It’s not your imagination. Relationship-selling has taken a big hit this last year. Those in-person interactions with customers provided valuable shared experiences and opportunities to read and share a full range of expressions and emotions.
Relationship-Selling According to Harvard
According to The Harvard Business Review (HBR), building new relationships has proven especially difficult in a virtual world:
“With limited or no opportunity to meet in-person, buyers naturally turn to known, trusted suppliers who already understand their business needs. For sellers, this makes access to prospective buyers the first chokepoint. And if sellers do get access, virtual-only connection makes it difficult to address additional challenges of winning new customers.”
This is bad news for sellers trying to establish new relationships — the life and blood of sales — or deepen existing relationships. While this isn’t a death sentence for new business development and virtual sales, it does ring a clear warning bell that the way sellers are currently using video is ineffective in replicating or replacing most in-person meetings.
Building New Relationships Virtually
Fortunately, it does not have to be this way. Building a new relationship virtually is not impossible. In fact, it happens all the time.
For example, have you ever had that feeling that you “know” an actor, a reporter, a news anchor or influencer, simply because you’ve seen them on screen regularly? Perhaps you could imagine sitting down and easily slipping into a conversation with them over a beer. How is that possible? Do you think that actors, broadcasters, and influencers are born with an innate ability to effortlessly establish a personal connection with each member of a virtual audience?
The Skills That Enable Virtual Relationships to Flourish
I know from firsthand experience that this couldn’t be further from the truth. What they do have that most people do not is a unique skill set that enables them to create relationships that flourish in a virtual world. That skill set includes learning how to:
- Establish a personal relationship with each person in the audience
- Manage attention and build interest through eye contact, gestures, and body language
- Convey credibility, authenticity, and empathy through expression and intonation
- Engage in a dynamic two-way conversation without being able to see their audience
As an actor appearing in numerous television shows, films, and commercials, I learned those skills and techniques as well. As a salesperson and presentation coach, I adapted them to fit the needs of today’s sellers, and now I’m excited to share them with you in my new book, Look Me in The Eye: Using Video to Build Relationships with Customers, Partners and Teams!
Get Your Free Guide to The Top 10 Credibility Crushers And Virtual Trust Builders!
In this Free Guide, you’ll learn how to avoid the Top 10 Credibility Crushers and get tips for quickly building trust with prospects and customers in virtual meetings, calls and recorded videos.