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Virtual Selling with Jeb Blount

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The world was turned upside down in March and if you weren't selling virtually before, you are now. Office space is going away, and more companies are going remote and staying that way. Learn the fundamentals of virtual selling from Jeb Blount, best-selling author and accomplished sales trainer.


Virtual Selling with Jeb Blount:

Full Transcript

Jeb Blount:
That way, I build a better bond with you and we can argue this till the cows come home, but human beings make decisions based on emotion first and logic later. When people like you and feel good about you, they’re more likely. This mean they always are, but they’re much more likely to do business with you in those situations. So it is in your best interest to take all of the virtual channels that you have and get really good at them. Because like you said, it’s probably permanently changed for most people.

Jeb Blount:
I think it’s permanently changed for everyone, because this is not to say that we’re never going to go back to face-to-face, because that’s not true. We’re going to go back to, face-to-face. We’re already doing face-to-face. But the point is, is I think we all learned. A lot of CEOs are learning, “I don’t have to get on an airplane to get everyone in my office. I can have a video call and accomplish a lot of this.” So if I can be more efficient, if I can blend virtual and in person, then if I’m going to invest the time to go in person, then I’m going to do it when it matters most.

Liston Witherill:
That’s Jeb Blount, continuing our conversation from last week. But this time about virtual selling. The world hasn’t gone mad, not yet at least, but it has gone virtual. I’ve thought, and I’ve written a lot about this topic and Jeb’s own businesses run virtually. He knows virtual selling. And in fact, he recently wrote a book about virtual selling, which he completely wrote in just about a month or so, which is amazing. Now, when it comes to virtual selling, there are a few major mindset shifts you have to make. First, you have to get over the idea that selling in person is better. I get it. You’ve done things a certain way for a long time, but that’s all over now. Don’t flatten the comparison of virtual and in-person to the binaries of better or worse. There are definitely advantages to both. I prefer selling virtually because it means I don’t have to travel around as much, and I get more time with my family.

Liston Witherill:
That’s why I’ve built my business 100% online for the last six years. But when most people say selling online is worse, what they really mean is one of two things, or maybe even both. One, they’re uncomfortable or their clients are uncomfortable in this new virtual environment. Or two, they’re having a hard time figuring out how to best bridge the gap to make virtual selling as close to an in person experience as possible. On this episode of Modern Sales I’ll be talking to Jeb Blount about his advice for virtual selling based on his new book, what so many people are getting wrong about virtual selling. And steps you can take to get better at it today.

Liston Witherill:
Welcome to Modern Sales, a podcast that will help you sell more by understanding how people buy. I’m your host, Liston Witherill founder of Serve Don’t Sell. And I dig through academic research, interview people inside and outside of sales, and nerd out on the psychology, economics and neuroscience to figure out how people make decisions. And I am on a mission to change the way 100 million people sell, so that buying B2B services can feel as good as your first brisket off your new smoker. Happy birthday to me my friend, or a portobello mushroom, if you’re vegan. If you’re listening on Spotify, hit that follow button so that you don’t miss an episode. And if you’re listening on iTunes or Apple Podcasts, please subscribe, leave an honest review. It helps me get the word out for the show so that we can together change the way 100 million people sell. Thank you in advance for your help.

Liston Witherill:
Now, a quick note before I get into the interview with Jeb about virtual selling. If you’d like to go even deeper into this topic after you’re done listening to this episode, check out episodes 116 through 118, scrolling back in your feed, where I talk about how to make the transition from in-person to remote selling. How to sell over video and build trust, and the difference in how to run your sales process remotely. You can also check out an in-depth article I have on my website with specific tech recommendations for your remote selling setup. Just go over to servedontsell.com/remote-selling. Again, that’s servedontsell.com/remote-selling. Now to the show.

Liston Witherill:
What are the big differences between virtual and in-person selling? And what can you do to level up your virtual selling? I asked renowned bestselling author, Jeb Blount, and he has some advice for you in part two of our interview, coming up right after this.

