EP 1 – The benefits of virtual selling – Walker McKay
Presentation of the episode
Our first guest on The Virtual Selling Podcast is Walker McKay, Principal and Founder of McKay Consulting Group and No BS Sales School. In this first episode, he explains the benefits of virtual selling and why it’s more important than ever that sales teams develop virtual selling skills now.
[00:00:00] With the pandemic that came upon us, the rise of video conferencing tools like Microsoft teams and zoom has led to more aspects of the sales conversation to occur virtually. And what began as a crisis reaction has evolved into the new normal, but how normally is the new normal we’re talking about how the strong shift from in-person to virtual selling has transformed B2B sales experience, virtual sales enablement, new organizations, KPIs.
Everything is evolving in the virtual selling podcast. We address these issues in depth. The experts and leaders of these transformations, heads of sales, sales, ops, and sales enablement of the most innovative companies in the field. This podcast is sponsored by sales deck.io, the new SAS platform to make your customer meetings more engaging and better prepared.
Find out how you can shorten sales cycles, convert more leads and increase. Customer engagement. Virtual selling is here to stay. And so is sales deck.io.
My name. Name is Gabriel. DWE some Nomi as a French marketer Lu in sale, but I’m also the founder of sales deck IO. And today I’m excited to welcome today’s guest Walter McKay founder, principal of Mckay consulting and nobs sales school.
Hello? Welcome. Hello, how are you? Gabrielle? Fine. Thank you. You are the first guest of this new podcast and, uh, sorry for my friend. Sorry for my accent, but I’m really happy to, to, to be with you and, uh, to have a first conversation on virtual selling for you, is there a difference between virtual selling and the a traditional selling.
I believe there is, I believe the main difference though, is in the salesperson’s mind. I think it’s something. So I think that, you know, people are very comfortable. Um, they’re used to right from generations and generations of face to face sales and then all of, you know, we, we can’t get in front of people as much anymore, or recognize that maybe it’s easier not to have to get in [00:02:00] front of ’em anymore.
So. My mind along the whole time was, this is the same,
as regular selling or very, very similar. We just have to get more comfortable with that as salespeople
we’ve gotta recognize that, wow, this medium is maybe 80% as good as face to face that the extra 20%.
The part that people are afraid of is they say, boy, this is way different.
I don’t know how to do this, or nobody would buy this way. Um, we gotta get over that because people are buying virtually every single day. And I don’t think buyers have much trouble buying over these channels. I think sales people struggle and say, there’s no way they’ve would.
But do you think it’s the same to build trust, to create engagement, to, uh, uh, to, to recreate, uh, an intimate relation with, with, uh, buyer?
Yeah. I don’t know if it’s exactly the same. Um, but I feel like, um, I can’t point out the direct difference other than we have to treat it as if it were an in person sales call with no handshakes. Right. So I think there’s a little more warmth. Perhaps that’s required of sales people a little bit more slow, um, slowing down our sales process a little bit.
I don’t mean more sales calls, but I, I mean, we’ve gotta spend a little bit more time getting to know the prospect about their business, about their opinions, about things.
I feel like that’s before the call or during the,
the, the, during the meeting, during the virtual call. I don’t know that, um, I mean, I tell my clients that you could spend.
I mean, a lot of times people do a ton of research before a sales call. And what I tell people is chats are any research you do is gonna be yesterday’s news. You’re gonna get more direct, um, to the minute, um, truth by talking with somebody then by doing a ton of research. So I tell my [00:04:00] folks, if you can, do you spend three minutes or less on research, right?
Know that you have a good prospect spend three minutes or less on direct stuff, and then spend that time learning about your prospect on the sales call.
And create link and taking time to absolutely have questions.
Yes. And to find out and what, this is. One of the things that I
really talk about a lot, Gabrielle is every salesperson is taught to ask questions.
