darren-virtualI know. It isn’t fair. Just as you were mastering the art of in-person sales presentations and networking events, COVID-19 came and gave you a whole new set of rules for selling.

Face-to-face meetings may be out the door for now, but virtual selling can be just as, if not even more, effective. That’s because you have a captive audience who is ready to listen to you from the comfort of their own home. But we both know that isn’t enough to get the deal done. You need to remain in control of your message if you’re going to remain in control of your customer.

That starts with being:

Focused – keep to one overarching message and no more than three or four supporting points.

Reward-oriented – we all need to know what’s in it for us, so get to your value proposition right away and let your audience know what you bring to the table.

Unique – find what separates you from the pack, then identify different ways you can demonstrate this added value throughout the conversation.

Memorable – make sure your audience walks away knowing what you offer and why what you offer is substantially better than anything the other guys have.

Actionable – let customers know what they need to do to obtain your services and achieve their dream of homeownership (or, in the case of a refinance, save boat loads of cash).

Once you’ve got your plan in place, you want to work on perfecting your pitch as you interact with the audience in a digital space.

This includes:

  • Encouraging attendees to turn their cameras on.

It’s much easier for all parties to feel engaged if they can see who they’re speaking to. Being able to look one another in the eye builds connection and trust, while ensuring you have their full attention since they won’t be able to multi-task.

This is never something you want to spring on someone, however. Be sure to make it clear that this will be a video call to prevent any last-minute embarrassments. And always be gracious if your audience would prefer to stay off camera and “in the dark.”

  • Using annotations.

Visuals like PowerPoint slides are a great way to make a presentation feel effective and official in the digital era. You can personalize this experience by using interactive tools that allow you to draw directly on your slides.

Point to key figures, map out your audience’s unique scenario or re-emphasize your point through the use of these engaging solutions.

  • Utilizing whiteboards.

Every customer is a blank slate, right? Take this idea to heart by using whiteboarding to create a collaborative, interactive environment. Share ideas, piggyback off each other’s comments, and trade files with this unique digital tool.

Customers are guaranteed to be more engaged if they’re part of the presentation, rather than just an attendee. Plus, if you’re using examples from their real lives, they’ll instantly be able to see the value you bring as the two of you hash out solutions that address their homebuying needs.

  • Displaying chats and polls.

This once again plays off the desire for connectivity and interaction. Though these are most useful on larger calls, chat features and polls give the audience a chance to jump in with questions or opinions.

More intimate calls don’t need to be left out of polls, either. You can ask individual clients the same questions, aggregate all your responses into one larger survey and display your current results for audiences of all sizes.

A computer screen may be a different setting than your office, a conference room or a convention stage, but it’s no less effective as long as you know how to harness the tools and skills you have to create a dynamic interaction with your audience.

Regional Vice President - Southwest

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