Liston Witherill:
Welcome to Modern Sales. Once again, I’m Liston Witherill and I am here for the second time with Jeb Blount of Sales Gravy. This time we are going to talk, not about negotiation, but about virtual selling. Welcome, Jeb.

Jeb Blount:
Thank you for having me back for the second time to talk about virtual selling. I think that we talked in the pre-show about all the thoughts that you have around this. It’s certainly a subject that everybody’s focusing on. So I’m interested to get into it.

Liston Witherill:
I’m curious from you, just from the very top, because this is everybody’s first question is, what is so different about selling remotely? And for me, when I started to get the news about coronavirus and I started to understand the math behind it, I thought, “Okay, selling for at least a percentage of sellers could be permanently changed from an in person to a remote or virtual setting.” How do you think about the key differences between in-person versus virtual?

Jeb Blount:
Well, I think that you’d be a fool to say that virtual is better than in person, because it’s not. In person conversation is the best form of human engagement, period. It’s just not always the most efficient form. And certainly during the coronavirus pandemic it’s not the best form, because the person that you’re interacting with can leave you with a gift called a virus. So-

Liston Witherill:
Hold on, I’m not going to let you off that easy. Why is in person the best form?

Jeb Blount:
Because in person, so for example, you and I right now are talking on video, and I’m looking at a camera. And as you can tell, I’m making eye contact with you, correct?

Liston Witherill:
Yep.

Jeb Blount:
Yep. Because I’m looking directly at the camera. You’re not making eye contact with me because you’re looking at your camera and you’re looking at your screen where your camera is. And so in this particular situation, right, because we’re not making eye contact, there’s a rift in our communication. Although this virtual meeting that we’re on, where I can see you, now you’re making eye contact with me, right?

Liston Witherill:
I am.

Jeb Blount:
So now you’re making eye contact with me, but I’m looking at you and I’m not making eye contact at you. By the way, this is called the eye contact paradox, right? Now because you’re in front of me on a big screen, I’ve trained my brain to look at the peripheral, so I can see your micro expressions, but that’s something that I’ve learned to do. But this whole communication would be so much warmer, so much more connecting if I was there with you, because I could see the entire picture. I could see your body, I could see where you are. I can see your micro-expressions. There’s a whole different form of communication there. And human beings were made to communicate one to one face-to-face.

Liston Witherill:
Yes. We’re not evolved to be on Zoom all the time.

Jeb Blount:
We’re not, now the closest facsimile to that is on video. Now you can see me. So a couple of things about my presence here. First of all, I’m making eye contact with you. I’m looking into the camera. It makes it easy for me because you’re sitting right behind my camera. So I’m looking through the camera at you. And if David, my producer, who just left me, if he moved the picture over just a little bit, like you would be framed right in my camera. I also have a camera that has a teleprompter. It’s got a 27 inch teleprompter on it. It’s a big Sony. It’s super expensive. But in that situation, if we were on that camera, I would be looking at you through the camera.

Jeb Blount:
So your face would be there, and I wouldn’t see the camera. In that situation I’m able to create a better vision for you. So one of the things that you’ll see, and you’ve got a pretty good frame there, is my frame horizontal. It’s going to be the vertical and the horizontal axis are straight up and down like you would normally see me. You can see my hands, really important part of communicating. So when we’re with people, people want to see their hands. You can see my torso so you can see me as a human being. So I’ve given you a lot bigger view. I’m also in a wide angle lens, which makes it a little bit easier as well. But even then the cure, I mean, you’re a super nice guy like, and I know that if we got together in person and let’s say we had lunch or something, we would walk away and I would go, “Man, I really like you.” There would be a different type of bond. So in person is just better from a communication standpoint than any other way of communicating period.

Jeb Blount:
It’s just not the most efficient way. So for example, if I’m going to drive, what city are you in?

Liston Witherill:
Portland, Oregon.

