Working in sales is tough, especially because it’s constantly changing. It’s an evolving field and it’s important to stay up to date on selling techniques, tactics, and tips in order to continue to be able to sell effectively as times change. Many of the selling techniques that used to work just ten years ago simply don’t work anymore. You should ditch these five old school sales techniques right now.
1. Cold Calling
If your company’s main way to make sales is through cold calling, then you might not be able to just quit using this technique—your manager won’t let you stop calling up leads. But if you have free reign to use the selling techniques that work for you, then this is definitely one that you should ditch. Cold calling is interruptive and it’s also a waste of time. Calling up leads when you really don’t know anything about them except their names just isn’t an effective way to sell. These leads aren’t qualified so you don’t know if they’re able or willing to buy what you’re selling. Plus, it starts your relationship off on a bad start because you’re interrupting that person’s day with your unwanted call. Making them come to you with inbound marketing is far more effective.
2. Aggression and Pushiness
In the past, aggression and pushiness were some of the top sales techniques used by successful sales people. The more convincing and persuasive a sales rep, the higher his sales. Unfortunately, this aggression has led to sales people getting a bad rap—now prospects are distrusting of sales people and don’t want to talk to them, in fear that they’ll be convinced to buy something they don’t really want.
The more aggressive you are with today’s customers, the fewer sales you’re going to make, because all you’ll be doing is ruining any potential for trust or credibility because you seem too pushy.
Newbies and old school sales reps still think the pitch is everything in sales. They think if they have a great product pitch, they can close deals left, right, and center. However, pitching is no longer in line with today’s sales process. You have to realize that your prospects don’t care so much about your product’s features, your company’s awards, and your company’s reputation. What they really care about is their own needs, wants, desires, and pain points, which is what you should be focusing on. So stop pitching during a sales presentation and start having real conversations with your prospects to discuss their wants and pain points in order to better meet their needs. The sales call should be about them, not you.
4. Never Answering Questions that Weren’t Asked
It’s probably been drilled into you not to answer questions that your customers didn’t ask. But this sales technique is built around the concept that you should get the sale at all cost and not care what happens afterwards. Today, your role is to help the customers reach successful buying decisions—ones they won’t regret. So if there’s information that’s relevant to your customers’ needs, then feel free to speak up. If you know a product really won’t work to solve their problems, say so. Otherwise, the customers won’t trust you and they’ll feel used; they certainly won’t be loyal to you in the future.
5. Not Taking No for an Answer
One of the most common outdated sales techniques that far too many sales people still use is not taking no for an answer. They think that persistence will eventually lead to a sale. But really, if the answer is no, take it and move on. Otherwise, you’ll just be wasting time, effort, and resources on a lead that is never going to buy instead of focusing on other prospects who actually will.
It’s time to change the way you sell and stop using these five outdated selling techniques.