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11 Jan 2021

Working remotely and no longer being able to rely on the normal face-to-face cues when communicating with teammates or clients can be an uncomfortable and awkward transition.

A survey of the top 50 brands in the U.K. found that “two-thirds (67%) of major brands do not feel confident running a fully remote pitch process.” That’s not surprising - after all, do you remember those first few team calls you had online? Cameras glitching, audio cutting out, nerves and discomfort creating untimely pauses. These are not the characteristics that result in a successful remote pitch.

 

So, what can you do to combat this?

 

1. Find a compelling, authentic way to engage your clients. Fostering trust can be hard to do online - focus on building a rapport with the client and not just stating facts about your product from the get-go. The first 5 to 10 minutes of the call should be reserved for non work-related conversation to break the ice; creating some familiarity between you and the client promotes trust and confidence in one another. Virtual meetings need to be relatively short to hold attention, so keep your pitch concise (practicing beforehand goes a long way!). Also, ensure that the pitch materials look good - repetitive or dull slides will lead to a bored and possibly distracted client. Finally, involve your clients in the pitch by asking questions and giving them time to communicate feedback - it’s important that they’re given the opportunity to do so. Implementing these engagement tactics will leave  your client feeling satisfied with the discussion, the content, and the experience.

 

2. Making a good first impression is paramount when connecting with a potential client. That, along with maintaining a positive relationship thereafter, boils down to etiquette and behaviour. So when you’re pitching to your client remotely, how do you translate those common-place gestures that are no longer possible, like shaking their hand and offering them a beverage upon arrival? It comes down to you- good posture, eye contact (that means looking at the camera - not at the client!), a clean workspace so that you don’t get distracted - they deserve your attention, and, above all, engaging and interacting with your client in a way that makes them feel as if this is just as good - if not better - than the sales pitches of ‘before’.

 

3. Do what you can so the client has a seamless remote experience. The first step in that is ensuring you're using the right technology to provide a flawlessly executed pitch. What features make up such a platform? Minimal downloads where possible, automatic software updates, a user-friendly mobile function, and simple click and connect usage (to name a few) - having no tech glitches goes a long way in making a good impression.

 

From a client’s perspective, their most hassle-free scenario means avoiding platforms that require multiple downloads and constant software updates - you don’t want to start off the pitch with a frustrated client. Providing them with a simple, straightforward, and on-brand experience will positively influence their perception of you, your pitch, and your product.

 

4. The final key element of having a remote pitch go according to plan is using the right sales tech stack. You should feel like the platform you’re using is helping you and bettering your experience, too. One that allows you to run the presentation seamlessly, discreetly take notes and quickly access key information without searching through various tabs and windows. Having the right tools and tech in place can do that; not just video conferencing but simplified and straightforward customer feedback management, easy-to-use content management so you can present the right content at the right time, and a guided sales process so asking those important questions is done so with confidence and ease. Having those features and processes replicable across the entire sales team is a game-changer for your efficiency, productivity, and, ultimately, your goal reachability. With 80% of respondents in the aforementioned survey saying that they “are keen to create a more efficient way of pitching,” investing in such a platform is vital. Being able to set the scene and customise the platform such that your client is welcomed by familiar branding and messaging is crucial for creating a holistic experience.

 

A platform that has everything all in one place - no more frazzled misplacements of data, no more awkward pauses while slides refuse to load, no more questioning of where your true attention lies when the client is present. Just clean, efficient, easy-to-use technology.

 

That’s what makes a successful remote pitch, successful. To find out more about selling successfully via video, visit Crikle. 

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