Are your sales techniques out of date?

Are your sales techniques out of date? Here are four signs you made need to update your strategy.

Nailing your sales strategy isn’t easy, and when you finally get it right, it can be tough to let it go. But a successful salesperson knows their technique needs to change with the times or they risk becoming redundant. Here are four signs your sales method is out of date. 

You’re following a script

Very often on his or her first day with a company, a new sales rep is handed a script to follow and chase leads. The text will usually contain some essential ice-breakers, pitch, objection responses and a closing technique. 

These pre-planned scenarios exist because they’ve been proven to work in the past. However, they are a poor substitute for proper sales training and are handed out by an employer looking to make a quick buck. 

Increasingly, the public has become sick of impersonal, cold calls from robotic salespeople reading the same tired old lines. People value authenticity, and a sales person who can treat prospects as individuals and react and respond to their unique needs will succeed.

bad sales techniques

You’re on the doorstep/in the street

Door-to-door selling has traditionally been the domain of small companies with few other options to drive sales. However, some large corporations also use this method to collect subscriptions and customer sign-ups. 

While this sales tactic can be very effective, door-to-door selling can make your brand look a little desperate. Worse still, many housing estates around Ireland have been plagued by door-to-door salespeople in recent years, and the market has become oversaturated. 

Charities, in particular, have suffered reputational damage from this technique. Brand owners must question if a short-term spike in sales justifies longer term brand damage.

You use anxiety persuasion 

“I can only offer you this price today; tomorrow it could change”.

Including a soft threat in a sales pitch about what could happen if a prospect doesn’t buy is a staple of traditional sales techniques. It could be a warning about the risks of not having health insurance, a suggestion that the price offered today could go up tomorrow. 

These days, however, people are becoming wise to this trick; they can fact-check your claims and compare prices on their phones. Consumers are much more likely to respond to sales people who are attentive to their needs rather than those who foster fear.

You never take no for an answer

This one may be the oldest sales technique in the book, and indeed there are salespeople out there who have made careers out of being persuasive, persistent and indeed, pushy. 

Unfortunately for these old school sales types, their methods over the years have given pushy salespeople a bad reputation with the public. People today anticipate ‘aggressive’ sales strategies and resent the prospect of being sold something that they do not need nor want.  

Sometimes it’s better to just thank someone for their time and move on to the next lead. 

READ MORE: How to increase your sales.

Article by Peter Flanagan (@peterflanagan). Images from Shutterstock.