It is not an easy task to persuade people in face-to-face settings when you can ‘read’ others and measure their reaction by subtle non-verbal clues. Now imagine that you have to persuade customers or the team of some other department via Zoom or Google Meet, when your voice in the mike sounds nasty even to you and all you see are the faces of others, often presented with signal delays. Probably, even Dale Carnegie with his winning tips on how to influence people would give up on this challenge and turn to garden instead. However, new problems also bring new solutions, and today you can learn the skills of online persuasion and marketing. Better understanding and practice of these skills can be gained at some good virtual influencing skills training. But to get a taste of what specific skills you need, read on.
You cannot persuade others if you are not confident in yourself and in what you try to ‘sell’ to your audience. If you were confident in your offline persuasion sessions, you’ll have this skill in online marketing as well. If you lack this skill, you need to learn to be confident or at least to stage this confidence. In online marketing and talks, it is even easier, because others see only a fraction of your body language, and that’s great, in this case.
Posture and appearance for online presence
It is related to the previous skill of confidence. When you exude assurance by your relaxed or ‘strong’ posture and by your groomed and ‘Zoom-enhanced’ looks, you have already done half of the persuasion. A really good virtual influencing skills training will teach you how to set the light (so that not to look grumpy or puffy), choose the background and decide on gestures to use or to avoid. This part of virtual life will be of use to you in any online communication.
Building the strategy of the talk (short, clear, and meaningful)
In online communication, information is perceived and processed with more difficulties than in offline mode. So keeping the talk or pitching simple and focused is essential. Draft the coherent structure of your online talk, jot down essential things to mention, and rehearse it in front of the mirror. Remember that in online communication, a certain amount of time should be dedicated to building rapport and a sense of community. Lack of shared space and physical presence should be compensated by the verbal representation of a friendly environment and teamwork. This aspect is crucial, so pay attention to it in the virtual influencing skills training.
Focusing on benefits and values
In good old offline negotiations or meetings, it was easier to stop the argument that ran into the dead corner and start it anew. You could raise your hands and suggest that you all cool down and take a break. In online marketing and meetings, informal rapport is almost lost, and the words are the sole conveyor of your message. Instead of direct ramming your viewpoint into your communication partners, show the value of your ideas. Focus your presentation on benefits everyone will have and value for the whole team or customers. In such a way, you open the path for decision-making by other people. You do prompt what decision should be made, but you let other people feel that they are in control and their word is the final one.
Building trust: relationship management in the virtual influencing skills training
Trust that customers or partners have in your company is a prerequisite for good sales or your idea acceptance. Trust is built over time, intentionally and carefully. In marketing, it is called relationship management, and this management should be the part of any single case of online marketing and any virtual influencing skills training. Maintain good or at least polite relationships with all customers or team members in your online talks. Even if this particular talk ends in nothing, they will come again to you as a person who respects and cares for them – and will buy or agree with you.