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Posted by: Matthew Cook

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Are you still wasting money on banner ads? Are you still cold calling a long list of random numbers? Are you mailing brochures, paying for newspaper ads, and putting up billboards? If you haven’t noticed yet, these old-school sales and marketing techniques don’t work anymore. You’ve probably seen your profits plummet lately, and it’s probably because you haven’t changed the way you sell.

Why Change the Way You Sell?

Your aggressive outbound sales techniques have been working to bring in revenue for years. So you might be wondering why we’re telling you to stop selling your goods and services this way. The fact is the way people buy has changed. Thanks to the web, consumers and buyers are now looking to the internet for answers, for content, for research, and for purchases. The way you sell isn’t in sync with the new way people buy. If you don’t adapt and evolve with the digital times, you’re going to be left in the dust. You’ll see an end to your success in the market. You’ll lose your edge to the competitors.

To stay profitable now and in the future, you have to pay attention to the market. And the market is telling you to adapt your selling to the new sales process.

Here’s what you’re going to need to change.

Stop Selling, Start Guiding

The traditional sales role is dying. Sales people should no longer attempt to sell to people who just aren’t interested. They can’t cold call numbers on a list, state their name, explain their product, and close a sale. Because it’s not going to work. They can’t pressure purchasing decisions onto customers. They can’t be pushy or aggressive to close deals.

Customers are largely taking control of the sales process and going through the majority of the sales funnel on their own. They don’t want to talk to a sales person until they’ve already reached a purchasing decision, and even then, they want to be the ones to make that call and get in contact with your sales team. So your old ways of selling won’t work anymore.

Instead, your reps need to guide customers’ on their buyer’s journey. They need to offer helpful advice and recommendations and provide ongoing help in a non-pushy way that puts the customers’ needs first.

Building Relationships

Customers are becoming increasingly distrustful of sales people. They consider them to be sneaky, conniving con artists who will do and say anything to get the sale. Customers won’t buy from those types of people anymore, and they won’t buy from people they don’t trust. So a big step in being successful in today’s market is working towards creating trust, establishing credibility, and building relationships. Your sales people need to become thought leaders and experts that customers trust. They need to sell based on integrity, honesty, and empathy. They need to put customers’ needs first above all else if they plan on making the sale in today’s market.

Using Content

Knowledge is power, and the best way your sales people can make sales is to use content. Customers are now researching companies and products, comparing prices and features, reading reviews, and learning about their problems and the possible solutions on the internet before they talk to a sales rep. So getting relevant and informational content on the web for your customers to find is the best way to get to the forefront of their minds and get them to ultimately choose to buy from your company. You should be blogging, creating videos, infographics and other content, getting case studies and testimonials, and sharing your content on your website, on social media, and through email marketing for your customers to find. Content will help customers get to know you, will help you establish trust and credibility, and ultimately, will help your sales people sell. This is the future of selling.

A CEO's Guide to The Future of Selling