Were you able to pivot to online meetings when the pandemic closed traditional sales channels? The owner of a high performance car engine manufacturing company told me that he just had his best year, despite the fact that his customers faced completely closed or reduced schedules at race tracks. How did he accomplish this? The company moved fast when the pandemic hit and pivoted to a new sales strategy. To determine how demand for its product might change, engine production was paused and time was spent contacting existing and potential customers via virtual conferencing. The company found that the race community had more discretionary money to spend on engines than they ordinarily would as other business costs (like travel, entertainment, etc.) had been lowered or eliminated.
The benefits of online meetings
While in-person sales calls are still a great way to present your product, the pandemic has proven that online meetings are also a viable way to sell. Here are some of the benefits of virtual conferencing.
- Meet anytime, anywhere – There are significant time savings and productivity gains associated with meeting online. Without travel, the volume of calls can be greatly increased. At the engine shop, the owner reported bringing in more new customers in one day than they previously did in two.
- Put a name to a face – People like to see with whom they are dealing and video conferencing enables this. For the engine manufacturer, clients began requesting online meetings once that format was introduced.
- A quick path to the decision maker — With video conferencing, all the key players involved in a sale, including the owner, can come together at the same time, even if they are in different locations.
- Reach a wider network – Online video enables meetings with potential customers that previously may have been considered outside your territory. The engine maker now has out-of-state clients.
- Better customer follow-up – Virtual online checkups can rapidly measure a customer’s approval of your product or service. The engine manufacturer found that online follow-up improved their customer’s post-sales experience.
A new era
Make sure you are ready to pivot from traditional to online meetings. The pandemic has ushered in an effective new way to market goods and services —online sales communications — which are certain to remain an important part of business going forward.