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“My clients don’t want that” is what some salespeople tell me spontaneously when I recommend using more video calls. My follow-up question: “All of them? Always?” Here’s some thoughts on that.

Right now, Covid-19 has made this a hot topic: What media do we use when we can’t meet face-to-face? And even though the doors are slowly opening again, visits are still far from being allowed everywhere. And as I said in a previous blog post “Sales after Corona”, I think that the sales department should generally use this way of contact much more. 

“Not with my customers. They are way too conservative,” some sales people tell me. If that’s what you think, I suggest you review your position: 

  1. Who’s really holding things up?
    First, a straightforward question: Is the customer really the problem? Or is it you who doesn’t really feel like video telephony yourself? Maybe you also have the impression that you can only really perform in personal contacts? Mostly such prejudices come from people who have little experience with this medium. With a little practice, it gets better soon. Or maybe you just need to optimize your technical equipment a little. A decent webcam and a headset can be bought together for under a hundred euros. Make sure that the camera is at your eye level and as close as possible to the monitor on which you see the customer’s picture. Then the customer has the feeling that you are looking directly at him. I have put together some more tips in a separate blog post about online conversations.
  2. Not all customers are conservative
    If you really believe that your customers don’t like online communication, I’d ask you to investigate. Just ask them if they are open to it or not. Imagine – and I think this is realistic – 70% of your established clients like it better if you come in person, but 30% think online is okay. In that case you could save a lot of driving time. And you could use this time for other things, like having more customer conversations.
  3. Mix things up
    Strengthen your communication skills. If you are equally effective on the phone, in a video call and during a live visit, you can optimize your sales activities. Salespeople who can only be successful when they are at the customer’s place are lagging behind. Sometimes a visit makes perfect sense, but other times it is not necessary at all. 

By the way, sometimes it’s a relieve to the client if they know that you didn’t drive halfway across the country to see them. That way, they can end a conversation without feeling guilty after half an hour if they are in a hurry. I even claim that it is sometimes easier to get an appointment for an online conversation than for a visit. 

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