Outdated Sales Techniques are Destroying Your Business

It’s 2016: cars are driving themselves, people are catching Pokemon on the streets on New York City, and presidential candidates are tweeting. The world is progressing with technology, so why are you letting outdated sales techniques hold you back?

As we all know, the sales industry is constantly changing and evolving. When you’re not juggling client needs, you’re juggling changing communication platforms, channels, and styles. How is it possible to stay afloat in the stormy sea of sales?

Ditch your outdated sales techniques!

The Cold Call:

Cold calling is one of the most prominent outdated sales techniques occurring in the industry today. While it may work for some niche environments, large numbers of companies and salespeople are stepping away from this technique, or are combining it with other more effective strategies. The truth is, a cold call is not what it used to be.

There is no way to have a meaningful conversation if your lead has no prior knowledge of your company or buy-in of your product or service. This is why many companies (including us at CFS) use Inbound marketing to attract leads through content, and then reach out.

Mindlessly Acquiring Clients:

While, in sales, it may truly seem as though your numbers define you: they don’t. Instead, it’s better to nourish relationships with those particular clients that are in it for the long run. Sure, closing deals feels great, but so does the security of having regular, lasting clients.

The same goes for clients that would truly benefit from what you are selling. Here at CFS we try to work with companies that we know are completely bought into the process of our (pretty demanding) training and that will take part in a mutually beneficial relationship.

Quick example: once upon a time I worked in retail as a sales associate at a high-end, luxury brand. I had a choice to make when helping my clients: I could tell them that they looked great no matter what –or– I could choose to uphold my integrity by telling my client which items weren’t flattering and instead, offer a piece that I knew would work. My honesty in the fitting room benefited both me and the client:

  1. My client knew I wasn’t lying to them to get a high commission, and we were able to build trust.
  2. My client was more willing to try clothes she usually wouldn’t have, with my guidance and her new trust.
  3. My client left the store with better fitting clothes, enhancing the brand, and their self-esteem.
  4. I now had a client that would definitely want to shop with me again.

Overly-Enthusiastic, Run-Of-The-Mill, Salesperson:

Selling is no longer about being a “salesperson.” In fact, the stereotypical view people have of salespeople is the reason we are experiencing these shifts in the first place. Prospects don’t want to be sold to: they want to choose to buy.

Ask yourself these questions to make sure you have things to offer:

  1. Does your selling process align to your prospects’ buying processes?
  2. Does your solution resolve their problem?

If you can’t say yes to these questions, you are wasting not only the lead’s time, but your own as well.

The Pitch:

This brings me to the “pitch.” From reading the prior statements in this post, you can probably assume that a universal pitch is comical in today’s sales industry. Again, it’s about getting to know your lead and leting them get to know you. Building relationships is more important than reciting pitches and mantras that don’t work.

For the most part, these outdated sales techniques should be fairly easy to update or ditch entirely. All you need to do is focus on the big picture and the wants and needs of your leads.

Are you struggling with any other outdated sales techniques? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to help!

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By | 2017-07-18T11:36:15+00:00 July 14th, 2016|Sales Success|2 Comments

About the Author:

Arianna Miskel is the Marketing and Sales Coordinator at Criteria for Success. She writes about a wide variety of topics including sales leadership, sales training, motivation, and general best practices.

2 Comments

  1. Barry Hall July 15, 2016 at 3:20 am - Reply

    Great post Arianna, I am semi retired from sales now, but I certainly would have to keep my finger on the pulse these days that’s for sure.

    • Arianna Miskel July 15, 2016 at 12:48 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Barry! Definitely important to keep an eye on the shifting tides! -Arianna

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