There’s no argument that the pandemic has profoundly impacted businesses where face-to-face communication can be dealmaker or a deal breaker in client acquisition. Like any successful salesperson however, adaptation is the winning strategy. If your firm is having a rough transition to remote communication, it could mean rethinking business practices, team structure, or work culture. If you’re head of sales or a sales representative at a consulting or marketing agency, here’s 3 ways to close deals in a time of Zoom and GoToMeeting.
1. Personalize communication as much as possible
Turn on your video. Show your face, your expressions and body language to foster genuine communication. It shows that you’re willing to be open and that you are listening. Potential clients are people, too. No need to have completely clean backgrounds! It’s okay if your pet pops in every now and then (so long as it isn’t too distracting) it removes the sales-y vibe that potential clients are primed to have when on an agency call. In fact, some C-suite executives observe that their strongest client relationships are when “both sides can talk honestly about their lives, business or personal” face to face in a virtual setting. Always make sure that the client feels comfortable to ask questions and voice their concerns, so incorporate that into your agenda! To add a nice touch, send a post-meeting thank you note, or better yet, send them a gift card to a local coffee shop or restaurant.
2. Invest in quality Sales Training
Sales is sometimes a one-man show, but more often than not, it’s a team effort. In the process of transitioning to a virtual setting with remote team and client communication, virtual sales training is vital to set your team up for success. Regardless of a pandemic, rethinking how you pitch to clients is something you should be doing regularly, as the typical profile of buyers or potential clients is constantly changing. A good sales training program that is research based, and customized to your business needs can give your team that leg up, when in competition with other agencies and firms. It’s worthwhile to research which coaching services are a good fit for your team and your target market. You want to make sure that the training program is hands-on and interactive as opposed to one that is instructional and won’t withstand the test of time.
3. Structure your business for agility
The economy, the needs of buyers, and your business can change at a moment’s notice. This means your team must be adept at quick responses and problem-solving when a challenge comes their way. Reevaluate if you have any business strategies and practices that are static and outdated, and how they’ve potentially hindered client acquisition. Implement “pressure tests” to find out how prepared your company is for unforeseeable circumstances. Figure out what your business looks like post-pandemic, then, plan out a scenario where your office has to quickly switch back to remote because of government mandates. Pressure tests are a great way to understand how adaptable your business is for changing times, how prepared you are for any given challenge, and what your operation limits are.
Check in with your current clients to show that you care. Think about how your agency is currently structured and if current processes are working to your advantage in this unique global situation. Creative problem solving is a skill built over time, and the agencies that have trained their teams on how to think on their feet and adapt to communication in different mediums will win over clients.