Time well spent
Just like in-person calls, virtual calls demand preparation.
Nothing can replace a face-to-face sales call or inservice. Even
so, some experts believe that in the future, IMDA members and their reps may
conduct as many as half of their calls virtually – that is, via Zoom,
GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, RingCentral, or some other cloud-based meeting
So, how to make the best of it? Same as with any sales call
– PREPARE. Think of it this way: Substitute windshield time for prep
Preparing for a virtual call differs little from preparing
for an in-person visit, said IMDA Executive Director Don Sizemore during the June
25 IMDA/HIRA webinar, “Virtual Selling: The Professional Way.” Some key points
to keep in mind:
Look good, just as you would for an in-person call.
No T-shirts with weird graphics. No sweat suits. Just keep in mind what you
look like to the other person. If it helps, turn on your webcam before the call
and take a look at yourself.
Pay attention to the background. While you’re
checking out the webcam image, pay attention to what’s behind you. Is
your room neat and clean? Does it speak of professionalism? Some people prefer
using a virtual background. If you do, consider creating one that incorporates
your company’s logo or that of the manufacturer whose technology you’re
Assemble supporting materials. Scan studies, white
papers, sell sheets, etc., and assemble them in one easy-to-locate folder on
your desktop. This way, you avoid embarrassing delays while you search your
hard drive for that one study your customer has asked to see. To draw your
customer’s attention to the heart of your message, digitally highlight key
words or sentences. If you’re showing a video, download it in advance in order
to save anxious buffering moments during the call.
Anticipate the worst. What can go wrong during
a virtual call probably will go wrong. That’s why you should log on at
least 15 minutes early. During that time, reacquaint yourself with your
software. Look for potential stumbling blocks. Any annoying feedback when you
speak? Is there a new update you failed to install? Do you know how to mute and
unmute? “There’s nothing worse than making people wait while you poke around
trying to fix a problem,” Sizemore said.
Take handwritten notes. Keep pen and paper close at
hand, so you can jot down reminders and requests while you’re on the call. It
demonstrates your attentiveness to your customers’ needs, and it’s less
intrusive than hurriedly keyboarding notes.
IMDA members: A recording of the webinar, “Virtual
Selling: The Professional Way,” will be available soon in the “Member Area” of the IMDA