I have recently been conducting some intensive sales training for clients. During discussions four outdated sales techniques emerged which were still common practice. If you are involved in sales, to any degree, each of these need to permanently banished:
1. Persuading prospects
Persuasion: Some call it an art. However in sales, it’s just an overused selling habit that no longer works. Nothing turns prospects off more quickly than realising you’re actively persuading them to buy something they’re not even sure they need.
The biggest problem? Not all prospects you meet are qualified to be your customers. Spending the effort to persuade every single prospect who comes your way wastes time and resources.
Focus instead on deselecting prospects who aren’t a good fit for your product or service. Ask questions about budget, their decision-making process, and their biggest challenges. The result? You’ll gain loads of information about your prospects so you can decide whether your offer can help them achieve their goals.
2. Leading with a product pitch
Your prospects today can go online to learn everything they want to know about your product or service. They don’t need to hear it all again from you. And they certainly don’t want to hear your pitch right after meeting you. When you lead a sales meeting with a product pitch, you’re using a predictable, unimpressive sales approach.
The best salespeople don’t even mention the features, bells and whistles of their product until the very end of the sales meeting — or until the prospect explicitly asks for that information. Getting to truly understand your prospect’s needs is far more important than pitching your product.
3. Talking instead of listening
For years, salespeople everywhere have been associated with fast-talking conversationalists. While it’s great to be able to carry on a good conversation with prospects, talking should never be your main action in a sales situation. Listening should.
When you spend more time listening, you gain a deeper understanding of your prospects. At the same time, you build strong, trusting connections. People want to feel they’ve truly been heard.
4. Turning on the fake enthusiasm
Are you aware of how your voice, demeanor and personality change when you’re in a selling situation? Chances are, you become more enthusiastic, cheerful and loud when you’re selling. That’s because most salespeople are taught to turn on the fake enthusiasm.
Unfortunately, that does damage to your chances of closing a sale. It puts your prospects on the defensive. And it does nothing to help you discover your true sales personality and achieve your ultimate success.
Instead, talk to your potential client as you would talk to a friend. You’ll notice that your prospects will act more at ease, and they’ll be more likely to buy from you if they sense you’re being genuine.