In the following interview excerpt, Mark Zokle talks about three of his favorite sales tools, which he calls the “3Vs.”
Q: What are the biggest challenges that sales professionals face today?
Mark Zokle: Most likely? I think it is how connected everything is and the amount of misinformation out there. With the advent of the Internet came hordes of new companies…in all industries, too, not just home improvement. Many of these rushed to get their products out there and to get information about themselves online. Now, salespersons have to fight harder and harder to even secure an initial meeting.
Q: How can a salesperson deliver a truly satisfying experience to customers once they have a foot in the door?
Mark Zokle: Technology might have made it harder to get in, but it also helps tremendously in staying in touch and delivering the personal service everyone expects, even for reps who live out of driving range. I like to tell my employees to utilize the 3Vs: Voice, Video, and Virtual Reality.
Q: What about emails?
Mark Zokle: Email is great for distributing information but does nothing to help the salesperson understand what drives the customer. Real voice conversations – the first V – are the only way to really get the back and forth conversation needed to understand the depth of the customer’s needs.
Q: Video is understandable – Skype is useful across all areas of business. But, how does virtual reality factor in? That tech is still years away from being perfected, isn’t it?
Mark Zokle: Actually, VR technology is being refined at almost unrealistic rates. You can literally pick up a VR headset at the drugstore for $20 right now. As more advanced programs and equipment come available, the possibilities are endless. Virtual walkthroughs and product evaluations are are just two possibilities. For right now, video tours and interactive imaging are invaluable for helping far away clients get to know your company without leaving their office.