Historically 98% of sales have required face-to-face meetings. We all know from COVID-19 that these successful types of meetings have been replaced with non-stop Zoom sessions, phone calls and emails. Here at Zebrafi, we also know that successful sales do not have to depend on face-to-face meetings. Instead, our live, interactive remote selling software provides a foundation of potential success to close that next deal, regardless of how your meeting is held.
Our software combined with these ten tips, however, can help you have more successful meetings, whether in person or virtually. In fact, these tips can even make your use of Zebrafi, with or without Zoom, more effective.
1. Stay focused. Our attention spans, especially within the COVID-19 pandemic, are very short. This needs to be considered for virtual or face-to-face meetings. While pleasantries of small talk before and after are important, stay focused. If you have set a timeframe, make sure to honor that. Better yet, wrap up the meeting before your time is up. Your participants may even thank you!
2. Know your goal. Of course, your goal is to close the sale, but that might not happen within the first meeting. Your zebra, which is what we call your perfect fit customer, may have additional questions or need more information. It’s important to know what you want to accomplish within each meeting. This may mean making an internal agenda, even if only for yourself. It also means making sure you express your thoughts in a high-quality manner, especially if the meeting is held virtually. Zebrafi, in fact, has the built in platform for “grading” leads and building case studies and presentations so we have a visual component in place and ready for your use.
3. Know how you will open the meeting. It’s important to not just hold an effective meeting but to set the foundation for that with a welcoming greeting and opening. This also means going over any ground rules for the meeting. It also helps to welcome participants by name as they join and to have time built in for any introductions. However, it is difficult to go around the table as in a face-to-face meeting to introduce each other, so know in advance if you want participants to introduce themselves or if you will do that.
4. Know action items. It is important to not just have a meeting but to know what happens after the meeting. Take a few minutes at the end of your scheduled time to review what happens next, who will provide what and how further contact will happen. It is easy to assume all of your zebras know what to do next, but that isn’t always the case.
5. Be flexible. COVID-19 has taught us all that things change rapidly. The same can be said about your virtual or face-to-face meetings. Technology might not work, an emergency may pop up or that perfect home office has personal interruptions. It is important to simply control what you can and be flexible enough and kind with what you can’t control because distractions will occur.
6. Be aware of comfort levels. Especially as we see the light at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, people will have different levels of comfort. You might prefer virtual. They may prefer face-to-face. Even within virtual meetings, participants have different comfort levels of who is willing to talk freely, who wishes to not turn on their video or even who is the last to enter and first to leave.
7. Be aware of body language. In face-to-face meetings, you can “read” people more fully than in virtual meetings, but it can still be done within Zoom. Take extra effort in virtual meetings to pay attention to those joining by video or audio-only. This means paying attention to who seems distracted, tired, bored or energetic. It means listening to who is and isn’t participating in discussions. Another great aspect of Zebrafi is that it can be used within Zoom, allowing you to watch body language as well.
8. Know all of your options. Just because we can hold virtual meetings over Zoom, doesn’t mean they all have to happen that way. Some meetings really become conversations that are better suited for emails or phone calls. In fact, you can even start with email, follow up with a phone call and then schedule a virtual meeting if needed.
9. Have empathy. Yes, you want to close the sale, but more than that, people are people. Showing empathy in conversations, especially if more personal information is shared, goes a long way to show you are caring for your zebra beyond meeting your sales quota. At the very basic level, this comes down to acknowledging someone’s difficulty and expressing your care for them. This show of empathy may have an even longer-lasting impact than you realize.
10. Take breaks. It is easy in face-to-face meetings to take a break for available snacks or drinks, etc. If it is a long virtual meeting, consider putting in these breaks. Likewise, take breaks between your virtual meetings. In other words, don’t schedule them back-to-back. Virtual meetings are exhausting for all involved. Give yourself some extra time between meetings to simply refresh yourself mentally as you prepare to interact with your next zebra.
We know meetings are only one part of the sales process. For over 20 years, we have proven client success through our remote selling software. Call us at 1 833-594-7120 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how we can help you achieve your goals to Find, Close and Retain the right customers.