Every single one, God asks the right questions. Even people have had no training. God ask the right questions, but what’s never taught or is taught very rarely is. What are the right questions? What are you trying to learn? And so, and sometimes it’s glazed over like who, what, where, when, why, how, but the reality is it’s more subtle than that is.
I wanna learn what my prospect’s opinions are about their current situation. So not just, what are your sales right now, or how many people have working for you? It’s what do you, you, so you’ve told me your sales numbers are X. What do you think about that? Is that good or bad? Right. What do you hope it would be in the future?
So is to ask people and that I feel like is the best way to connect with people, either in person or over the video is to, is to get their opinions about things. And then don’t argue with them.
And don’t you think that, uh, buyers want sellers to be more efficient, uh, through virtual selling to more, to be more direct, uh, to lose them less time than
Yes. I mean, I think the whole virtual selling thing is a time saver instead of if you get to, if you’re the sales guy and you go to your prospects office, right. You’ve got a whole lot more time of. Waiting in the lobby getting together some, let me show you the office, all that stuff can be cut out. I think it’s really important on the video call to engage with people as quickly as we can.
[00:06:00] Right. It’s we get to the point faster. And I would say that the point needs to be, when I say get to the point, it’s the seller. Understanding the prospect situation and the prospect, knowing that the seller understands their situation. So asking questions to understand their business situation and spending plenty of time to get all their opinions out.
And, and do you think that the buyer has enough time for that and is re really ready to devote enough time for that?
So here’s what I tell people, right? So I like, I don’t want anybody’s ex I want everybody’s expectations to be managed. So when I set up a sales call over zoom, I will say, Hey, when’s the time we can spend 30 minutes, or when’s the time we can spend an hour.
And then when we, then when the time comes, I’m gonna reconfirm, Hey, is it okay? Do you still have an hour? And then what are you hoping we can talk about? Right. What, and I asked price, what are you hoping we can talk about? And then I might say, here’s what I wanna talk about. Are you okay with that? So I’m gonna spend a few minutes at the beginning of the sales, setting it up.
What does this look like? Right. What are we supposed to be talking about today? And then I’m gonna give you to, then I’m gonna, I’m a big believer that the sales process should be more of a disqualification process than a qualification process. I think most people, and I think it’s a good general rule of thumb.
Most people aren’t ready to make changes. Most people are not ready. Not, I would bet that I don’t know, 80, 90% of the people you talk to, aren’t gonna be ready to buy. And if your numbers higher than that, it means you’re probably not talking enough people. Right. So I think it matters a lot, especially in the first sales call is to figure out what do they wanna talk?
How much time do they have, what do they wanna talk about? Get permission to ask what you wanna talk about. I will typically get permission to ask [00:08:00] kind of what’s the situation somebody’s in right now versus where they wanna be. I wanna find out the financial implications of, of that. And I wanna find out how they make a decision.
So I’m gonna ask, is it okay if we talk about those things and I’ll say, sure, typically, and then I’ll say, listen, if I get the feeling that I can’t help you, do you mind if I’m just straight with you? If I get the feeling I can’t help you, do you mind if I just tell you so, and usually what I get is a sigh of relief.
Oh man, that’d be great because salespeople, most buyer think that the seller is gonna try and convince him of something. And I think that’s the fastest way to lose trust is to try and convince your prospect of something they’ve gotta be, they’ve gotta be convinced themselves. And like
the idea is that of the disqualification process, because I, in France, I have an inbound marketing agency.
And plenty of fleet because I have more than 200 K visitor per month on a website. So it makes us plenty of fleets. And I have to train my sales, my sales team, which is not a big, big one, but it, uh, and I have to train them to disqualify. Uh, I, I don’t want every lead to be, uh, followed. I want only the good want to be followed and to, for them to be taking the right time for them.
And, and for you. Is the virtual selling, uh, a better tool to do disqualification.
Here’s what I like about virtual selling and why may be better for disqualification? You could have more meetings in one day, virtual selling than you can face to face. So I think you can, and also you’re eliminating a lot of drive time.
