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If you are in senior sales, in order continue closing sales right now, you have to find new ways to walk seniors through their decision journey. The salespeople that we talk with report that using the phone to navigate the details of complex and emotional decisions is difficult. Understanding the value of moving to video vs. phone is vital for senior salespeople that want to retain and build their closing rate.

Consider what has to happen in order to close a sale:

  1. You have to build trust with the senior, helping them to know that you really have their best interests in mind.
  2. You have to qualify both need and ability to purchase.
  3. You have to match-up their desires with the options you can provide, and go through the options.
  4. You have to help them have confidence that you are an expert.
  5. You need to connect their emotions in a positive way to your offerings and help them understand the risks of waiting.
  6. You need to assure them that your products and services are of high quality.
  7. You have to satisfy regulatory disclosure requirements and navigate pricing and document signatures.
  8. You have to collect funds to move the sale to completion.

When you used to meet in person, many of the items above could occur simply by meeting with you and touring your facility. When you remove the credibility, empathy, and expertise that is established in the personal meeting, the entire burden of establishing, explaining, matching, disclosing and closing moves to your method of distance communication - either the phone or video.

Improve your sales to seniors with virtual sales skills

How long could it take on a phone call to work through all of the requirements? The answer we get from salespeople is many hours on the phone.

Video vs. Phone in Senior Sales

The comparison between these two approaches really comes down to the quality of communication. These three facts demonstrate why video wins this contest, hands down.

First, visual information creates stronger memories than auditory. A single picture or short video can communicate on many levels speaking to quality, social value, detailed features. Visual information is processed differently and sticks with us longer. Since you want your discussions to stick with your prospects, especially if they are comparing your offer to others, visual presentations are critical.

Second, visual information connects more quickly to our emotions. Since buying is emotional in nature, this is vital. Video allows us to connect to people's emotions more effectively. Consider the difference in impact between the photo and word below. You can test it by showing the word and saying "dog" to one person, and showing the picture to another person. Ask them what kind of emotions occur from this simple test.


Courtesy Press UCSD

Third, effective communication requires the ability to read body language. People get confidence, authority and empathy when they see the way you present yourself. You observe engagement, emotional connection, and readiness by viewing the body language of your prospects. Observing any of this on the phone is difficult if not impossible. The chart below shows how much of your communication relies upon visual communication.


 

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Moving from the phone to video creates a big advantage for completing sales more quickly, and creates a much stronger customer experience. If you want happy customers who refer others, then video delivers that in a much more effective way. But video meetings are not the same as in-person meetings and require a new set of skills.

How to Get Seniors on Video

Moving your sales from the phone (low close rate), to video (higher close rate) first requires that you're committed to it yourself. Learning this approach requires practice. Becoming highly effective might require some coaching.

The second key to getting seniors on video is to understand that the video meeting is part of a much larger process. You should sort out how the senior can communicate, long before the actual meeting.

Improve your sales to seniors with virtual sales skills

The third key is to realize that effective video requires new skills. You cannot simply take your old in-person meeting and transfer it to video. It will frustrate seniors and produce results more slowly and with a lower closing rate.

There is really no contest in the value of communicating by video instead of using the telephone for complex sales meetings. While reaching out by phone to set appointments, get things started or prompt the next step is a great use of the phone, it doesn't deliver what is possible using video plus a thoughtful communication process.

Learn 5 keys to more sales with seniors using virtual sales skills

David Mills

Written by David Mills

David is one of the founders of Story Collaborative and serves as the Chief Growth Officer. He is passionate about finding the right strategy for each client and helping them move into sustainable growth. He is a veteran of organizational development and communications and has worked with thousands of businesses and nonprofits across the country.