How Do You Transition From Field Sales To Virtual Engagement?

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If you’re a seller whose “office” is face to face with your customers, you may be experiencing tougher times than the rest of us. Your world was full of vibrant interactions, personal relationships, handshakes and live presentations. You carried your world in your passenger seat and you’ve built beautiful relationships over many meals, drinks, and outings.

Welcome to virtual selling my friends. So how the hell do you transition field sales to virtual sales?  We’re here to help. 

Today’s blog we’re talking about selling time. What I mean is the actual voice to voice connection where you get to do your job. In the past, great field sellers could meet with two to four, maybe five prospects/contacts in a day. You likely planned meetings based on geography and how you could hit buildings in a similar location, avoid traffic, or make the most of your plane trip to the other coast.

Great news, there are no boundaries now. Time Zones are your only constraint, and great phone sellers can talk with ten people a day. If you do it right, you just got much. more. efficient.

Bad news, it ain’t easy getting people to pick up their phones or call us back these days. Not because of a pandemic, but because we don’t answer calls from people we don’t know, because we all have competing priorities and because frankly, it’s easier to ignore someone ringing in than someone walking in.

That’s why in virtual sales, we focus on getting on first. Billy Bean will tell you (shameless Moneyball reference) “You can’t get to home if you can’t get on first.”. The first base is a conversation. It happens by:

  1. Leaving great voicemails that people will actually return
  2. Dialing 5-10x the number of conversations you want to have
  3. Starting calls with a compelling introduction that won’t turn people off
  4. Overcoming a brush-off and keeping contacts on the phone with you

These four basic skills can literally triple your first-base average. (Is that a thing? There must be a baseball stat focused on the number of times a player gets on first?). In virtual sales, this is often referred to as “talk time”. Talk time is a leading indicator of sales opportunities. And it’s a critical one.

One: Amp up the dials my friends and resist the urge to feel frustrated. 

It’s easy to curse your old pal Joe for not picking up all ten times you call. Hey, he may not even know you are calling. Or he may be ignoring you. Don’t give up. It takes about 7 tries to get over 90% of your targets on the phone. The trick is not cursing at Joe when he finally does pick up. Your job is to be genuinely happy to talk with him and NOT hold it against him that he launched you a few times. Tough, but really critical.

Two: Make yourself a call list. 

I recommend segmenting by industry/talk track so you know what you want to talk about with every contact on your list.  That way when someone picks up after 15 misses and you’re a bit startled, it’s an easy recovery.

Three: Be sure to bookmark these resources for more tips on improving your intros.

5 Tips For Mastering Your SWIIFT Pitch

The Ultimate Sales Script To Get A Buyer’s Attention

Four: Be sure to sign up / subscribe to get notified of more phone sales tips like these.

If you’re serious about taking your remote selling to the next level and coming out ahead of your competition, check out our top-notch virtual training on all of these topics at The Sales Bar (the only bar actually open right now). Now may be the best time to invest in yourself and your teams.

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