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8 Ways to Lead the Room in Virtual Sales Calls

In 2020, medical sales success depends on how well reps can lead the room on a virtual sales call. Your virtual presence is important, but it means nothing if you can’t close the sale.

From the moment you hop onto a video call, sales reps must draw prospects in and keep them interested until the very end.

Not sure where to start? Here are eight actionable tips to ensure medical sales reps are closing virtual sales just as well as in-person:

1. Dress the part

What you wear for a video conference should be exactly what you would wear to an in-person meeting. According to researchers, communication is 93% “nonverbal” in nature, so it’s essential to consider what your outfit communicates to your audience. To effectively lead a sales call, you need to wear clothes that project confidence and authority.

Opt for professional attire, at least above the waist. Don’t wear stripes or busy patterns, as they can sometimes look strange on video. Your hair and makeup should also match what you’d typically wear to the office.

2. Consider your location

Equally important to your physical look is to inspect what your audience can see in the background of the call. We’ve all been part of enough video meetings this year to know that people get distracted by whatever is behind you. Your surroundings tell a non-verbal story to your audience, so it’s critical to make sure it’s communicating the story you want to tell: that you’re a professional.

Opt for a neutral background with limited decorations. If you can’t avoid having things behind you, make sure they positively contribute to your image. For example, if you’re sitting in front of a bookshelf, flip the spines around. That way, your audience won’t spend their time browsing what you’re reading instead of listening to your sales pitch.

3. Maintain eye contact

Another key consideration during video meetings is eye contact. Between your presentation slides, multiple windows open, and all of the attendees on the call, you’ll often find yourself looking all over the place during a virtual meeting. When it comes to your sales call, practice speaking directly to the camera. This is how you’ll appear to be making eye contact. 

While it’s tempting to look at various attendees in their little squares, this drives your eyes away from the camera. This can look funny to your audience. Instead, look directly into the camera when you’re covering your most important information to make eye contact with your prospects.

4. Adjust your posture

Working remotely makes it easy to sit with your laptop in weird positions or move around from your desk to your couch to your bed. When leading a virtual sales call, you need to remember that all eyes are on you, so this is not the time for slouching. Even though your audience can only see you from the chest up, they can tell when you’re not sitting upright.

If you were going to conduct a sales pitch in-person, how would you sit to convey confidence? Your shoulders would be back, spine straight, and head held high. A virtual sales call should be no different.

5. Incorporate visual aids

One of the benefits of presenting virtually is that you get full access to your computer while you do it. This means you have complete control over technology to create and share an engaging, visually appealing presentation. It is exhausting to listen to a lengthy presentation on a video call, so it’s crucial to break yours up with visualizations like infographics, charts, and more to illustrate your points.

Keep your audience on their toes but don’t go overboard. While graphics are important, you also want to keep the design sleek and digestible so that your prospects retain the information you’re sharing.

6. Be personable

Prepare your pitch ahead of time, but don’t sound so rehearsed that you’re no longer a human being. Avoid coming across like a bot by engaging the audience in a more personable way. In addition to breaking up your presentation with visuals, you also want to break it up with your prospects’ questions.

Ask prospects to share the problems that they’re trying to solve. Ask them to share their thoughts on what you’ve presented thus far. Whatever you ask, be sure the call feels more like a conversation than just a sales rep talking at an audience for 30 minutes.

7. Practice active listening

To get better at being personable, it’s important to practice active listening. This means you are genuinely listening while others speak, and then you summarize and reflect back what is said. Active listening makes the other person feel like you indeed heard them.

Whether you’re on a video or phone-only call, demonstrate active listening by taking notes and asking clarifying questions. If you’re on video, you can also show you’re listening by smiling and nodding when you hear information that resonates with you.

8. Practice, practice, practice

At the end of the day, you can only effectively lead a virtual meeting if you’ve practiced everything. Test your technology in advance, including the microphone and camera settings within the video software. Remember to look at what appears in your background during your test.

In addition to the technology, you must also practice your presentation itself. Make sure you’re speaking at the right volume and pace. Practice what slides you’ll breeze through, and when you’ll pause for audience participation. The more time you spend practicing your sales pitch, the more success you’ll have when you meet with a real prospect.