January 21

Are You Losing Sales to Status Quo in This Virtual Selling World?

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Are you losing sales to status quo? Now, you might think I’m referring to your prospect’s or customer’s attitude of not changing, or of stalling about making buying decisions.  

No, I’m talking about you and your sales team, and the impact of status quo selling behaviors.

“Status quo” means being content with the current situation, not looking for change.

Now you might be thinking…..

  • “Hey, wait a minute. I have made a lot of changes in my sales approach. I’m engaging in virtual sales calls, whereas most of my sales meetings used to be face to face.”
  • “I’m learning how to demo my products and service via video rather than in person.”

“I’m anything but status quo!”

Maybe.

We’ve all had to change our approach to sales with the pandemic. And congratulations to all of the sales professionals that did so.

But I am seeing status quo selling behaviors because salespeople aren’t improving their virtual sales approach.

Many salespeople have unknowingly adopted a “good-enough” sales approach.

For example, office backgrounds look less than professional. I see either really bad green screens where a salesperson’s arm gets lost or head is contorted. I’ve seen more than my share of salespeople’s personal space. Enough said. And the lack of proper lighting makes a lot of salespeople look like they belong to some kind of crime family!

Prospects are human beings, and human beings make snap decisions about people. “Is this salesperson credible? Is this a good organization to invest my company dollars?” 

The answer might be no based on your environment, one that is status quo - good enough.

Another example is a salesperson’s facial expressions. In the EQ world, this is referred to as emotional expression. We convey an emotional experience through our verbal and nonverbal communication. And let me tell you: Some of the nonverbal communication I’m observing isn’t sending the right message.

Virtual sales meetings often start with a confused look as salespeople fumble around, trying to make sure video and audio work.  As the sales call proceeds, resting “Video” face sets in. The salesperson doesn’t have a pleasant look or smile on her face. A salesperson looks bored, even when he is truly interested. He just forgot to tell his face. 

Rapport decreases, as do sales results. Who wants to buy from someone that looks depressed or bored?

Prospects and customers gave salespeople grace, as we all made changes to remote selling. However, after nine months, they are expecting more.

Status quo selling behaviors will not set you and your team up for sales success.

The good news is that salespeople can move out of status quo quickly by changing “good enough” selling behaviors. The best way to move out of status quo is to make the necessary changes, all of which are under your control.

Change your office background.

 Even if you don’t have a specific room for an office, purchase a room divider. There are some great designs out there that you can put up and down every day. Look like you are in business and change your prospect’s snap judgement from wondering if you are a professional to knowing you are a sales professional that is serious about their work.

But my company isn’t giving me any money to purchase a room divider.  Sorry to hear that. But this is your career and your life. Invest in you and you’ll quickly find the dividends more than pay for your background.

Change your “Video” face.

Years ago, I heard Debra Benton speak. She is the author of, “How to Think Like a CEO.” She shared this advice with CEOs: “You are always on. Whether you are checking into a hotel room or running a board meeting, be aware of your facial expression.” Great advice for today’s virtual selling environment.

You are always on!

Today, salespeople need to work at transferring the right emotional expression. While you are powering up your video call, remember to be “on.” Yes, I can fumble while trying to figure out new platforms’ audio and video functions. But I do it with a smile.

Practice your resting “video” face during your group sales meetings. Remember, in face-to-face meetings, you were able to respond to the verbal and nonverbal communication in the room. In a video call, everything has to be more intentional. Soon your practice video face will become your natural, pleasant smiling face.

Record your sales calls and determine when your face went from engaged to checked out. Remember, you may not be checked out, but the expression on your face might be communicating that message.  

Status quo. Where are you and your sales team losing business to status quo and not making the necessary changes to improve your sales approach in this virtual selling world?

Good Selling!


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