Guest post written by Ashley Davis. Ashley is a social media consultant that specialises in providing ‘done-for-you’ social media services for creative / digital agencies, consultants and small business owners.
How to sell 100% remotely to clients from all over the world from anywhere in the world
Are you tired of spending time commuting back and forth to client (or potential client) meetings?
Do you want to help more clients, rather than just those in your local area?
And do you want to have the freedom to work with people from anywhere in the world?
In this day and age, it’s a lot easier to do this, than you might think. And recently, there are more and more people who are taking advantage of working with clients remotely.
In this article, I’ll go through:
- How can I build relationships with potential clients online (rather than networking in person)?
- What is the best way to build trust with potential clients online (and what are the main areas I need to focus on)?
- How can I run sales meeting 100% virtually (and at the same time, save time and be more productive)?
Let’s get started.
Build relationships online using social media
What some people say: The only way to build relationships with people is through networking face to face
The truth: You can network with a lot more targeted people online!
The internet and social media has completely changed how we communicate with people.
Sure, networking in person and face to face, can be great (and I used to do a lot of it myself in the early days of my business).
But the truth is, these days, you can network and reach out to way more people online through social media.
Not only that, but if you network with people online, you can really drill down and talk to exactly the kind of people you want to talk to (your potential clients).
Sometimes at networking events, especially the generic ones, you talk to a lot of people who are not a good fit. On social media, however, you can see who people are and start conversions with only the most relevant ones.
- Who are you looking to win as potential clients? Be specific with their job title, industry, demographics, interests, etc.
- Where do these people hang out? Is it Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or somewhere else? Go wherever your people go! In my experience, most of the time, you can find your potential clients on one (if not all) of the social media channels above.
- Don’t be shy! Connect or follow relevant people. Hang out in the same Facebook or LinkedIn groups as them. Like, comment and share their posts. Get involved in conversations happening online. Be seen, known, liked and trusted in your space.
- Start a conversion. After engaging with your potential clients for a while, start a conversation with them. Don’t sell at this point. Just be friendly and provide value. A great way to provide free value first is by sharing with them free education content that you’ve created.
A quick example:One of the niche’s I primarily work with are other web design and creative agencies by white-labelling my social media services. So how do I find and reach out to them?
I hang out on the social media channels where these people are. I talk and engage with them. I start conversations with them by inviting them to webinars, to read my blogs, watch my videos, etc – all of which are designed to provide value and help them specifically.
Once they’re a part of my email list, they’ll eventually learn more about what I do and be given the opportunity to buy from me. I don’t rush this.
Top tip:You can use paid advertising on social media to more rapidly get your content and message out there in front of your potential clients. It’s a little bit more expensive then organically networking with people online (for free), but it takes up less time and you reach a lot more people much faster.
Create educational content your potential clients will love
What some people say:I’m too busy to create content (blogs, videos, etc)!
The truth: Creating online content is going to make selling to potential clients (both online or face to face) much easier and more effective in your business
Creating educational content that provides value to your potential clients, helps you build up trust.
The content you create provides proof that:
- You know what you’re talking about
- You can really help those in your target audience
- You’re the best person or company for the job
In the past (before the internet), when it came to selling, all you would do is get on a sales call and decide to buy or not.
A lot of the “trust building” part of selling was done during the sales call (things like building rapport, talking about case studies, providing social proof, etc).
All of this stuff is great, but in our modern age, customers are a lot more savvy and want to know a lot more about who they’re potentially going to be working with before before they actually book in that initial sales call.
An interesting study from Google (called the “zero moment of truth”) identified that over 70% of the buying decision is made before someone contacts you or asks for a quote.
Let me repeat this.
This means that before anyone contacts you, they’ve most likely:
- Check out your website
- Checked out your social media channels
- Read/watched/listened to your content
- Researched your services
- Looked at reviews/testimonials
- Compared prices
- Compared you to competitors
- And more…
… All before they have picked up the phone or contacted you to ask about your services.
And on top of that, they’ve already made up their mind and they’re 70% sure they want to work with you, before the sales call.
This is huge.
It means, on that sales call, all you need to do now is not mess it upand really prove to them that you’re the best fit for their specific needs. It’s a much easier sales call, because the prospect is already 70% sold in their mind.
