Virtual Selling and Customer Communications
With social distancing continuing, how do you maintain that personal connection that took years to develop with your customers and prospects? You are likely to be communicating more by phone or even webcast these days but how do you maintain that relationship and bond? Maintaining that rapport is critical to your ongoing success.
Success in Virtual Customer and Prospect Contact
Now factor in that 55% of effective communication is body language, 38% tonality and just 7% the words we use. So nearly 93% of our message could be lost in trying to stay connected remotely unless we follow a few simple steps.
- Use their name often – people like to hear their name; it makes them feel good and it shows your interest.
- Positive body language- even though they cannot see you fully, your posture affects your mood and tone so the person on the other side of the line can pick up on it. Stand, smile, positive tone and watch your inflections. Imagine they are there in person.
- Active listening- people like to be heard. Ask good questions (who, what, where, when, why & how) to demonstrate your attention and interest. Ask additional questions to clarify and reduce any misunderstandings.
- Follow up – because there are many distractions during a virtual meeting, be sure to take notes during the meeting and follow up with an email. List what you understood from the meeting – especially commitments made, next steps and schedule or deadlines. Then act on those notes.
- The basics – treat it like a real meeting, you wouldn’t whisper or sit in a dark room when meeting with a prospect or customer in person. So don’t do it virtually – make sure your microphone is picking you up well and the lighting is from the front and soft (nothing worse than light from behind you that makes you look like you’re in the witness protection program!). Dress and locate professionally. Yes, you may be calling from home, but dress neatly (no, a suit isn’t necessary!) and make sure the background is neat and not distracting.
Finally, make contact regularly, mixing in calls, video meetings, emails and even texts if it fits the relationship. Work to make the contacts meaningful providing information, empathy, follow-up discussions or other messages that remind the customer why they chose to work with you and your company… and will entice a prospect to want to build a working relationship.
This article is provided by Mars Bank Commercial Banking Team. Contact us with questions about your business finances. We’re here to help.