Mark Shonka

Sales Tip: Virtual Impact

This new virtual way of working is having a big impact on how many of us feel about our jobs and careers. So many of the things that attract us to sales and account management positions - things like networking, meeting and getting to know new people, uncovering opportunities to help drive results, inspiring an audience to take action, etc. - are just as important and gratifying today as ever before. It's just that most of us can't actually meet with people to make these things happen. We have to find new ways to accomplish them virtually instead of face to face.

It would be easy to jump to the conclusion that these things must be more difficult to do virtually instead of actually being present with your customers and prospects, but consider these ideas:

  • Utilizing social selling tools like LinkedIn leverages our networking acumen and makes networking easier and more productive than it has ever been.
  • Prospects may be more likely to "meet" with you virtually than they would be to meet face to face. After all, there is less risk involved. It's easier to end a virtual meeting than a face to face meeting if they don't like how the meeting is going.
  • Conducting an interview remotely is in many ways easier than doing an interview face to face. There are fewer distractions and it's easier to take notes.
  • We have always used presentations to differentiate ourselves from the competition, and we still can when working virtually. Develop a great, customer-focused presentation. Turn on your camera and consider the light in the room, as well as your background and the angle of the camera. Do the very best you can with the constraints we have, and fight to be better than your competitors.

In many situations we find ourselves in, our attitude determines our outcomes. We are not the kind of people who care to be victims of our circumstances. Let's make up our mind to make the best of this situation, and develop a set of skills that will serve us well for the rest of our careers.

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Mark Shonka

Sales Tip: Gatekeeper-Proof?

As sales professionals, many of the challenges we face evolve over time. One challenge that has been remarkably constant is the presence of gatekeepers. These are people who block our access to people and our sales strategy. Passive or aggressive, rude or pleasant, their desired outcome is the...