You’re eliminating a lot of, of time that’s just wasted in between, right? Because I can be, I used to travel a lot. I used to travel around the country and did a lot of my work, um, and you know, sales calls and stuff a, a lot. And now I I’m in my office. And so I spend, I mean, I probably [00:10:00] spent, I don’t know how many days traveling before the pandemic.
But now shoot, I rarely leave and I have all my sales calls this way. So I think it’s, um, super helpful to have this. I think it’s more efficient, more effective. And then I can actually have more sales calls, which makes me have a better pipeline, which then helps me have better feeling about, you know, this in the right fit.
Right. I’ve always got another one coming up.
Okay. So it’s a much better tool to disqualify, but oh, it is a better tool to engage. Many sellers are, uh, saying that virtual setting is, is a pain in the as, because, uh, it’s very difficult to engage because, uh, some of the barrier don’t turn on the, the camera don’t turn on the, uh, do other thing when, when they speak, uh, or you
or you, I think, I think that’s an excuse.
I think that, I mean, there’s a million reasons why we, can’t why virtual selling is different, but, um, it’s, you’re still as people dealing with people and if somebody would not turn on their camera and they said, I’m just not gonna do that. Then I would see that as a pretty, um, I would say, Hey, and they say, oh, it’s a bad day for that or whatever.
I would say let’s schedule a time when we can have a camera. I would reschedule. And if somebody said, I’ll never turn on my camera and I have to wonder how serious is that person. So, you know, I, I believe that we are not the right fit for everybody, that no company is the right fit for everybody. And if somebody is going to be hiding from you anymore than I would try to sell to somebody or their share turned backwards to me, Would I, would I worry about selling to somebody who wouldn’t turn their video on now?
Have I done it? Yes. Was it awkward? A hundred percent? Would I, do I want to do that? No, sometimes I’m forced to, but I will always ask, [00:12:00] Hey, can you turn on your camera? And let’s say, well, no, I can’t because of XYZ and say, how about we reschedule for a time that we,
and how does the react.
Well, sometime it’s I haven’t had that happen a lot, but oftentimes they’ll turn the camera on right then.
and we can have a normal conversation with them and, uh, yes.
And I just think it matters that we ask. Right. I think it matters that we don’t have to accept the, we don’t have to accept the terms that the buyer shows up with. They say, I’m not talking to you. I’m not turning the video on you say, okay, tell me why.
And if they have a really good reason to say, would it make sense to reschedule this for another time? I feel, I feel like it’s important for us to get to know each other. If they say I don’t wanna do that, then I might say, okay then fine. Let’s not reschedule. Let’s just end the call right now. Cause I’m clearly wasting your time.
or would you compare that to a phone call where you don’t have camera?
So great point. Um, and I use the phone all the time where there’s no camera. So, um, I just feel like though, if somebody’s getting on a video chat and they won’t turn on video, that’s a problem, but you bring up a good point. Hell I do it on the phone every day.
If somebody says, no, I’m not gonna do the camera and know, there’s not a way that no, there’s time, then I’ll say, all right, let’s do this then why don’t we just get on the phone or let’s just have the conversation here, but it really does give me a pretty good sign. It’s not a great prospect. Unless they say, I don’t have the equipment.
I’m so sorry then, but everybody’s got the damn equipment anymore.
So it’s part of your disqualification
process. Yeah, it can be it’s among and understand a lot of, that’s just kind of a gut feel if I’m not finding a connection and it’s up to me to make a connection, but if I can’t find a connection and they’re blocking me and not give me information, I guess more than turning on the video, if somebody’s not giving me the information that I need.[00:14:00]
If they’re not playing the game, if they’re holding back answering and yes, no answers or not giving the information they need, then I’m gonna go away. Right? Most of the time I find with the camera on and face to face, it’s much easier to relate. Just like being face to face in a meeting. Um,
I’m not so sure I have an exact answer for you, Gabrielle. I don’t know. I haven’t had that happen much. I don’t have people not turn on the video very often, but when it does happen, I’ll say, is there a reason why? And if the reason’s legit, then I’ll play along. But if it’s not I’ll reschedule or just cancel.
