This spring we have all adjusted to find new ways of doing things. Like many other businesses, you’ve had to shift to using more online communication tools than you had before. You might just be thinking this is a tool to help keep your business going through COVID-19, but maybe video appointments should become a permanent part of your sales process.
It may be a while before the elderly or those with immune deficiencies will feel comfortable shopping in person. If the coronavirus rates go up in your community, you may need to reduce your business hours or close all together. It’s important to realize that some of the changes to retail will be permanent.
What if you could not only establish a video appointment system for buyers but also cut out the need for the second or third appointment? When you sell high-end appliances there can be numerous visits by the customer. For the customer’s convenience and the greater efficiency of your sales team, could you do one of those visits online? This could help in the battle to keep both your customers and your employees healthy, and if your sales team works on their delivery, they could move faster. Would that homeowner located a long distance from the showroom be more motivated to connect with you? There are so many advantages when your sales team embraces video appointments as part of the sales strategy.
Consider these steps to make video appointments a consistent part of your sales process.
Determine the best single platform (Zoom, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, etc.) and have everyone use that same platform. Different platforms have different features, so explore which one will suit your business and your customers the best.
Establish the protocol for scheduling appointments. You could have customers call the front desk or schedule directly with a salesperson. You could also use a scheduling software to book appointments. Decide which route you will take so that everyone on your team can use the same protocol in order to promote it to your audience.
Determine the guidelines for online appointments and communicate them with your salespeople. While the basic structure may stay the same, there are some unique aspects of videoconferencing that you need to consider.
- Greeting – Where should the video appointment start? Is there a single place in the showroom that you want all your salespeople to use? Because making a good first impression is still important, you need to consider the background visuals, the foot traffic and noise levels.
- Showroom – This will vary from customer to customer depending on what they want to see, but it’s important to make sure that clear communication (audio and visual) can happen. You may also need to invest in devices for your employees or establish guidelines for using their personal devices to allow them to easily and clearly communicate during video appointments.
- Close – What is the process for closing a sale via video call? Do they continue the video call through the whole process even after a salesperson transitions to a computer? If the video call will continue, you may need to equip the computer station with a phone or tablet stand in order to easily maintain the visual connection. You don’t want your customer staring at the ceiling or having the camera turned face down on a desk at the end of the call.
Have your sales team practice. Work out the glitches and identify potential issues by role-playing inside the showroom. Make sure everyone knows how to start and end a meeting on the chosen platform, so it’s a simple, smooth process. Have salespeople role-play through the process. Give them a partner so that everyone has the chance to play the role of the customer and the salesperson. They should experience what the customer sees and hears. Encourage them to think about how they want to hold their device/camera when walking, talking, and showing appliances. Identify places to avoid while on a call. For example, walking by the bathroom or breakroom where background noise might be too loud could disrupt the call. Provide employees a headset for the best audio quality for the customer. They should use the headset on a practice call to make sure it works and avoid as much background noise as possible.
We know that incorporating new ways of doing business can be challenging and uncomfortable. But the dealers that are able to make the adjustment are going to be the dealers that thrive during this time. At Riley & You, we are here to support your business with whatever you need to keep growing your business.