Last week, we interviewed two buyers to uncover their expectations of how to effectively sell to them virtually.
The buyers we interviewed were:
Susan Ryan – LBM Millwork Buyer – Home Hardware. Susan has more than 20+ years of buying experience and currently works with more than 80 strategic vendors across Canada.
Scott Prygiel – Senior Buyer – Petsmart. Scott holds more than 15 years of buying experience in both the pet food and grocery sectors.
While both Buyers had their own preferences, they did share some common expectations for having productive virtual meetings with Sales Professionals:
- Be technically savvy to manage different virtual platforms
- Some Buyers have a preferred virtual platform – get familiar with the most common ones to avoid fumbling while on the call
- Be more prepared than ever!
- Test your technology in advance and prepare a PowerPoint presentation with an agenda & structured outline for great dialogue. Both buyers prefer you to share your PowerPoint with the Buyer 24 hours in advance.
- Allow time for most relevant content, especially hot topics like e-commerce.
- Buyers expect your meeting to be compelling, professional and feel like a natural conversation.
- Dress as you normally would for a face-to-face meeting. This conveys that you’re still serious about the business.
- Build rapport at the beginning of the meeting to loosen up and make the conversation flow naturally. Do some digging to find out what their personal interests are, customize your virtual background, or comment on something in their background.
- Buyers are receiving more emails than ever – use the Double Whammy approach (a call followed up with an email) to get noticed.
- Both Buyers agreed that in your initial email, you should quickly introduce how your product fills a gap in their product line.
- Consider sending a customized video with your product or a strong compelling message – Scott said this would get his attention…and not many Sales Professionals are doing it!
- Have a plan to grow product sales now & for the future (after COVID-19) for retail stores and e-commerce!
Their Final Advice:
- Collaborate on a customized solution & demonstrate- how it is the right fit for your buyers and WHY! Show you really care about helping them and their customers with the perfect solution.
Yes, COVID19 is producing obstacles and curveballs that affect selling, but don’t let it bring your sales to a full halt! Download our Sales Stimulation Template (101 downloads) to overcome your obstacles, including virtual selling.
Lisa is driven by the mantra – Be Strategic. Be Pro-active. Be Brave. – and has been successfully training and coaching sales leaders and their teams to do the same for over 15 years. As the President of Teneo Results since 2003, she has trained thousands of sales professionals at more than 250 companies across North America. She transitions salespeople away from the standard “product & price” approach to having purposeful business conversations with their customers that drive results.