- Write a list of the top questions your potential clients askyou on your current sales calls (could be things about how it works, pricing, how it compares to other solutions, etc)
- Create a blog post or video (or both!) on your website answering all these questions
- Send this content to your potential clients before your sales call
- Make it a habit to create new content for your business (answering your clients questions) as a minimum once a month (preferably a lot more!)
Top tip: The content you create on your website will also help you get organic traffic through search engines like Google and YouTube. The more good quality content you create, the easier it will be for you to start generating more organic traffic to your website (resulting in more leads and more sales).
A quick example: I create content (videos, blogs and an audio podcast) every month and almost every day I get new leads from Google who end up consuming my content and then asking for more help.
The great thing about this is that I don’t have to spend any money on paid advertising for these leads.
They are 100% organic.
Once your content is up and running on your website, it can provide you with leads and sales for months and years into the future.
Run your sales calls virtually
With the internet and technology, you no longer have to travel long distances to meet potential clients or work with people only in your physical location.
You can very easily and effortlessly set up a virtual online meeting with your prospects.
As I mentioned, 70% of the buying decision has already been made as a result of your content and marketing.But the remaining 30% of the sales process, which involves actually talking to your prospects, is still incredibly important.
If you don’t get this right, you don’t get the sale.
I’ve seen lots of business people generate leads and new business opportunities, but when they get to that sales meeting, they find it very challenging to convert these prospects into actual paying clients.
That’s why it’s so important you educate and train yourself and your team on how to sell effectively. We are all in sales. And as customers get even more and more informed we need well trained sales people who understand the customer need and add true value during the sales process.
So it’s not so much about where you are when your selling or talking to a prospect, it’s more about what you saywhen you’re on that call or sales meeting.
A quick example: When I started my social media agency I lived in London. Every single one of my sales meetings with a prospect was made in-person (me going to their offices or them coming to mine).
That’s just how it works (or so I thought).
I didn’t think anyone would ever buy anything from me, unless I met up with them face to face.
So when I made the decision to move from London to Miami, Florida I was a bit nervous to say the least.
“Would I still be able to win clients in London and the UK, selling to them virtually?” I wondered…
Well, it’s been over 2 years now, and the answer is without a doubt YES!
In fact, moving countries and working virtually with clients, is probably one of the best things that ever happened to me.
I now have clients from all over the world (so far UK, USA, Canada, Africa, Australia and New Zealand) and every one of those clients was won on a ‘virtual sales call’.
Top tip: To be clear, I’m not saying selling in person is a bad thing. It can still be a very effective way of selling to people and building trust. All I am saying is, if you want to attract even more clients from outside of your physical location and save time (on travel and things like that), then selling virtually is definitely a possibility if you want to use it.
- Download and use online web meeting softwarespeak to people. That way you can turn your video on and speak face to face (virtually) and also share your screen if necessary. With web conferencing software you can also invite multiple people to the meeting (even if they are all at different locations) and you can record the call to playback later.
The software I use and highly recommend for online meetings is Zoom (although there are lots of other good alternatives like GoToMeeting or Google Hangouts).
- Allow people to schedule meetings with you effortlessly using online calendar scheduling software.
I personally use and recommend calendly as it’s super easy to use (for yourself and prospects) to book and manage your meetings.
- Invest in a professional headset / microphone and webcam so get the best possible audio and video quality with your prospects
Ready to start selling to clients remotely?
Working from home and working with clients virtually is definitely a trend that’s on the rise.
Thanks to the internet, social media and technology, it’s also never been easier.
Leveraging this technology, will also allow you to work with and help a lot more people, compared to just working with people locally.
To get started, you don’t have to go “all-in” with only meeting people virtually.
You can start small and work your way up.
Top tip:I highly recommend you leverage as much video as you can (on your website and sales calls). Why? Since you’ll be meeting and speaking to people virtually, you still want to build a connection and rapport with your prospects. Just like you would if you were meeting face-to-face in person. In my experience, I’ve found recording videos and webinars, where people can see and hear you, can go a long way in building that trust.
As you start growing your online presence, creating more content and connecting to more potential clients online, you’ll also start to notice that selling 100% remotely to clients will naturally become easier and more effective in your business.