Jeb Blount:
I’m in Georgia, right? So if I had to get on an airplane and fly to Portland to see you, so I’ve got to drive to the airport. Get to the airport, get on an airplane, spend a 1,000 bucks in a plane ticket. Get off the airplane, get an Uber, come find you, go have lunch for an hour because that’s about as long as you want to spend me right. Then go back to my hotel, sleep, and the next morning get up and fly back here. Imagine how much time, I’m going to spend almost 24 hours in order to have an hour long meeting. So even though the communication would be better in person, the cost of doing that, doesn’t really make sense for us unless we were like, if you and I were going to put together a $20 million deal that was going to impact the rest of our lives, I’d get on the airplane and go do that.

Jeb Blount:
We’re doing a podcast. So that doesn’t make sense to do that. So from the very get go with Virtual Selling, the new book I’ve got coming out next week is I just tell the truth. The truth is, is that person-to-person, face-to-face, is being there physically is the way humans communicate, is the way that we operate. It’s why so many people feel sad being locked up during the coronavirus. We like to spend time with people. But virtual is a facsimile for being in person. Therefore, whether it’s video or email or snail mail, by the way, snail mail is virtual communication, a lot there. Direct messaging, video messaging, video calls, real time synchronous video calls to telephone, text messaging, no matter what it is, right? No matter what it is, what I want to do inside of each of those channels is to try inside those channels, both with my messaging and my technology and my technique to make it as close to a human-to-human connection as I possibly can.

Liston Witherill:
Yes.

Jeb Blount:
Right? That way I build a better bond with you. And we can argue this till the cows come home. But human beings make decisions based on emotion first and logic later. And when people like you and feel good about you, they’re more likely, this mean they always are, but they’re much more likely to do business with you in those situations. So it is in your best interest to take all of the virtual channels that you have, and get really good at them. Because like you say, it’s probably permanently changed for most people. I think it’s permanently changed for everyone, because this is not to say that we’re never going to go back to face-to-face, because that’s not true. We’re going to go back to face-to-face. We’re already doing face-to-face.

Jeb Blount:
But the point is, is I think we all learned. A lot of CEOs are learning. I don’t have to get an airplane to get everyone in my office. I can have a video call and accomplished a lot of this. So if I can be more efficient, if I can blend virtual and in person, then if I’m going to invest the time to go in person, then I’m going to do it when it matters most. Maybe an example would be, I sell capital equipment into manufacturing and there’s some engineering work that needs to happen. And I need to go look at the space and those cases, wouldn’t that make sense to do that virtually? You need to go there, like you need to physically be in that space and see it. You’re closing a massive deal. You and I are doing a $20 million deal.

Jeb Blount:
It may make sense for me to be there personally for that. But you and I probably would have had five or six virtual meetings prior to that. So we would both agree that it was worth the time and effort for us to get together in person and make that bond. And I think that this is where we’re all going to go. And this transcends sales, this is business as a whole. So you’re a small business owner. You’re going be more efficient if you meet with your vendors via video than if you schedule time to see them all day long. If your doctors, and we’re already seeing in the medical industry, and if you’re a doctor, you can schedule time to sit with your patients. So I can stay connected to my patients way more efficiently. And by the way, bill more, and then I’ll come see them.

Jeb Blount:
Like when they’re coming in for a major checkup, I’ll be in person with them. So I’ll build that bond with them there. And then the virtual communication is a lot better because we already have a … We know each other. And the great example of that was, if I did come to Portland and you and I had spent some time together, all of our virtual meetings from then on would feel so much better and so much closer, because that level of familiarity is a lubricant for a virtual community.

Liston Witherill:
The way I’ve summarized the differences between virtual and in person is not necessarily better or worse. I agree with you, that communication in person is much richer. And so I think of there really being an information gap when I’m virtual, right? Like you’re just getting less information about me. If I go into someone’s office, I can see their diplomas on the wall. I can meet the people they work with. I can get a sense of what’s going on with this business. They can see the car I drive, how my clothes look, do I look disheveled? Do I have my stuff together? How do I treat other people in the office? There’s all this other information that we take to form our opinion of somebody, right?

