HOW TO SELL IN A VIRTUAL WORLD

In sales, face-to-face interactions have long been the gold standard for building relationships and closing deals. But, as with so much of business today, the pandemic has upended that routine. o how do people looking to sell something—be it their ideas in a meeting or their company’s products and services—survive, even excel in our newly virtual world? Craig Wortmann, a clinical professor of innovation and entrepreneurship at Kellogg, shared his advice for making sales meetings lively and productive during a recent webinar from Kellogg Executive Education. “If we treat this as a slog,” he says, “that’s going to show up in our behaviors.” To start, you’ll need to prepare for your virtual meetings differently. And because even minor technology hiccups can eat into a presentation’s allotted time, he encourages people to cut 20 percent out of what they intend to cover. Worst case scenario, you spend that time walking people through their Zoom settings; best case scenario, you have more time left over at the end for questions and conversation. He says that “99.9 percent of the time, people say, ‘no problem,’” and give their home address. If you are worried that you did not shine during a meeting, your follow-up could be a message or voicemail that conveys that. You can say, “I’ve been reflecting on something I said and it wasn’t quite right. Could I have another go at that?” The answer might be “no,” and that’s OK. But you have little to lose, and you stand to gain a stronger and more trusting relationship with that other person. Read More >>

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