With lockdown keeping many employees at home, pitching over a digital screen has become the new norm. For salespeople and business development managers who have successfully built rapport with people across a table, virtual pitching is a whole new ball game.
Whether you are talking through a screen or in person, be yourself and be natural. This builds trust and a genuine connection, even if it is via virtual means. There are several ways in which you can perfect your next virtual sales pitch, so you’re able to be in control and get your message across in the most efficient and persuasive manner.
- Prepare well
It is important to touch base with your potential clients and check who they would like included in your pitch presentation. Once you have clarified this and have their email and phone details, ensure they are invited in the email invite link. Ask meeting participants whether they have any hearing or visual needs that you can assist with as part of your presentation. Also check whether they would like to allow time for questions afterwards. This type of preparation shows your potential clients that you are organised, thoughtful and professional.
- Neutralise your background
To help you create a great first impression before you even start to speak, make sure your background is uncluttered and free of any busy distractions, whether that’s a barking dog or a dizzying print on the wall. If your pet insists on being with you while you work, provide toys and food to keep him or her entertained. Your potential clients will be able to focus more on what you’re saying, instead of being distracted by what’s going on behind you.
- Dress professionally
It’s important that you wear what you would normally wear if the meeting was being conducted in the office. Not only does this put you in the right mindset by dressing for success, it also allows you to avoid an awkward moment. For example, if you had to get out of your chair and find a document, and your potential client sees that the bottom half of your outfit doesn’t exactly work appropriate.
- Test everything
Make sure you test everything before your meeting, ensure that your laptop is fully charged, your audio quality is proficient and not muted, you are capable of screen sharing and your laptop camera works. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Put a sign on your front door.
Put a sign on your front door that provides directions for visitors so you are not interrupted in the middle of your pitch with a doorbell or knocking sound.
- Make sure you are early
Being early to your meeting ensures you are able to fix any last-minute issues that may have suddenly arisen without your potential client realising.
- Eye contact
While it may be tricky to make direct eye contact with each person on the screen, just make sure that you’re looking at the camera. Try not to look elsewhere outside of the vicinity of the screen as your potential client may consider you to be distracted or unsure of what you’re pitching.
- Keep your slides concise
While PowerPoint slides are a great addition to your pitch, be careful not to overwhelm your audience with too much information. Practice uploading documents and sharing your screen prior to the meeting to ensure things go smoothly during the pitch.
While you can plan all you want, practicing your pitch is vital in order for you to be successful. Whether that’s in front of a friend over Zoom, your partner or dog, make sure you’re completely confident in your presentation. This will help to ensure everything goes well.