Nitya Kirat | How to Win Virtually: Tips for Selling Better Over Zoom
Nitya Kirat
Smart Business Revolution

Nitya Kirat is the Founder and CEO of YOSD Consulting, a firm that focuses on helping sales teams improve results by identifying and impacting key behaviors and building customized training and coaching programs. He has built, delivered, and coached sales and sales leadership development programs at companies including PIMCO, BlackRock, Allianz Global Investors, MetLife, Google, Causeway Capital, and Transamerica. He is also the author of WINNING VIRTUALLY: 10 Tiny Habits For Big Virtual Selling Success

Nitya has worked in sales and consulting roles for the past 18 years. He was an award-winning salesperson at Schering-Plough and UBS prior to starting YOSD Consulting. His sales strategies have also been influenced by his global perspectives, having lived and worked in several parts of the world including Singapore, India, Tanzania, and Belgium.

Nitya Kirat, the Founder and CEO of YOSD Consulting, joins John Corcoran in this episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast to talk about building rapport and selling virtually. Nitya discusses how to prepare for a virtual meeting, tips for creating online content, and the importance of post-meeting follow-ups.

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Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • The changes Nitya Kirat has seen in his life and business since the COVID-19 pandemic hit
  • Nitya talks about his Zoom backdrop and explains how to build rapport virtually
  • Why preparation is important when doing virtual meetings
  • Tips for creating online content to help with virtual sales 
  • How long should prospects speak in virtual meetings?
  • The impact that living in different countries has had on Nitya
  • Nitya’s advice on doing follow-ups after a virtual meeting — and how to improve your virtual sales
  • The peers Nitya respects and those he acknowledges for his achievements
  • Where to learn more and connect with Nitya Kirat

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Sponsor: Rise25

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Episode Transcript

Intro 0:14

Welcome to the revolution, the Smart Business Revolution Podcast where we ask today’s most successful entrepreneurs to share the tools and strategies they use to build relationships and connections to grow their revenue. Now, your host for the revolution, John Corcoran.

John Corcoran 0:40

All right. Welcome everyone. John Corcoran here. I’m the host of this show. Every week I get to talk to interesting CEOs, founders, entrepreneurs of companies and organizations ranging from Netflix, YPO, EO, Activision Blizzard, Lendingtree, Open Table, and Ace Software. Go dive into my archives, I’ve got all kinds of great interviews back there. I’m also the co-founder of Rise25, where we help to connect b2b business owners with their ideal prospects. And I’m excited today we have Nitya Kirat. Is that how you say your last name? Did I butcher the last name? Kirat, Kirat. There we go. Okay, perfect, perfect, wonderful. He’s the author of WINNING VIRTUALLY: 10 Tiny Habits For Big Virtual Selling Success, which is the number one of new releases among sales books on Amazon. So if you would like to sell better, virtually, we’re going to dive deep into that topic. His company is called YOSD. I’m doing horribly here today, YOSD Consulting, that just focuses on helping sales teams to improve results through identifying and impacting key behaviors, and building customized training and coaching programs. He has built, delivered and coached sales and sales leadership development programs at companies including PIMCO, BlackRock, Google, Transamerica, and others.

He started his career actually, as a Chemical Engineer, developing pharmaceutical drugs, and now trains and coaches sales teams around the world. So he’s got a bit of a technical background. So if you sell something technical, that’s going to be helpful as well. But he also finds that it’s living proof that sales can be taught. And he’s passionate about helping others to achieve their potential. He also lives all over the world. So we’ll talk and ask him about that and how that affects the work that he does. It is such a pleasure to have you on here. And you know, we’re recording this in April of 2021, about a year into this pandemic. And a year ago, a little over a year ago, our world was up-ended. And so many different businesses suddenly had to learn a new way of selling because they were used to going to lunch with people, going to coffee with people, going to conferences, networking events, all that kind of stuff. And all of a sudden it completely changed. And, you know, I feel fortunate that I’d made that shift years earlier. And I was already comfortable with selling remotely over Zoom. But I imagine you had some difficult conversations with some of your clients, who were suddenly having to adapt to this new reality. What was that like? Take us back to what those conversations were like a year ago?

Nitya Kirat 3:06

Yeah, thanks, John. Oh, I’ll never forget, like most people, when COVID came about, we were planning our baby shower, and I know, John, you’ve got for this is our first one. And the week before I started getting inquiries from friends, Hey, are you still gonna do this? Are you still planning on doing and we’re like, yeah, yeah, should be fine. And then two days before the event on March 15, we cancelled it. And I was, for one, when the news came out, it sounded like this is gonna be a a shutdown for two to three weeks, and we’ll be back to normal. I thought it would be two to three months, which suited my maternity leave time frame, quite nicely. Obviously, this has gone on longer. And the longer it goes, it just changes the dynamic of how we interact with prospects and clients. I know companies are really trying to figure out what’s the right model, both for right now but in the future, as well. One of the big shifts we’ve seen is the acceptance and comfort level of prospects and customers being sold or having meetings over video, even for big ticket items. So the average ticket that used to be able to sell over, over a video has gone out. People’s companies are spending half a million millions of dollars even without having ever met that person, face to face. So that’s a big shift in our society in general. And there’s been a challenge because you’ve been selling you’ve been successful for 20 years and I talk to many clients and salespeople who realize it’s a different game. There’s obviously similarities, but somehow what I’ve been doing and doing so Well, for 20 years doesn’t seem to translate 100% that is, yeah, real world. And that was the kind of genesis of this effort, support clients and build out content and eventually put the book together. Yeah, yeah. You know, I’m picturing like, an old school grizzled sales veteran has done things the same way, you know, comes into the office, looks around, sees the pictures on the wall references, the wife and the kids, you know, just kind of as a way of doing things, and all of a sudden, you know,

John Corcoran 5:36

it’s completely changed. I mean, I’m looking at you right now. And I want to ask about your backdrop. It’s beautiful, but it’s Stark. It’s like an apple commercial, it’s a complete white backdrop with two plants. So there’s, there’s nothing I can grab off of, off of, and comment on and other people, sometimes people, you know, in a too busy backdrop, but they’ll have other things that are kind of strategically placed, kind of as a conversation starter be like the rough equivalent of someone coming into a networking event with a pin or a picture of their kid or something like that. So is that a deliberate decision on your part?

Nitya Kirat 6:09

That’s an interesting question, John. And a couple of people have mentioned there’s a who’s the comedian who’s got a show “Between the Ferns”? 

John Corcoran 6:19

Yes. Yeah. Zach Galifianakis Yes. Yeah. Yeah, you are like “Between the Ferns”.

Nitya Kirat 6:25

People have asked if I’m trying to imitate This is a brand new office we moved into once COVID started, I wasn’t traveling to clients, I needed a place all our all our all our training. We were doing about five to 10% of it virtually. But now it’s 100%. Virtual. So I realized I needed more space and constructed a new office. Part of the plainness is because of COVID furniture and wood is on low. There’s a lack of supply. ships are not coming over, though, as I was looking for bookshelves. I didn’t I couldn’t find very much. What I wanted and Okay, let’s