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How To Ace Virtual Sales Meetings

By News Creatives Authors , in Leadership , at November 7, 2021

Sales jobs used to be done in person, through human connection—starting and ending with a handshake, often accompanied by hefty travel budgets. Then Covid struck, moving salespeople from the conference room to the living room. And companies now know that remote will remain a part of how we do business long after this epidemic is behind us (let it be soon).

So how do sales people who rely on building authentic relationships and human connection succeed in selling to clients who are sitting in front of a two-dimensional screen—the screen that’s attached to the computer that houses all their work and myriad other potential temptations to multitask?

The answer is to double up on the humanity, emotion and connectivity, transforming that screen into a source of vivid engagement, not a scrim that dilutes the potency of your message.

Start by getting your setup right. Master the basics of online meetings. This previous article will help make sure you’re set. Then, brand your background. Make it interesting and distinctive but not distracting. It can be a powerful visual reminder of key messages or your company brand.

With the right setup, you can focus on your presentation so you can persuade and inspire your prospects. Successful virtual sales presentations can be described by these three Ms. They’re:

  • Magnetic
  • Mesmerizing
  • Memorable

Magnetic. First, to create impact in a sales presentation, you can’t wait until you’re well into your spiel. We’re all sick of Zoom meetings and presentations, and that’s most of what fills our calendars each day. To connect with your audience, you need to grab their attention from the very first second of your presentation if you want them to be eagerly attentive, not approaching your event with disdain or even dread. Thanks to the cognitive bias called primacy, first impressions last. So dazzle them with the kick-off, and you’ll have the audience primed to participate. Make your opening engaging and different from everything else they’ve seen in their myriad Zoom meetings. A brief movie is one way to change the energy from the previous Zoom meeting, but make sure you’ve optimized (and rehearsed) the settings so that your audience can actually hear the clip.

Mesmerizing. Once you attract attention, you need to switch your effort to maintaining it. If you lose them, it will be extremely hard to pull them back. Distraction is one of the biggest challenges for keeping your audience engaged. These techniques, used together, are like Velcro for your online presentation.

  • Create a reason for people to pay attention, like a contest or a game that’s stretched out throughout the event. Surprise them! Use a riddle or a fun video or a puzzle—anything that will create intrigue and a desire to stay engaged.
  • Break up the monotony by using interstitials. Interstitials, like a flash of color or a vibrant animated gif or a tiny bit of music, help the eyes, ears and the brain refocus.
  • Make your presentation materials a delight to look at. Go for images and videos over words. And when you absolutely must use words, make the font at least 36pt so your audience can read it on their small screen.

Memorable. If people forget your presentation once they’ve logged off, was it worth it? To keep your presentation imprinted into the hearts and minds of your attendees:

  • Repeat yourself. The German psychologist Ebbinghaus did research on the forgetting curve, and he learned that one of the ways to counteract forgetting is repetition. So repeat your key message throughout the presentation and close with it.
  • Tell stories. Stories engage both halves of the brain, creating synapses between the hemispheres. That supports memorability. Replace the facts, stats and random words with powerful, interesting stories that help people engage on a deeper, more emotional level.

Apply each of these concepts for the perfect pitch . . . even when it’s reduced to tiny pixels.

William Arruda is a keynote speaker, author, co-founder of CareerBlast.TV and creator of the LinkedIn Profile Type Indicator (LPTI) which measures your LinkedIn profile likability and credibility.


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