Liston Witherill:
The emotional side as you point out, but there are tremendous advantages as well. So one of the things I focus on a lot is trust, right? As you say, so much of our decision making is emotional. I think it’s not controversial whatsoever. How do I build more trust in a remote setting when I’m used to just kind of marching into someone’s office, being really likable and charismatic, which I think is at least at a minimum, the stereotype of a lot of good salespeople. How do I do that in a remote setting?

Jeb Blount:
It’s a beautiful question. And if you think about how we build trust, so building trust is a process and it begins with five basic questions that people are asking about you in every single interaction. The first question they’re asking is, “Do I like you?” That’s basic by the way, and that question, “Do I like you,” happens before they even know whether they like you. So if you just think about how we like people. We like people because of like what you said, I walk into their office and I see the diplomas. I see that we have familiarity because we both went to the same college.

Jeb Blount:
I see how you treat people. You can see the entire picture. And even walk into an office you get that little small talk as you’re walking down the hall to their office, after you walk out of the reception area. So you begin building trust that way. But if you think about it, you make a decision and they make a decision in their mind, “Do I like you,” from the very get go. And it happens before they know about it. So if you start thinking about liking, I’m just going to ask you a quick question. Who’s your favorite actor?

Liston Witherill:
Oh gosh. I’d say right now Adam Driver is pretty damn good.

Jeb Blount:
Adam Driver. And you hang out with Adam driver, like on the weekends, have beer?

Liston Witherill:
Yeah, all the time.

Jeb Blount:
Awesome. Like you probably never met Adam Driver, right?

Liston Witherill:
Yeah. He flies to Portland to spend an hour with me.

Jeb Blount:
Yeah, exactly, right. So, but we have people in our lives like an Adam Driver that we feel like, “I could trust this person.”

Liston Witherill:
Sure.

Jeb Blount:
And we feel there’s a level of familiarity and comfort with them that we have just because we’ve encountered them so often. So familiarity breeds liking. By the way, so does having a great frame on your video, or using the right messaging on an email, or being polite and kind, or thinking about the other people. I mean, all of the things that build trust in real life begin there, except for it’s the familiarity piece. If I got on an airplane and spend an hour with you together, we would have so much more familiarity with each other that it would be easier for us to build trust. So one of the things you have to think about in a pure virtual world is, what are you doing to create that level of familiarity?

Jeb Blount:
What an actor does is an actor is on TV shows and they do really cool things and you want to go see them. But what we can do in the virtual world as business people is, we’re more active on social media that we are producing content that connects with other people that we are intentional about targeting the people that we’re going to meet with, with social media, so that they can get to know this and they can see us familiarity breeds liking. Now, if we go to number two, how do we build liking? It’s, do I listen to you? That’s the next question. Well, the easiest way to be likable and the easiest way to start building trust is to listen.

Jeb Blount:
So when you get on virtual calls, it’s so important to just stop and ask questions and all of the same things that you would do in person with discovery, you do on a virtual call. One of the big mistakes that salespeople make on virtual calls is we have a tendency to talk at people. Because first of all, being on a virtual call, staring at a video camera makes you nervous. I do this all day long. Like you asked me earlier, “Like you’re probably a pro at this?” I do this all day long and I still don’t feel comfortable in front of a camera as I do in person. There’s just something missing.

Liston Witherill:
Well, there’s less feedback, right? I think that’s the big difference.

Jeb Blount:
Yeah, you’re not getting the feedback. You don’t know when to shut up. You don’t see those things. So what happens is, instead of pulling them in, you miss that. And by the way, it’s harder to get other people to engage and talk and open up on a virtual call than it is in person. But when you listen to people they like you. Third question is, do you make me feel important? So do you make me feel significant? The most insatiable human need is the need to feel significant. Well, the easiest way to make someone feel significant is, that you listen to them and you pay attention to them. The fourth question is, do you understand me? Do you get me in my problems? And understanding is a part of listening to people repeating back what they say, making sure that when you’re bringing proposals, you’re using their language, not your language that you understand that people buy for their reasons, not your reasons. That you’re connecting in a way that tells them, “Look, I really get you.”

