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Shifting Initial Sales Meetings From Face to Face to Video Calls

One of the most effective points in the sales process to leverage video sales calls and virtual selling skills is the initial meeting. The initial meeting is first step in the sales process. It is the appointment you (or your sales development rep) set during outbound prospecting or from an inbound lead.

The objective of the initial sales meeting (often the first step in the discovery process) is three-fold:

  1. Make a great first impression and develop an early emotional connection with the stakeholder(s)
  2. Fully qualify the opportunity to determine if it makes sense for you to move to the next step with the prospect.
  3. Generate enough interest with the stakeholder(s) to motivate them to advance to the next step in the sales process.

Effective Initial Meetings

An effective initial meeting should be about 30 minutes in length and no more than sixty. Your primary goal is to close for the next meeting (based on the complexity and length of your sales cycle).

  • discovery
  • demo
  • presentation

In situations where the opportunity is not a good fit, poorly qualified, or the timing is wrong, you’ll want to walk away.

Sometimes the stakeholders will not have enough interest to move forward and won’t set the next meeting with you.

I disqualify between 30% and 50% of prospects on initial meetings and never move forward with the next step.

For example: If you conduct ten initial meetings over the course of a week, about half will advance to the next step. Depending on your closing ratio, 1-2 of those will move on to closed/won.

Of course, some delusional salespeople throw proposals at every prospect, regardless of qualification. This is a terrible drain on productivity and a waste of resources.

Video Sales Calls are More Efficient for Initial Meetings

A good field rep can handle no more than ten face to face, initial meetings per week and still have time for other important sales activities such as prospecting, discovery calls, follow-ups, and presentations.

Most reps never even get close to ten a week. There just isn’t enough time in the day to do more. Driving to initial meetings, and other sales calls eats up the day.

But, that all changes when sales reps cut out the windshield time and shift initial meetings from in-person to video.

There are four benefits to shifting initial meetings to video sales calls:

  1. You’ll increase the number of initial meetings you can conduct a week, which increases the number of new opportunities advancing through your pipeline, which in turn increases the number of deals you close.
  2. Because video sales calls tend to be shorter than in-person calls and you eliminate drive time, you immediately become more efficient.
  3. You’ll face fewer prospecting objections. More prospects will agree to meet with you because a short video call (to determine if it makes sense to work together) is easier for them consume and lowers their risk of wasting time with you.
  4. Reduced travel costs.

In Modern Sales, Speed Matters

For many field salespeople, the idea of conducting initial meetings via video, rather than in-person, seems un-imaginable. There is no doubt that in-person communication is more effective.

However, the efficiency you gain by shifting initial meetings to video sales calls more than makes up for not being there face to face. You’ll be able to conduct far more initial meetings, resulting in a bigger pipeline, and more sales.

The good news is video sales calls, are the closest facsimile to being there in person. Done well, they open the door to deeper relationships, understanding, emotional connections and trust.

In modern sales, speed matters. Blending virtual selling into your sales process makes you more agile. This allows you to move faster, become more productive, and shorten the sales cycle.


Virtual Selling Book Cover - Jeb BlountLearn more about virtual selling and improve your virtual sales skills with Jeb Blount’s blockbuster bestseller: Virtual Selling: A Quick-Start Guide to Leveraging Video, Technology, and Virtual Communication Channels to Engage Remote Buyers and Close Deals Fast

About the author

Jeb Blount

Jeb Blount

Jeb Blount is one of the most sought-after and transformative speakers in the world…

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