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VIRTUAL SELLING


How to Use Interactive Storytelling for Virtual Selling


GAVIN FINN


It’s no easier for internal meetings – a recent Gartner article states that sales leaders are struggling to conduct “business as usual” kick-off events. No surprise here. However, it is becoming more evident that this rapid shift to selling in a virtual setting – though difficult at first – can benefit B2B companies in the long run. How so, you ask? Once decision makers accept that virtual selling is here to stay, it will become not solely a necessity, but an opportunity to explore new ways to create truly en- gaging and interactive experiences to convey a company’s complex value dif- ferentiation story – and actually close sales. This is especially true when the customer is thousands of miles away, because the digital interactive sales process can reduce the cost of sale and also increase sales effectiveness. Albeit a sad truth, the average adult attention span is a whopping eight seconds (according to a Microsoft survey). Thanks to smartphones, smart watches, and all the other smart devic- es we use every day, we have to think smarter and work harder to avoid the top concern of all presenters on video calls: the dwindling attention spans on the other side of the screen. Sales and marketing teams have


an incredibly limited time to make an impression with potential custom- ers. This highlights why an interactive experience is crucial to cut through the clutter and stand out in a sea of virtual meetings. Call it a modern twist on the traditional in-person sales meeting.


Staring at a mosaic of strangers’ faces on a small laptop screen will never have the same impact as sitting among (and actually interacting with) your peers – feeling that special in-person energy that comes with human engagement. Yet, according to McKinsey, over 90% of B2B sales have moved to a videoconferencing, phone, or Web sales model.


26 | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021 SELLING POWER © 2021 SELLING POWER. CALL 1-800-752-7355 FOR REPRINT PERMISSION.


WHAT IS ENGAGEMENT? Cognitive science shows us that en- gagement has three components: • Multisensory experience (the prospect is doing more than just passively watching)


• Intellectual knowledge transfer (the prospect discovers relevant and useful information)


• Emotional connection (the pros- pect builds a bond that is more than analytical)


So, what does this mean? How do we channel these core concepts of in-


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