Jeb Blount:
And by the way, that’s the deepest relationships that you have in your life are the ones where people say, “This person totally gets me.” And you do the same thing in the business world. It’s not the same type of connection, but it’s the same feeling. That leads to the final question. Do I trust and believe you? And I think that’s your question, but you can’t get to do I trust and believe you until you’ve answered those other questions. So you start thinking about working in the virtual world. How do we answer those questions in the physical world? We answer those questions in the physical world, this is going to sound crazy now, by executing the sales process, step by step, by step, by step, right? As we move through the micro steps of the sales process, we build rapport. We build a relationship.

Jeb Blount:
We prove that we get to know people. We build trust through the process of listening and presenting case. So it’s exactly the same thing in the virtual world. And you have to build trust. You have to move through the steps except for in the virtual world. It’s going to move way faster, way faster, because we’re cutting out all the steps in between driving places or what have you. And it also means that you got to be better. Like you got to be on. So just in this setup, when you and I are on video, you got on and looked at my set and went, “Wow, that’s pretty good.” And I just saw the look on your face, and most people do, because, and clients do, and we sell seven figure deals on the set and we’ve torn part of the set up and why do we have this?

Jeb Blount:
Because, I got to be better on camera than I am on person. I have to have a setup here that says, I’m here to win deals. This little microphone right here is pretty good sound. It’s not a hundred bucks. So if you want to win, you’ve got to invest in the equipment. You got to decide like, this is what I’m going to do in order to raise the level. And by the way, that goes with every single type of communication from communicating by phone. Crazy as it sounds, people are terrible at email, as much as we send email. So making sure you have the right, you’re sending the right email messages, whether it’s down pipeline, working with your clients. Or whether it’s whether you’re prospecting and all the way through, every virtual tool you just have to be better.

Jeb Blount:
And you’ve got to operate at a much higher level of energy and passion and attentiveness to the people that you’re dealing with in order to then be a facsimile for in person. Because that’s all this is, right? All we’re doing is we’re just replacing in person with this, and you, I think you nailed it. Like you said, you just get less information that is the … I probably shouldn’t have even written the book. I mean, you just wrote the whole book for me. So we’ll just forget about the book, right?

Liston Witherill:
Going back to that premise, right? So people have less information when we’re selling remotely. And therefore I think the sort of ramification as a seller is, my buyers still have to make the same decision, but now they have less information. And as you’re saying, this is why you have the set behind you, and great lighting and great sound. And I agree, investing in sort of a minimum technology setup is absolutely crucial. I think it’s unavoidable. And when I’ve given people advice about virtual selling, they’re kind of surprised. They’re like, “Oh, your setup costs $3,000.” And now I’ll say, “But it looks nothing like Jeb’s. Imagine what he’s spent.” I think this sort of filling in the gap and allowing people to make a good decision with less information is critical, which to me means you talked about email being sort of surprising how bad it is still.

Liston Witherill:
One thing that I think is hilarious and weird about business is we have no formal education about how to have a good meeting. We spend half of our day in a meeting and we never spend the time to think about what even makes a good meeting. And so how do you think about structuring your meetings in a virtual setting? Is there any difference? Because I think to me the stakes are much higher.

Jeb Blount:
They are. There’s a couple of things with meetings. So when I’m working with sales people, number one is pre-call planning. So why are you there? What’s the objective? The second thing is setting the agenda from the get go. So you’ve got to get control of the meeting and it’s your meeting. It’s going to move faster. Now that doesn’t mean there isn’t some small talk at the very beginning, the more I get to know people like I did a call yesterday and the person came on, we were … I was in tears, I was laughing so hard. But it’s like the sixth time that we’ve met and we’re moving towards a deal that’s going to get closed I’m pretty sure at this point. But we weren’t that way at the beginning. And now she’s telling jokes about her kids. And I just was, I mean, I was about to lose it, but it was great because we had opened up that way.

