The online sales demo isn’t easy. You’re miles away from each other, you’ve no idea if your prospect is really typing notes about your product or looking for their next vacation, it’s really hard to engage your prospect in conversation in the same way as meeting face to face and on top of that, the amount of time that’s acceptable to spend pitching over the phone is a lot less. The only thing that makes this a tougher gig than it already is, is when you’re presenting online to a group of people. So whether you’ve got 1, 2 or 10 people on the line, here’s my advice:
Get a full list of who’s attending before the meeting
You really don’t want to spend the first ten minutes of a 45-minute sales pitch getting to know who everyone is and who does what, you need to be able to get stuck into the presentation as soon as possible to keep everyone’s attention from the start, a quick hello round the table is enough.
Set an agenda, send it out to everyone before hand
An online meeting can feel less formal so it’s easy to forget the importance of formalities like setting an agenda. I actually think when meeting online it’s even more important. People need to know the direction of the meeting, it will keep their attention and it will help them understand where to ask the right questions, that’s really important for maintaining a great flow during an online meeting.
Never ask a question to the whole group
Why? Because no-one will answer. There will be an awkward pause straight after the question when no-one’s sure who will or should jump in to answer. It’s also another reason to understand your attendee list, you’ll be able to direct questions to the right person and that will keep the conversation going.
Do not start with the standard 10 slide presentation of your company history
Remember two things here. It’s likely that everyone on your call will have varying levels of knowledge about your company. Secondly, there is more information on your company that’s easy to access online than ever before, so assume nothing. Instead, ask your sales prospect what company information would be important to share on the call that would be beneficial to the whole group if any.
Set the scene
Make sure the stage is set for a great experience for your sales prospects. They don’t need to see your deal board or pipeline in your browser and they don’t need to see messages from your partner mid-pitch. Other than your web demo software and the content you need to share nothing else matters, so mute all incoming messages and make sure your screen is completely clear from distractions.
Let them see who you are
I don’t understand why sales reps don’t use the cameras that are built into online demo software. Being able to see your face is the best thing you can do to engage your audience, help them get to know you and see how passionate you are even if you do this at the very beginning. Some of the best meetings I’ve had online have been when my sales prospects have reciprocated and put their cameras on as well. It’s the closest thing to actually being in a room together. Be as presentable as you would if you were meeting face to face and turn the camera on.
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