While this global pandemic has been difficult for individuals and businesses alike, there are several benefits that have come out of it. One benefit is that now we truly understand the power of virtual sales meetings and how easily we can conduct business remotely.
Unfortunately, many managers and leaders are not yet comfortable with technology and this will be obvious to your attendees. Virtual sales meetings that lack enthusiasm and substance are no better than their in-person counterparts. If you truly want to lead a team of rock star salespeople, you’ll need to energize them through virtual meetings.
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First impressions are important, even if they are just the first impression for the day. Prepare your attendees ahead of time with an agenda that outlines how long the meeting will last, if they need to have any information handy, and what will be covered. This allows them to fit the meeting into their schedule and understand what value they will get from attending.
Open the meeting a few minutes early so they can sign in and get situated and so that no one has an issue connecting. Once you start, introduce yourself and do a quick ice breaker to warm people up and build some rapport in the virtual room.
Act Lively and Optimistic
There are two important aspects to setting the tone of the meeting: how you come across and how your space comes across.
Yes, it’s tempting to work in your pajamas, but maintaining a professional appearance is essential as a leader. Your team must understand that despite the change of locale, you are serious about business.
Your physical appearance isn’t just important for the attendees. When you look good, you feel better. Dressing professionally will get your mind into a positive state so you can communicate with optimism and excitement for the future. Speak clearly and so that everyone can hear you, and use humor when appropriate to lighten the mood and keep attendees engaged.
Also, be mindful of what your backdrop looks like. Sure, many people have had to set up temporary workspaces in their kitchens, bedrooms, or living rooms. But, it’s better to have a white wall behind you than a pile of dirty laundry or an unmade bed. Choose your background wisely.
Don’t Give Participants a Reason to Get Distracted
If you thought it was difficult to keep their attention in-person, a virtual sales meeting will be even more challenging. One surefire way to lose their attention is to ask them to look for a file on their computer, their cell phone, or their desk, in the middle of the meeting. They may never find the file and instead find Solitaire or Facebook. An agenda sent ahead of time that tells them what to have prepared and will lower the risk of losing them.
If you choose to do screen share during the meeting, have it queued up so you don’t take time looking, and make sure that you don’t distract attendees with your browser tabs.
Virtual meeting software has come a long way to help keep your attendees engaged. Screen sharing is an option if you need to show videos, images, or slideshows. However, use these sparingly and make sure that they support your message, rather than distracting from it.
Other ways to engage your audience include surveys, polls, and asking them to interact by adding answers to the chat.
Virtual sales meetings are not just a one-and-done event. Your team should be communicating in between meetings to share challenges, support, best practices, etc. Encourage them to collaborate using messaging apps, emails, social media, and any project management software you employ. And don’t forget the phone!
Remind Everyone About Their Goals
Despite the current circumstances, you’ll want to keep your team of rock star salespeople focused on the future. Remind them of their goals and that you are there to support them. Get them excited about their purpose, their potential, and the company’s future.
A virtual sales meeting is an excellent solution when teams can’t meet in-person. And when done correctly, they may provide an alternative to in-person meetings well into the future. Keep your team engaged and excited, and you’ll see the rock star performance you’ve hoped for.