Jeb Blount:
And then it was an easy shift in the business. The reason we shifted in the businesses is because I have an agenda, my agenda is I say, “Listen, it’s so nice to see you today. Thank you so much for taking time.” You did this to me earlier. Do we still have 45 minutes? Right. So I’m just checking with the time, that’s a basic thing. My objective today is to accomplish this, this and this. Is there anything that you would like to put on the agenda? I always have a whiteboard behind me, so I usually have a smart board here. So in this space right here, they’re testing it in another studio over there for a keynote that we’re doing, but I have a white board here. So I have all my subjects up on the whiteboard. So if they say, “Yeah, I want to cover this,” I put it on the whiteboard.

Jeb Blount:
Oh and by the way, with my whiteboard I just download the whiteboard and I send them the PDF of the whiteboard. So all of my notes become their notes. So I’m able to send that over. So I’ll write down anything they have and I’ll go, “Great. Well, my first question for you is this.” So the very first thing I do is move into asking questions, not pitching. So I’m going to ask questions, get them talking, and then I’ll bridge into other things. So as long as they’re talking, they’re engaged. If they’re not talking, they’re not engaged. So I’m running that way in a typical meeting. And then once we’ve accomplished our objective, there’s a next step. So I’ve already decided what my target in the next step is. So in the meeting I say, “Okay, now we’ve accomplished this. Our next step is this. Let’s go ahead and get that on the calendar.”

Jeb Blount:
And that’s how I run meetings, very tight. If I’m doing a presentation, so I’m delivering information. So I’ve done several meetings and now I’ve got to deliver information. In those situations that’s where people really fall apart is they fail because they either over talk or they bore people to death. In that situation when you’re presenting, one of the most important things that you need to do is you need to learn how to slow down and pause. You slow down and go, “All right, listen, you told me when we were walking through your plan, or when we were talking about this, or when we had this conversation that these two things were important to you. I want to check and make sure I answered your questions.”

Jeb Blount:
What I do is I get questions for each of the stakeholders. Now if there’s just one stakeholder, it’s super easy, but if there’s more than one, and what I found is that on most of my video calls, there’s more than one. If I’m going in person, and a lot of cases I’m only meeting with one person, but that’s because it’s a lot of risk and time to come to a physical meeting. But on virtual calls, man, I got stakeholders showing up out of the woodwork. Like we brought Janice in, now she’s the lunch lady. She’s usually at the deli, but we thought she might be interested in hanging out and giving us her opinion. Like that’s how these virtual meetings go. So I want to know who’s going to be on the call. I want to stop, and I want to ask questions individually. And then my presentation is going to be the rails and then keep people engaged, move forward.

Jeb Blount:
I need to keep the pace moving, right, but not too fast, not too slow. And then pause and check, pause and check, pause and check, pause and check, pause and check all the way through. So it’s typically going through that. But if you think about why people fail at meetings, it’s not so much that we haven’t been trained to do meetings, it’s that we haven’t been trained to prepare for the meeting. If you’re prepared for the meeting and you have an agenda and you have an objective and you know what the next step is, then the meeting should lead through that path to get you to the next step. Now with virtual meetings in particular, what I do is send the agenda out in advance.

Jeb Blount:
I don’t always do that with a face-to-face meeting, because as you said, all the information is there. It’s different. I can flex in the moment so much easier on a face-to-face meeting than I can in a virtual meeting. I’m going to give you an example of how hard it is emotionally to flex in a virtual meeting. Yesterday, I was training a group of salespeople. They were in different countries all over the world and we had a two hour training. It’s part of a six sessions of training, and they piped through a VPN change. And half of my group got kicked out of the meeting. And then they had to come back in during a breakout.

Liston Witherill:
That doesn’t happen when you’re in someone’s office, does it?

Jeb Blount:
Never, like nobody ever gets kicked out. There’s not a VPN and then they just disappear. They just all disappeared, when they came back. So I’m doing the report out from the breakout, hoping that some work got done and about half the group got it, and about half the group didn’t. Now I had a choice in that moment to keep moving, and I can tell you, all of my emotions were, like I felt really bad. And I felt embarrassed, even though it wasn’t my fault.

