Virtual Selling in the ‘Now’ Normal: Win or Lose–It’s Up to You

The medium has changed but the message hasn’t: Deliver value during the sales process. That’s what top producers have always done, it’s what they still do, and it’s what you can do, too. Now, with less in-person selling, knowing just how to do it is more important than ever.

Winning and losing—really? Is that the best way to play the sales game? Is that the best way to think about yourself or your team? True, the reality in our highly competitive business world is that there are winners and losers, especially in sales. But those words imply a go-big-or-go-home mindset that doesn’t work day-to-day, especially in sales. Worse, they lead to unrealistic expectations, too often depending more on enthusiasm to “get the W” than on skills and process.

Greater Advantage from Consultative Selling, Especially Now

The jarring move away from face-to-face selling to screen-to-screen selling means that business developers who have developed the skills and the processes for effective consultative selling will be at an even greater advantage than those who haven’t. Key Point: Enthusiasm will always be essential, but it’s harder to communicate on-screen and so is less effective.

A probably more useful mindset in sales than win/lose is that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. But—and here’s the big takeaway—you can always get better. So, what is the most productive way to sell now? What behaviors will help improve your sales performance and that of your team? Check out these comparisons between consultative selling and transactional selling. Then you can decide.

Who Will Be More Productive in the “Now” Normal?

Better: Consultative
Much More Productive
·       Creates value within the sales process
·       Uses value creation within the sales process to build relationships
·       Strong communication and listening skills leverage time and reduce the sales cycle
·       Builds trust quicker. Leverage the reduced time now available
·       Communicates expertise effectively with persuasive communications that focus on the prospect
·       Less negotiating on pricing, terms, and anything else that gets in the way of the sale
·       Doesn’t “overcome” objections. Minimizes or eliminates objections
·       Has multiple sales processes leading to planned, customized presentations, demonstrations, showings, and proposals
·       Tells stories strategically at the right times to make a point that advances the sales process
·       Spends most of the time in the middle of the funnel doing discovery and learning what they need to guide prospects to a tailored solution
·       Sales process is equally effective in person and on virtual platforms

Worse: Transactional

Much Less Productive
·       Creates value only in the transaction

·       Relies too much on using personality, social situations, social connections, entertainment, multiple meetings over time to build relationships

·       Weak communication and listening skills waste time and extend the sales cycle
·       Difficulty building trust when not selling in person
·       Doesn’t know how to communicate expertise except through self-promotion and talking up their company and its products
·       Too often has to negotiate pricing, fees, terms, and other issues
·       Causes objections and wastes time trying to overcome them
·       Relies on canned pitches that do more educating than persuading
·       Tells stories simply to entertain without advancing the sales process
·       Spends most of the time prospecting at the top of the funnel, shortchanging the middle, and pushing a prospect toward a solution that might not be exactly right
·       Uses a sales process that is less effective in the “now” normal virtual world.


We’ve been training sales reps, CEOs, and professionals in consultative selling and custom sales process development for nearly thirty years. One thing we see time and again is that the very best salespeople—about 20 percent—produce about 80 percent of sales. They rely on developing their selling skills and follow customized sales processes to deliver value during the sales process. That approach is more persuasive than educational, builds trust faster, leads to more advances, and, of course, more sales.

Key Point: Once you’ve located areas for improvement, moving from being less productive to being more productive probably won’t be as difficult as you might think. However, it does require training that leads to changes in behavior—doing things differently today than yesterday. Our FOCIS® Consultative Selling course is designed to help business developers change their behavior from less productive to more productive—much more, in fact.

It’s already the fourth quarter of an unusually challenging year for business and for living. To learn more about how to finish 2020 strong and to start 2021 even stronger, just call us at 847-446-0004 or e-mail at


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