Virtual selling brings with itself an entirely new set of challenges. You now need to convert a prospective customer who might be sitting thousands of miles away in a different time zone altogether. So, how do you go about that?
Well, despite there being a severe change in the logistics, most of the principles of a good sales strategy still apply to virtual sales. You still need to provide a solution to the prospect’s challenges. You still need to have the next step ready. You still need to understand the buyers. And so on. In fact, 63% of the sales leaders believe virtual sales meetings to be as effective as face-to-face meetings.
However, the biggest challenge would be to optimize your body language for a small screen. You are aware of the 55-38-7 rule, right? It says that you convey 7% of the meaning through spoken words, a 38% with the tone of your voice, and a surprising 55% through your body language.
The rule holds true even in the case of virtual selling. With body language holding such high importance, it’s best you learn some new tricks to make the most out of it during your next virtual sales call.
In this article, we give you 7 actionable body language tips that’ll help you significantly improve your conversion rate for virtual selling. What’s more, we also have two bonus tips lined up for you at the end of the article. Keep reading to find out more.
Manage distance from the camera
First things first, place yourself at the perfect distance from the camera.
Let’s go back to one of our face-to-face meetings. At what distance would you want to place yourself from the customer. You don’t want to be sitting or standing too close to them. That’d indicate you being aggressive and in their face. Similarly, sitting too far apart will also make them feel alienated. On top of that, it’ll make it difficult for them to understand what you are saying.
Coming back to our virtual sales call, you want to apply the same principles. Sitting way too close to the camera will show you only a floating head on the prospect’s screen. That’d be a very robotic way to present yourself.
Sitting very far from the camera will make your surroundings more prominent than you as the customer would see only a tiny human on their screen. You need to find the perfect balance between the two and take up the optimum space on the customer’s screen.
Place yourself at such a distance that your upper torso (including your shoulders) and your face are visible. This position gives you the perfect opportunity to bring the hand gestures into play while also keeping those facial expressions clearly visible to the customer.
Work on that posture
Irrespective of whether you went through formal or informal sales training, you must’ve been told about the importance of body posture a zillion times. It can convey a thousand emotions before the interaction even gets started.
The best way to regulate your body posture during a virtual sales call is to keep standing up during the call. You automatically have your back straight while standing. However, not all of us have a standing desk at our disposal in the home environment. In that case, you can either create a makeshift platform for your laptop that allows you to take calls while standing or you can be extremely careful about your posture while sitting.
Here’s what not to do when sitting during a virtual sales call.
- Don’t lean back in the chair: This will portray you as unbothered and disinterested in the conversation and makes you look very unprofessional.
- Don’t lean on the desk: Sitting like this makes you appear as if you are bored and simply waiting for the conversation to end.
Instead, you can sit at the edge of your seat. It keeps you interested in the conversation. Secondly, keep your back straight and shoulders relaxed. It makes you feel and appear confident, which can significantly improve your conversion rate.
No grand hand gestures
During the days of physical interaction, you must’ve worked a lot on your body and hand gestures. However, you can’t stick to them now that you are working from the confines of your home.
Say no to grand hand gestures as it’s highly likely that your hands go out of the screen when you move your hands way too wide from your body. This, in turn, births confusion rather than properly conveying the message. So make sure you don’t move your hands far too wide.
Another thing you need to be mindful of is that you don’t bring your hands too close to the camera when making hand gestures. It’ll just make them appear bigger on the customer’s screen and can be rather off-putting.
Keep the hand movement restricted within a distance that’s just a tad bit wider than your shoulders and ends only a few inches ahead of you.
Nod and smile
You need to make the prospect feel welcome. A simple smile and subtle nods can go a long way during virtual selling. The nods and smiles would make the customer feel as if they are getting all the proper attention and vastly improves your chances of converting the sale.
Your legs won’t be visible on the screen. But if you are constantly moving them under the table, the motion translates to your upper body and makes you appear fidgety. Other fidgety traits include touching your face and hair too much.
Remove these habits from your virtual interactions and you will appear more confident and attentive to the customer.
Lean forward slightly
Speaking of appearing attentive, you should lean slightly forward during virtual selling. There are two clear benefits of it. One is that when you are leaning forward you are automatically getting rid of fidgety traits. It becomes difficult to hold on to them when you are leaning forward. Secondly, it makes you appear attentive. And we can’t emphasize the importance of appearing attentive enough in a virtual sales call.
Look at the camera when speaking
Eye contact is crucial to a wholesome conversation. It helps you translate conviction to the customer and even makes them pay attention to what you are saying. But maintaining eye contact doesn’t even sound like a thing for virtual selling.
There’s a workaround though. You can look at the camera while speaking. To customers, it would appear as if you are making direct eye contact. However, managing the presentation while looking at the camera can also be tricky. We suggest you keep the presentation slides on the screen close to the camera and keep switching your glance between the slides and the camera.
The two bonus tips
And here are two bonus tips to ace virtual selling.
Know your virtual calling software
Be it Zoom, Team, or Meet, you must know the ins and outs of the video calling software. You don’t want to be searching for the mute or share button and interrupt call conversations. Moreover, expertise is appealing. If you are well in control of the tool, you are highly likely to be in control of the meeting as well.
Work on the environment you create in the background
Your background reflects half your personality during a sales call. Make sure you modify it so that it welcomes the customer and makes them feel relaxed. Books, home, and even pets in the background will make the customer feel at ease when interacting with you. Consequently, the chances of conversion improve significantly.
Body language indeed plays a major role in converting sales, but it’s just one aspect of virtual sales. There’s so much more to it that you need to master before you start making the most of your sales calls.
With only 20% of B2B buyers planning to return to in-person sales, you can believe that virtual sales is here to stay. It is why you need to put in some serious efforts to get better prepared for it. We, at Centum Learning, use the most advanced techniques and draw from the experience of sales veterans to teach how to ace virtual sales.
Our training has already helped 400+ corporations boost their revenue by optimizing sales conversions. And we can help you too. Register for our virtual sales training program now, and we’ll call you back.