No one predicted the sales environment that exists today. Likewise, no one can confidently predict the road ahead. Virtual selling presents a cost-effective solution to current selling challenges — and likely will continue to be an integral part of any future mix of sales conversations.
The foundations of value-oriented selling do not change in a virtual environment — they actually become even more important. In a “Seek to Serve, Not to Sell™” fashion, sellers must put their prospect at the center of a sales conversation rather than pitching a product. This fosters value-based partnerships that extend benefits in both directions for years — something that has been true and will continue to be true.
Take a moment and assess your marketing and sales teams’ abilities to interact effectively and valuably in a virtual environment.
Are they pushing products? Or are they utilizing a “Seek to Serve” selling strategy through this new channel of communication? Although the future is unknown, your selling does not have to be.
In a virtual environment, sellers must work even harder now to capture a prospect’s attention and hold it by sharing content that is RICH™. In this four-part series, Mereo experts will dissect each of the four aspects of RICH virtual content — and how you can win an unfair share™ and continue down the path toward sustainable revenue performance by practicing it.
Avoid Becoming an Information Parrot.
If the insight can be found on your corporate website, there is little value you hold as a salesperson or a company leader. This all comes down to differentiation. If your competition is saying, if the industry has been saying — and if then you are parroting it, without any unique spin or additional insight to share — why should your audience turn to you for solutions? Why should they listen when they have heard the same story again and again, in media formats that do not take up 30 to 60 minutes of their time?
Make the Content Innovative. Dare to Share New Ideas and Insights.
There is a performance trick that is tried and true: the art of the reveal.
Imagine the magician on stage. Beside him stands a stool. Draped over the stool is a cloth. Beneath the cloth you can just barely make out a shape. He swiftly removes the veil and you see a familiar object: a top hat. You have seen this trick before. There will be a white rabbit or some other form of rodent he will “magically” yank out. You almost start spacing out, thinking about your buzzing phone in your pocket and the emails you need to answer when this performance is over. But then, the magician takes the hat and tosses it out into the audience, where it disperses into dozens of smaller top hats for everyone to snag. You reach inside the hat and find a slip of paper that reveals the magician’s secret. And an old trick turns into an innovative engagement.
What new information are you bringing to bear over and above any insights that are easily researchable? How can you peel back the veils from industry buzz to a new insight to an innovative take unique to your audience? According to a McKinsley Global Innovation Survey, 84% of executives agree that innovation is important to growth strategy.
Capitalize on the virtual selling dynamic to introduce subject matter experts from your organization — interactions that previously may have been more difficult to facilitate in a travel-intensive, in-person format. For another take, look to our friends at Eyeful Presentations who share a great guide to remote presentations.
VIRTUAL CONTENT RICH IDEAS IN PRACTICE
- What new perspectives can be brought to your prospect’s situation? Even if these demand difficult topics for your audiences, you serving your clients by battling status quo.
- What are others in similar situations doing that they may not be aware of? Your audiences’ use cases should be a go-to resource when you are developing content.
- What insights can be shared that are specific to their issues? Go back to Part I of the series. What innovative ideas and insights are unique to the audience?
- What familiar information can you leverage to turn on its head for some new insight? Familiarity is not a bad thing. Repeating messages in fact can lead to action. But there needs to be value. And there needs to be something new in there to continue to captivate.
Seek to Serve™ Virtually Everywhere
Prepare your teams now to engage with relevance, innovation, complexities and hard proof in a virtual setting — and reap the benefits a mutually beneficial relationship built on trust and value.