Jeb Blount:
This was their own system’s fault. I felt like, “Do I keep going or do I stop?” And I had to make myself do what I knew would be the right thing. If I were in a classroom teaching and my classroom got disrupted and we came back, I would redo the exercise. But on the virtual meeting, crazy as it sounds, I’m having this moral conversation in my head about what should I do in this particular situation? Fortunately I went back and I said, “Okay, we’re going to stop and do this over again.” So I put them all back in the breakout groups again, and we did it over and it was totally the right thing to do. But so much harder to manage your emotions in those moments when things sort of get screwed up. So as you’re moving through the presentation, as you have your plan, you got to realize that if you don’t plan, if you don’t have your objectives, you don’t have your agenda. If you don’t know what the right things are to do, then it’s so much easier just to go in and wing it. And when you wing it just evaporates, like you said.

Jeb Blount:
And it’s the planning part and the agenda part that matter. So I send the agenda out first. I usually send presentations out first. The only exception of that is if it’s a brand new customer, a brand new prospect that I’ve never done business before, and I don’t have a relationship with, I almost never send the presentation to them first, because I want to make sure I’ve got control over it.

Jeb Blount:
Once I know people and I know their personalities, and I know that when I’m doing presentations, I’m going to win the business. Then I send everything out and first to get them socialized to it, which again helps lubricate the meeting and make the meeting go better. But the emotions of running a virtual meeting and the example I gave you from yesterday, it was just like this gut wrenching right in the middle of my training kind of thing that just, it was hard and it happens on virtual meetings more than you like to think.

Liston Witherill:
I agree. And if you’re not used to being in a virtual setting, you’re not used to the element of technology totally disrupting things. Another kind of more common thing that I see is the other person has not a stellar internet connection, which means you’ll be talking over each other more because there’s a delay in their side. Anyway, it creates lots of problems.

Jeb Blount:
There’s some scientific data by the way that says that when there’s delays in communication, that people trust you less. So-

Liston Witherill:
I’m sure.

Jeb Blount:
One solution for that, that I recommend to people. If you’re in a situation, on your side that you can control where you have a delay in your internet, dial in on your phone. So dial in on a land line, and I’m going to give you one more piece, and then we’ve got to run, but one more piece of just advice here. And this is important for virtual, and particular video. So phones are a little bit different, emails not so bad. But when you’re doing video calls, if something goes wrong, there’s a technical issue and something goes wrong, it doesn’t make a difference if you’re dealing with a human being that cannot just log into their computer, like they can’t even get their computer to turned on. They blame you, it’s your fault. So it’s super important that prior to any virtual meeting, that is a video type meeting, a video conference, that you get every duck in the row that you possibly can, every one. So that you eliminate all the possibilities that you possibly can to there being a problem.

Jeb Blount:
Because otherwise they have a tendency to just say, “It’s your fault.” And I’ve watched it happen in real time. They’re like, “We can’t hear you.” Like, “Wait a minute. You don’t have your mic turned on, your speakers turned on.” So that happens from time to time, but they blame you.

Liston Witherill:
Yeah. Well, lots of hurdles to overcome and get set up. But once you get set up for virtual meetings, it’s going to go a lot easier. Jeb Blount, thank you so much for being here. You’ve given tons of great information. For people who want to find out more about you or connect with you, what should they do?

Jeb Blount:
Yeah, easiest way is to go to salesgravy.com. That’s my website. You can also go to jebblount.com. My name is spelled B-L-O-U-N-T. And you can find me on every social network. I’m @salesgravy everywhere, except for LinkedIn, and in LinkedIn just type my name in and you’ll find me.

Liston Witherill:
Excellent. Thanks so much for being here.

Jeb Blount:
Thank you.

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Up next…

Check out the four sales fundamentals every top performer masters, how to use value-based selling to increase your leverage, and how to improve your remote selling skills as the world becomes more virtual.

And check out the SDS method if you want to improve your sales process.

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