Virtual sales pitches have been around for as long as video conferencing technology has been available. However, they’ve never been so important to such a wide variety of users until now. Once a priority for international business, video conferences, and remote meetings have been utilized by almost every salesperson during lockdown. In fact, one in five small businesses have adopted new technologies to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, according to Simply Business.
Even as we begin to return to business as usual, it looks like this practice and the technology it uses are here to stay. Recent research by Gartner shows that the remote working trend, a major catalyst in the rise of virtual meetings, will continue beyond the pandemic and over two-thirds (74%) plan to permanently shift employees to remote work.
Closing a sale over video comes with its own challenges. However, if you do them correctly, they can be a very efficient way to conduct business and come with their own set of benefits too. Below, I’ll take you through ways you can create more engaging virtual sales pitches now and in the future.
1. Consider the message you want to deliver
In any sales pitch, you typically want to inform the prospective client of your product or service and highlight its benefits. But there are now two additional messages you want to get across.
Security and reliability
In light of recent events, stakeholders will understandably be more cautious than ever before and wary of disruption. Now, it’s important that your message demonstrates that you can provide them with security. Whether that’s through a reliable system, great customer service, or ensuring them a steady stream of business.
Flexibility and personalization
People value their time more now and expect to come away from a call feeling informed and excited about your business. So, it’s also more important than ever to be flexible and cater specifically to each client, highlighting what exactly you can do for them. With a virtual pitch, you need to make sure you’re doing your research into each business you meet with. Display both an interest and an understanding of what they do.
Tailoring your message more to suit them, will communicate that your business is capable of catering to their needs and delivering a personalized service.
2. How to deliver a virtual pitch
Even if you’re a great salesperson, winning over clients virtually can be a challenge. It’s harder to build rapport, maintain their interest, and close through a video conference using traditional tactics. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, here are a few simple ways you can adapt your pitch to get the results you’re used to.
Firstly, keep your pitches on the shorter side. You no doubt have plenty of information to get through. But if you keep your presentation basic you’re less likely to lose their interest. Instead, spend more time on your call breaking the ice at the start, and place a larger emphasis on the final Q&A portion of your presentation. This way, you can get a feel for any connection issues or delays before you launch into your pitch, and spend more time building rapport before you begin.
With a more roomy Q&A portion, you can provide more detailed information conversationally, which will be easier for prospective clients to digest. You may even wish to invite attendees to ask questions during your presentation instead of waiting until the end. This will also give them time to ask any questions they may have, directing the dialogue into areas they want to know more about, which wastes less of their time (and yours).
Another aspect of video conferencing to bear in mind is that it’s very easy to come across as casual. While friendly and approachable is great, you need to make sure you’re still making an effort to come across as professional in your presentation. Your appearance, demeanor, and body language shouldn’t be too relaxed. Also, be sure to check the background of your video to make sure it’s appropriate, particularly if you’re working from home.
3. Use software that benefits your potential clients
Different companies will have their own preferences for video conferencing software, whether it’s Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, or something else. Rather than bending them to use the same software as you, it’s much better to become familiar with all the different varieties yourself so you can use each one with ease.
It’s also worth thinking about whether you’re really making the most of the software available to tell your story. Any new and alternative ways you can think of to get your message across can break up the rigidity of a presentation and keep potential clients interested. Instead of telling them what you can do, show them with multimedia and present data through infographics or charts.
4. Make technology your ally
Another way to wow the people you’re meeting with is to use the technology available to your advantage. From simple screen sharing and embedded media to remote VR product demonstrations. There are all sorts of programs and software you can use to do everything you would do in person within a video call. It’s well worth doing your research and seeing what’s out there to give you an edge over your competitors.
Virtual technology can assist the tender process, but this is where practice makes perfect. Hitches, errors, and anything else that threatens the ease and accessibility of your pitch can have the opposite effect and put people off. So, if you want to go down this route, you have to be totally confident in your ability to pull it off. You also need to make sure it’s easy for your clients to work, too.
5. Meet briefly and often
Screen fatigue and burnout are very real aspects of remote working, so even if you put together an eye-catching and engaging presentation, the person on the receiving end may not be able to focus for long periods of time. Make sure you give them the option to schedule a series of shorter meetings instead to keep them interested, give them chance to breathe, and show respect for their time.
For example, you could suggest an initial meeting to get to know each other, outline your expertise and company history, get an idea of what they’re looking for, and give them a quick overview of what you usually offer. Then, if they’re interested, you can plan a second meeting to discuss the tailored services you’ll be able to provide and take things further.
Virtual meetings are here to stay
While you may have used video conferencing to deliver sales pitches before, there’s no denying that virtual meetings are here to stay. So, it’s worth taking the time to get them right. The tips in this guide can help you start to plan the perfect pitch and nail more presentations going forward.