Mark Shonka

Sales Tip: Eliminating (Virtual) Distractions

Recently we had an opportunity to deliver a five-part webinar series on 'Selling Effectively in a Virtual Environment'. Two of the topic areas in the series have something in common - they are derailed when we are distracted.

The first topic area is 'Understanding Your Customer's Business', which entails conducting virtual research meetings. These meetings are interviews where we ask good questions and listen actively to the answers. In some ways, a virtual research meeting is easier to conduct than a face-to-face meeting. However, a virtual meeting requires greater focus and we cannot afford to lose our place. We've all had the experience of drifting off in a meeting and wondering how we got so far off track in just a few seconds.

The second topic area is 'Delivering Virtual Presentations', where we attempt to inspire an audience to make a decision or take action. We tell a story and build to a call to action, and we need to stay focused if we have any chance of keeping our audience focused on us and our message.

In either situation, here are a five ways to eliminate distractions:

  1. Have your camera on (and hopefully your audience's cameras on as well), and look into the camera. This will make you more accountable to the audience and you won't want to be distracted.
  2. Turn off ringers and chimes, and close as many of your open windows as you can so as to eliminate updates and notifications.
  3. Consider your office environment and try to minimize background noise and possible interruptions before they happen.
  4. Dedicate your focus to the activity at hand, and resist temptation to look at messages that come in on your device or watch.
  5. Be prepared with everything you need ahead of time, so you don't have to hunt for your notes or a bottle of water.

These ideas will help us be more focused during these critical activities. The payoff - when we are focused, our audience is more likely to be focused on us and our message.

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