The Importance of Virtual Selling During the Age of COVID-19 and Beyond

Published On: March 26th, 2020Categories: UncategorizedBy

With the ongoing spread of COVID-19, businesses are going through a rapid digital transformation. While the immediate future may be uncertain, one thing is clear – the world has changed and the mind of the consumer has changed along with it. With social distancing measures in place all over the world, digital marketing and virtual selling is the way of the future.

What Does This Mean for Businesses in the Home Improvement Industry? 

First, be optimistic. This is an incredibly challenging time for the world, but it’s also an opportunity to slow down and focus on how you can optimize your business and stay connected to your customers cost effectively and easily. Now is the time to dial in on your reputation as a caring, “customer first” company while optimizing your internal sales process for better longterm growth. 

#1 Sell Online When You Can: Consider an E-Commerce Website or an Online Estimating Tool  

If you have projects that can be drop-shipped such as home decor items, garden or patio furnishings, replacement parts or easy-to-ship consumer products, nows the time to move beyond brick-and-mortar. Starting up an e-commerce website is easier than ever, thanks to platforms such as Shopify or Squarespace – no coding or design skills required. Fast and easy payment processing for your customers can be included as well.

Another helpful website feature can be an online estimating tool. Whether someone needs a roof repair, new patio cover, a home extension or replacement windows, customers need to be able to get a quick quote on your website. Once the quote has been submitted, you can follow up with a direct video conference call with Zoom or Whereby.com to finalize the design and offer the customer a FREE 3D render of the project. 

Today more so than ever, people love being able to get the information they’re looking for quickly. So this will be a great help to your business and your sales process both now and in the future. 

#2 Build Trust With Video Communication Tools 

Once you’ve connected with a potential customer through your website, PPC or social media efforts, it’s important to have a plan in place to help them continue on the decision-making journey. Video communication tools work far better in building trust with a customer than a standard phone call. 

Training your sales team to feel comfortable using free (and paid) web conferencing tools, such as Zoom, Google Meet, Whereby, and HighFive, will be a massive asset for your sales team. 

When it comes time to closing the deal, you can offer TOUCHLESS payments such as Stripe or PayPal or just take a credit card payment over the phone.

#3 In A Time When Everyone Is Online, Be Sure To Leverage Your Social 

With everyone following the #SayHome movement, social media usage has gone up through the roof (pun intended ). Take advantage of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest as a low-cost way to drive traffic back to your website in order to keep the conversation going with your potential customers. 

It’s important to let your customers know that you’re there for them and that you put their safely and well-being as a top priority. If you are in construction, plumbing, or in home Improvement, you may want to communicate that you are an “essential business”– just be sure to check with the laws in your local area.   

Also, be sure to take advantage of low-cost paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram. For as little as $3.00-$10.00 per day, you can remarket to people via custom audiences. No need to spend your full quarterly marketing budget in under 30-days. A conservative drip campaign will do nicely when supported by other low-cost marketing efforts during this time.  

#4 Provide Excellent Customer Service – From a Distance 

Reassure you customers. Be sure to mention that you offer virtual selling along with installation that requires little to no face-to-face contact on your website, on your social channels and in all other advertising channels. 

This way your customers will feel more comfortable moving forward with their home improvement projects knowing the proper CDC guidelines are being followed by your company. 

Whether you’re hardscaping, installing a roof, replacing a window or putting in a sunroom, make sure your team is wearing (or offers to wear) masks, gloves, protective suits or overgarments (if available), along with disposable booties if inside the home. These precautions will not only ease your customers’ minds but will ensure that your team is protected as well.  

Remember, we’re all in this together. As a nation, we will be breaking a lot of old processes, developing new collaboration skills and learning valuable lessons.

When it’s over, you will have all have propelled your business forward through difficult circumstances. The added advantage of this will be that running your business during the good times will be all the more streamlined and effective. 

Be sure to look forward because the dust will settle, and good things are on the horizon. 

Questions or comments? Email me at sbellem@bbrookstone.com. 

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