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How to Make Remote Selling Work

Here is how to provide great care and acquire new customers in a remote setup.

How to Make Remote Selling Work

Due to the tense economic situation, many existing customers are saving, and not-yet-customers are even harder to persuade to buy. Nevertheless, sellers who currently must work from their own living room should not give in right away. Not only is the coffee at home usually better than at customer meetings, but armed with a few practical tips from experienced salespeople, you can achieve excellent results in between couch and children.

1. Establish Routines

“My first and most important best practice centers on creating a routine. Having a structure to my day and week ahead means I can create goals and be as productive as possible,” says Ivonne Affhüpper, getAbstract Sales Manager in Zurich. “Assigning time to lead-gens, emails and calls means my work-life balance can be met and I can even fit in time for mindfulness practices during the day, which gives me extra energy to focus my mind for afternoon activities.”

Image of: Making Remote Work Work
Book Summary

Making Remote Work Work

Work from home on your schedule. Sounds great! Where do I sign up?

Gil Gildner Baltika Press
Read Summary

So what helps all other remote workers is also useful in the sales arena: Structure your day, coordinate with your colleagues, and assign different tasks to different time slots so that you don’t get tangled up.

Experiment to find out what time of day is appropriate for which task (keep your biorhythm and the customer’s rhythm in mind) and stick to it as far as possible. Focus, prioritize – and also take the necessary time out in between.

Related Summaries in getAbstract’s Library
Image of: A Mind for Sales
Book Summary

A Mind for Sales

More than great products or services, it’s the right mind-set that leads to sales success.

Mark Hunter CSP HarperCollins Leadership Read Summary
Image of: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Book Summary

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

To be highly effective, just initiate, focus, prioritize, connect, cooperate, improve yourself and let others win.

Stephen R. Covey, Sean Covey and Jim Collins Simon & Schuster Read Summary
Image of: The Now Habit
Book Summary

The Now Habit

Neil Fiore’s classic advice can help you overcome procrastination.

Neil Fiore TarcherPerigee Read Summary

“For me, routine means doing challenging, and possibly tedious, things first. I start my mornings with cold calls, for example,” says Ivonne. “Not because I love awkward mornings. But this way, I have a clear mind for everything else afterward.”

Image of: Eat That Frog
Book Summary

Eat That Frog

Goethe said, “The things that matter most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter least.” Tracy is less eloquent: Eat that frog.

Brian Tracy Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Read Summary

To prioritize your list, analyze what chances your product has or could have with individual prospects, how they change (keyword: context!) and why. If there is no likelihood of closing a deal and you cannot change that, get off: Don’t ride dead horses.

2. Leverage Tech

“Leverage the technology around you and use it to your advantage,” Ivonne suggests. “Professional social networks like Microsoft Teams allow us as a company to add a personal touch to stay connected and share tips, tricks and successes. Focus on our prospects’ and clients’ digital body language and understand what is important to them.”

Tracking your prospects interests and interactions are important in getting a response and building a rapport.

Ivonne Affhüpper

These summaries can help you proceed:

Related Summaries in getAbstract’s Library
Image of: Virtual Selling
Book Summary

Virtual Selling

COVID-19 often makes traditional, face-to-face selling impractical. Virtual selling fills the gap.

Jeb Blount Wiley Read Summary
Image of: The Art of Social Selling
Book Summary

The Art of Social Selling

Social media are more than social: How to make sales through YouTube, Flickr and Pinterest.

Shannon Belew AMACOM Read Summary
Image of: Gap Selling
Book Summary

Gap Selling

“Gap selling” helps salespeople overcome errors and improve results.

Keenan Read Summary

So, keep building your relationships with your top targets via social media and strengthen your online network. For example, use LinkedIn for your sales activity: Make sure you know when your top prospects move roles and when your top target accounts are in the news to build lead gens around relevant info.

The ways to follow your targets are manifold and depend on your field. But having a clear goal while everyone else can’t see the forest for the trees is a good way forward.

3. Type-Specific Selling: Analyze Your Contact!

“It helps to analyze your counterpart via preliminary research and then, especially with introductory video calls. I try to deduce crucial information for the next few minutes and maybe for the next years: How does the person talk? What does he or she want? What type of person are they? What can be derived from their background? What do the posters, paintings or objects in the living or working room say about them? How does he or she deal with their kids disturbing the call?”

Then, adjust your tone and speaking speed, find out which buttons you can push with them – and which ones you’d rather not push. On the one hand, this creates proximity to the customer; on the other hand, you not only learn more about what he or she wants, but also why and how.

The basic rule is: If you approach the matter with a positive mind-set, you will speak a positive language – and that goes down better than anything else, not only with potential buyers.

Ivonne Affhüpper

4. Avoid the “Thermostat Effect”

You know how it works: You set the thermostat in your apartment to a certain temperature – and your heating system then only heats until this temperature is reached. What is good for the climate in your room is a small catastrophe for the sales climate. So, try not to be a thermostat salesperson: If you only want to sell as much as you are told, you won’t achieve remarkable results.

A ‘good horse’ in sales tries to jump higher than it has to. Therefore always set yourself tighter goals than the company you work for.

Image of: Hard Goals
Book Summary

Hard Goals

You may think you can’t reach your goals because they’re too hard. Not so. They may be too easy.

Mark Murphy McGraw-Hill Education
Read Summary

To reach these goals, stay in touch and keep activity high. Keep following up as it might just be that next follow-up that one of your top prospects responds to, because the timing now works for them.

5. Goodwill and Empathy

“Now more than ever, people are longing to be understood and supported. So give people something they can use,” Ivonne adds regarding the prospect’s goals. So, analyze which “goodies,” especially those that cost you little or nothing, make sense in each case where you can support, and discuss them with your own company – contract details, terms of payment, free trial periods etc.

Remember: You strive for a ‘partnership’. But partnership also means making concessions where it makes sense.

Ivonne Affhüpper
Image of: Wired to Care
Book Summary

Wired to Care

Why empathetic companies do well…or why act like you have a reptilian should be reptilian brain when your customers are all heart?

Dev Patnaik FT Press
Read Summary

6. Combine Your Strategies

“One of my top success stories of the last years actually came from using most of the above best practices in a clever combination – and it almost crosses the line!” says Ivonne. “I picked up on LinkedIn that someone from my network moved from an ex-client from four years ago to one of my top target accounts. The contact shared how they were developing a new strategy and digital transformation. Leveraging data and driving innovation was at the heart of this, in addition to developing their staff, improving their customer centricity and attracting a diverse workforce.

That’s just a dream for aligning and mapping content from getAbstract’s library to inform them we could support their strategy!

I kept in touch weekly making sure I went the extra mile throughout the sales process – and nine months later we are one step away from bringing onboard a great client.”

Image of: Sales


Successful selling provides the subject matter for countless works of business literature. Obviously, experts still disagree on what the best sales strategy is.…

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