the norm for a while, now is an ideal time for sales reps to start developing best practices for video interactions.

Here are four actionable tips to help you lead more successful virtual sales meetings and ultimately earn more new business.

1. Keep your video on during the meeting.

While video may not always be necessary for internal meetings, it is critical in a sales environment because it adds an element of professionalism. Seeing someone face to face helps establish personal connections and earn trust, which is necessary to earn business. If clients begin without video, ask them to turn it on and explain why.

Throughout the call, use video to ensure that you’ll catch any facial expressions or body language to gauge how things are going. With the video on, you can recognize when a customer seems confused or surprised and address them as needed. This will add depth to your conversations and help you lead a better meeting.

2. Turn the meeting into a conversation.

Sales meetings should not be a one-sided presentation but a constant discussion. Admittedly, it’s more difficult to achieve natural conversations over a video call. That’s why as the call leader, you must take initiative to start these interactions.

Consider holding a Q&A session to get to know prospects better and for them to know you and the company better. As open-ended questions, as opposed to ones that can be answered with one word. This will help spark longer, more natural conversations. If your meeting has a large group of attendees, you can still field questions aloud, but also consider using the video call’s chat function.

Engage in topics outside of work where appropriate. Of course, the topic of COVID-19 is top of mind for many. But if you’re looking for safer topics to discuss, consider the following:

  • Weekend plans
  • Recently established hobbies
  • Family happenings

In addition, refer to attendees by their names when asking questions. This will help develop relationships and also avoid awkward interruptions if many people are on the call.

3. Create additional opportunities for engagement.

People have been meeting through video for months now and as a result, may have a hard time staying engaged during a presentation.

The following tips can help your meeting stand out and capture prospects’ attention:

  • Send presentation materials ahead of time. Flyers, handouts, and business cards can be shared virtually or sent in the mail.
  • Share a data point or piece of knowledge at the start of the meeting to capture  prospects / clients’ attention and make them eager to listen.
  • Include videos, images, or other graphics to keep people engaged.
  • Find places in your presentation to insert mild humor, where appropriate.
  • Follow-up to ask for questions and feedback.

4. Follow up with a meaningful gift.

After a sales meeting, consider sending a gift as a follow up. It’s a unique way to thank prospects for their time and showcase your organization’s values.

Some examples include:

  • A home cocktail set with ingredients for a virtual happy hour
  • A variety box of snacks made from locally or sustainably sourced ingredients
  • A work-from-home productivity kit with items like a notebook, coffee, or a mug, created by companies that support local nonprofits and small businesses

What you should avoid are forgettable, branded gifts without real practicality or quality. This may  send the wrong message and potentially lose the prospect’s business.

The Best Virtual Meetings Produce Personal Connections

Personal connections can get lost over video, which is why sales team members must think outside the box to reach their prospects in a meaningful way.

Sales teams that hold purposeful conversations, engage with prospects, and show their appreciation through gift giving will experience greater success in their virtual sales meetings moving forward.

Leeatt Rothschild has over 15 years of experience at the intersection of business, sustainability, and brand purpose. In 2016 she founded Packed with Purpose, a corporate gifting company that embeds social impact into the everyday act of gift-giving, from empowering underserved women with job skills to supporting sustainability efforts.