I love sales because I get to meet remarkable people and help solve their problems. Over the years, I have formed relationships with my customers that are built on trust, mutual respect, and a human connection.
Meeting with a customer face-to-face is my favorite way to sell, but the globalization of our business and new social distancing requirements is changing how I communicate with them.
The Human Side of B2B Sales
I made a remarkable discovery recently that I need to share.
A prospect booked a meeting with me through my HubSpot meetings integration and we scheduled a Zoom meeting. I prepared for the discovery call as normal, expecting to learn about the prospect’s canceled event, buyer personas, and what products they’re interested in.
What happened during our video meeting took me by surprise: I saw the prospect as a multifaceted person, not just someone to do business with.
It was like meeting a new neighbor for the first time. They apologized for the dog barking and we discussed the unique picture hanging on the wall that their grandma had given them.
We talked about our animals, the challenges we’re experiencing working remotely, how we’re exercising patience with our team and clients, and the perks of wearing jeans on a daily basis. We formed an instant connection beyond the reason they scheduled the discovery call in the first place.
At the end of the call, I had a better understanding of the prospect from a business perspective and as a human, which helped me answer their questions accurately.
How to Connect with Customers Remotely
During these unprecedented times, it’s important to spend time with customers and listen to their frustrations about changes to the corporate calendar or issues with remote work. I have received positive responses from my customers—they greatly appreciate my outreach and the opportunity for a normal, human conversation with a salesperson.
The key to these human connections is using video meetings to talk.
How to schedule a video conference with your customers:
- Email outreach. Send an email to customers to check in on them. Let customers know that you’re thinking about them during this stressful time and suggest a video meeting to chat.
- Schedule a video meeting. Video conference tools like Zoom and Google Hangouts provide a shareable link for the host to send to clients.
- Share a positive story and listen to the customer. There’s a lot of worrisome news lately and customers will appreciate an uplifting story to brighten their day. The main reason for the video call is to listen to the customer. Pay close attention and find opportunities to offer help.
- Follow up after the meeting. This is the best opportunity to let customers know their struggles are heard. A note or promotional product that solves one of their problems goes a long way.
What I Learned
On video calls before the era of social distancing, meetings proceeded in a typical business-like manner with little to no personal chat. Now, customers and salespeople alike are at home surrounded by distractions and dealing with stress in this unprecedented time.
We can’t help but discuss what’s happening in the world right now and how we’re all managing the new shift to working from home. Our mutual challenges connect us as humans beyond the business world.
We need to find opportunities to stay in touch with our customers and prospects now and let them know we’re here for them as a business and as people. After everything settles down and business starts up again, customers will remember that we were there for them.