As the world of sales expands to prospects and customers outside geographies, the virtual sales negotiation and sales presentation are becoming more and more common. Email, conference calls and even instant messenger have all transformed into the new sales presentation platform with customers located all over the world. We know nonverbal cues are 80% of communication, so how do you negotiation in a sales presentation when you don’t have visuals? Here are five tips to help you close the deal.
1. Prep well and send out your agenda before the negotiation.
Two of the major issues with long-distance negotiations are either unpreparedness on the part of the sales rep and/or client and uncertainty about the agenda and terms for the conversation. Prepare thorough “If this, then that” statements before the negotiation so you can respond quickly and effectively to your prospect’s rebuttals. Also, send the agenda to everyone involved beforehand. This gives you the power to run the meeting, and lowers your prospects’ defenses because they know what to expect.
2. Choose the right tools for the job.
There’s a reason conference calls get a bum rap with sales people. Legacy conferencing solutions are clunky, cumbersome to log into and unreliable at best. Opt for new conferencing tech, like GlobalMeet® Audio from leader PGi, which adds a visual element to the conference with desktop and mobile apps. With these apps, you can schedule, start and monitor your meeting attendees, quality and even mute noisy lines. Even better, the apps offer one-click sign in and the meeting calls you, so you don’t have to struggle through long 800 numbers and incorrect passcodes.
3. Avoid interruptions that mess up your flow.
For negotiations, it’s all about who has the best, most persuasive responses, but interruptions on calls ruin your flow and your argument. Use the apps mentioned above to actually see who’s speaking (the names glow green) so you’re not being interrupted or, possibly even worse, appear rude by interrupting your prospect or client.
4. Escalate from email into a two-way dialogue.
Modern unified communication tools make it easy to transition from a back-and-forth email situation that’s going nowhere fast into an on-the-fly, real-time conversation. Launch an IM or, even better, a conference call right from your email tool (such as this conferencing app for Microsoft Office® Outlook™). This will cut down your negotiation time by helping you pin down your prospect faster during a drawn-out negotiation.
5. Be personable and human.
It’s easy to get trapped in anonymity during a conference call or email. After all, your “presence” is limited to impersonal text or voice-only commentary. As salespeople you know that people buy from people they like, so take the time to chitchat, share personal antidotes and state your credentials. This will help you come off as a likeable human being who knows their stuff versus just another yahoo trying to sell something.
When you can’t be face-to-face, salespeople know they’ve just got to get the job done. So, when it comes to voice or text-only negotiations, make sure you follow these five steps for more effective and (your manager will be proud) faster time-to-close deliverables. How do you negotiate when you can’t meet face to face?