The anatomy of a great virtual sales call

by Ron D'Andrea| September 27, 2020

Virtual sales calls are the order of the day, and they’re not going anywhere for a while. So take some time to rethink your approach. Hone your sales skills for a positive virtual world experience.

In the real world, you celebrate your natural confidence to sell on the spot, and you might have that age-old sales trait of hating planning because it’s a ‘waste of time.’ But in this digital world, planning and preparation could be the difference between a blank screen and a fantastic deal.

Find success by anticipating anything that could push your meeting off the rails. Get the tech right and use these real-life best sales practices reimagined for your virtual sales calls and you’ll become a well-oiled sales machine.

Before the meeting

We live in a fast-paced world, even when we are in our comfortable pants and a for-the-camera shirt, so it’s not always easy to remember every meeting and call we need to attend. It’s a nice thing to do to send the invitation again, double check everyone’s availability and add a friendly note telling delegates you’re looking forward to the call.

In the email, include

  • the link to the meeting and maybe a humorous reminder to download the right software
  • an agenda
  • expectations for the meeting
  • any preparation tasks
  • your presentation deck to avoid problems sharing your screen
  • a request for delegates to let you know if there’s anything they’d like to cover
  • a who’s who on the call and what role each person has (in business and in the call)
  • lighthearted rules, e.g. use mute and rename profile

If you’re hosting meetings online, take a moment to consider your wardrobe – just as you would in real life. Dress to impress, of course, but on virtual calls avoid patterns and stripes as they are a distraction.

During the meeting

The golden rule: Start on time. As host, you should be in the meeting room five minutes before the meeting is due to start, so you can ‘let people in,’ and be available for any last-minute technical wobbles.  

When people arrive, keep the mood light, cover the standard introductions and up your small-talk game with icebreaker questions rather than the yawn-inducing “how are you?” Dig into normal life a bit, react to clothes, backgrounds, chat about family adventures, do anything that improves and builds your relationships. Deal with any late joiners naturally, by catching them up on what has happened. Encourage everyone to have cameras on – without them, you lose so many cues from body language and facial expression, and you have to rely on tone of voice.

As you work through the business, remember that everyone wants to feel included, so use names and directly engage people, asking for opinions to encourage participation. Manage the call’s timing so you have space towards the end to discuss and settle on commitments for next steps.

The respectful thing to do is end the call punctually – this is unlikely to be their last meeting, after all.

After the meeting

One of the bonuses of being online is you can schedule the next meeting immediately, sending the invitation and minutes soon after the call. But take some time to summarize the main points discussed and detail next steps, so they have the meeting link and material all in one place.

Set a reminder to follow up on those commitments and to send everything out again a day before the next meeting, when the process starts all over again.

 

What are your best virtual sales call tips?

About the author

Ron D'Andrea

30+ years of experience helping salespeople transform their sales dialogues and engage with even the most challenging professional buyers.