Okay, great. That’s a very good point. Um, some of the things that you want to share about virtual setting and the difference with the. Tradit in person setting. Is that, is that things that are changing in term of, uh, organization of the sales team of, uh, planning of the meeting?
I think planning is more important now than before I think, because we don’t have, because nobody wants to have their time wasted.
I feel like we need to have an agenda. I think we need to know our prospect’s agenda before we start the meeting. I think we also need to know what it is that we’re deciding in this meeting. What are we gonna decide? Yes or no, to at the end of the meeting and have that agreement up front, are we deciding whether it’s sign a contract?
Are we deciding whether or not to have another meeting? Are we deciding whether or not you’re gonna, you know, my, the person I’m talking to is gonna endorse me to somebody else, but to know that upfront so that all parties can know what it is they need to know before moving forward.
So more preparation,
clear, more and more acknowledgement.
Yeah. And more acknowledgement of agenda both ways. Yes.
Great. And, and is it something that you teach to your trainee? Uh, yes. Prepare them to that.
Yes. Absolutely. I do. And so we have, um, yeah, we have lots of classes on this. Quite frankly. [00:16:00] I don’t treat it much differently than regular selling because most of my clients at this point are still doing mostly virtual selling.
And so it’s like the normal, right. It’s the new normal. And I, I, I said you can make all kinds of excuses about how different it is, but I would tell you most of the time it’s the same. You still have to have somebody trust you enough to give you money, to make a problem, go away. Ultimately that’s sales, having somebody trust you enough to give you money, to make a problem go away.
And they’ve got those same problems virtually versus face to face. It’s just, are we willing to adapt the new medium? Maybe people thought selling over the phone was hard before and they had to get used to, we certainly got used to that. So, um, I don’t know that I’ve picked up a whole bunch of difference between the two.
It just makes it just us having a whole new set of excuses. Why it’s not working.
And what you can do on virtual setting is to use some tools to share presentation, to work together on, uh, collaborative documents to, to do kind of thing. Is it something that we, you recommend to.
Yes, I do. I’m a big believer in, in working, especially on like a, um, a presentation is to ask the person, what is it you wanna see?
What is it you wanna see or hear for me to be able to make a decision and or when you’re creating a proposal, I love doing it. Sat face to face. You know this way with my prospect, I’ll put it up and say, let’s go through this draft and see what’s what makes sense for you and what doesn’t make sense for you on the spot, as opposed to sending it off and waiting for them to get back to me, I’d much rather do it live.
my point of view, and it’s why I created sales deck is that you can really make something more collaboration. Selling to use the tool to do more than just having a conversation, but yes,
building something together. [00:18:00] I think that’s a brilliant idea. And I think you, we can use this because you’re right.
It’s easy to turn your laptop around to show them what you have. I think it’s a brilliant idea. Yes. And that the collaboration, it allows us to use more technology to show, um, different, um, you know, to show our thoughts and also to be able to work and change things on the fly. I think that’s great. Yeah,
that’s really the idea behind sales deck.
Thanks a lot worker. It was a pleasure to have you, uh, as a first guest of the virtual selling podcast, this first is over. We will meet twice a week for a new, with new stories and challenge of giant in the field. Don’t forget to subscribe to your favorite podcast at forms. So you don’t piece any
mass. Thanks to our sponsors. Sales deck.io, the virtual selling platform that increase sales productivity. Drive Kota attainment and accelerate growth book your sales deck.io demo today. To discover all you can close modules with engaging and better prepped customer meetings. Thanks a alert. Thanks a lot worker.
You’re welcome. Thank you much, Gabriel.