July 31

Demystifying Virtual Selling


Sales trainers, sales managers and podcasters are focused on helping sellers learn how to sell in a world gone remote and virtual.

These conversations show that there is angst among sellers that this new thing called “virtual selling” is mysterious and difficult to master.

So let me relieve some of your angst by challenging your belief systems about virtual selling by sharing some of my beliefs.

Belief No. 1: Virtual selling isn’t new. Salespeople have engaged in some type of virtual selling for years. But wait a minute, Colleen, I am a field salesperson. My entire career -- and success -- is because I was able to meet face to face with my prospects and customers.

Let’s take a look at this selling scenario prior to the pandemic. A client gives you a referral and tells you the prospect is expecting your call. You call, connect, have a great conversation and set up a second meeting. Since you live on the west coast and the prospect lives on the east coast, you decide to connect by phone rather than get on a plane. THAT’S VIRTUAL SELLING.

Now, what is new is the medium by which you are communicating with prospects and customers. Videoconferencing sales calls are becoming the norm and for some sellers, it’s a little uncomfortable. They don’t feel as masterful as they were on the phone or face to face.

Here’s the good news, which leads me to my second belief.

Belief No. 2: You are capable of learning. Don’t believe me? Then write down everything you’ve learned since you were 2 years old. You learned how to speak -- now that’s hard work. You learned how to read, write and do arithmetic. No easy tasks. In sales, you’ve learned how to ask meaningful questions, deal with objections and ask for the business. You may have stumbled and bumbled through a few calls but you learned. Heck, you’ve even learned how to use CRM systems and social media platforms.

You have the ability to learn.

Mastering virtual selling is simply learning new skills, something you’ve been doing your entire life. Learn, practice, correct, practice and master.  

And the really good news is that prospects and customers don’t have an option to connect with salespeople any other way because the return to offices is slow and, in some cases, not going to happen at all. This is a great time to learn new skills because everyone is in the same boat.

Lest I sound like Pollyanna with her head stuck in the sand, let me add this: I know it’s not easy. However, this leads me to my final belief.

It’s great when faced with adversity. Because most people will not put in the effort to learn, change and improve. You have the ability to put in the effort and learn. You’ve done it before in your life and it’s time to do it again.  

Good Selling!


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