An update to last year’s blog post, Activate Your Virtual Superpowers.
Last year Seema Jain from MURAL and I co-wrote a blog focused on Activating Your Virtual Superpowers, where we covered how to adapt your sales talents to the virtual world after the pandemic.
Now that some of us are going back to the office full time, some part-time, and some staying fully remote, how do you balance the many ways to interact with your clients?
As a reminder, a superpower is a unique talent you have. It’s what you do well, better than most, what is admired by others, and why you excel. Superpowers tend to create value for others when they experience it from you. So let’s talk about honing your hybrid sales superpower.
The R-F-P Hybrid Superpowers
Here are three areas we think about in the Hybrid space that need to be managed regardless of whether you are face to face, virtual, or have a mix of both.
Relationship: Cultivate relationships right from the get-go so that people feel connected and are game to contribute.
Facilitation: Engage meeting participants through skillful facilitation that is efficient and outcome driven.
Platform: Co-create visually to drive connection and collaboration.
It’s hard for human beings to connect when they’re not physically together, and even harder when some of the team is in the office together and others are at home. How do you make sure everyone feels included and a part of the process?
- Ensure every conversation has a virtual option. If you’re starting to take meetings with teams in offices again, be sure to include a dial-in or Zoom option in every meeting so members of the team who are remote can feel included and join in.
- Check in. At the start of the first call, check in with each person. Make sure you understand their chosen work environment: Is everyone coming back to the office? Are some splitting their time between the office and home? Are some fully remote for the foreseeable future? This way you know how to best structure your conversations down the road and can keep everyone included.
- Be transparent about how you’re doing in this hybrid environment. Be yourself. This can be a time to let them know your chosen work environment and how you’ll be showing up throughout the process.
A good facilitator is a gift to a group; someone who confidently keeps a group on track and makes sure outcomes are met. They allow people to relax, be their best selves and have their voice heard. If you’re working with a hybrid group, good facilitation is even more crucial. It can be tricky. We can all do a few simple things to get better at this role when we are working with our customers. Here are a few tips:
- Agree (or co-create) desired outcomes at the beginning of the call and ask for input before kicking off the meeting.
- If you have a large face to face meeting, as well as people online, assign someone in the room to be in charge of those online to make sure they can hear and are heard.
- Use a boomerang to keep people engaged. We all know how much easier it is to multitask when we’re on a virtual call versus in-person. Keep everyone engaged by sending a topic or question around your hybrid room (boomeranging) and asking people to weigh in.
You increase engagement to the extent that you can co-create with them. Collaborating on a common platform is one way to do this, and in a hybrid environment creating a digital space is key so everyone has access to the content.
- Master and model your platform. Know how to use your chat and screen share functions for your meeting platform and model this by way of encouraging your participants to engage with them as well. Be sure to let everyone in person and online know how to best engage with one another during sessions on the chosen platform so no one gets left out of the conversation.
- Use a common visual space. People need a common visual focus to help them think and to foster engagement and collaboration. A virtual whiteboard enables everyone to immediately collaborate before, during and even after your meeting. A great option is MURAL.
Enhance your brand by leveling-up your meetings and workshops and leveraging the RFP hybrid superpowers. Do what you can to make sure everyone feels included and engaged along the way no matter where they join from.
Interested in leveling-up your sales superpowers? Now you can join our Sell by Design course online! Sell By Design Online is an innovative approach to deepening customer relationships and increasing deal size. We took what we have been doing in the classroom with hundreds of sales professionals and brought it to the virtual world so that we can offer these tools to even more customer-facing professionals worldwide.