As buyer behaviour evolves, so should your sales behaviours. If consumers aren’t buying in the same way that they used to, it only stands to reason that you shouldn’t be selling like you did in the past.
It can be tough to change your ways after you’ve used the same sales tactics for years, but trust us, it’s for the best. Here are five outdated sales behaviours that you absolutely need to ditch today if you want to continue to succeed in sales.
If you’re a legacy sales person, you were taught to be pushy, aggressive, and persuasive. That’s what sold. But these types of aggressive sales behaviours don’t work anymore. Customers will push back because they expect to be in full control of the sales process now. They’ll get what they want, at the price they want, on the timeline they want. Any hint of pushiness will turn off prospects today. They’ll move on to another company with another sales rep who won’t try to pressure them into a sale.
When you take part in aggressive sales behaviours, you damage trust and credibility. And this will make it nearly impossible to close deals.
Deceit can be very tempting in sales. When prospects aren’t returning your phone calls or answering your emails, it can be tempting to pretend you’re an old friend to get them on the phone. When you know that a product isn’t right for the buyer, it can be tempting to just go along with the sale anyway to meet your quota. But deceit, lying,a and cheating are all now taboo in sales because they ruin trust and credibility.
If prospects don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you. Period.
To sell today, you need to be honest above all. You need to display integrity. You need to be genuine.
3. Over-the-Top Persistence
It was drilled into you that you should never take no for an answer. That when you have a lead, you have to keep pursuing him until he buys. But this is bad advice. Though persistence in sales is required—because prospects won’t buy on the first sales call—over-the-top persistence and not taking no for an answer is a poor sales behaviour. Some people will never buy from you and it’s best to move on and find more qualified prospects who will, instead of wasting time, resources, and effort on those who won’t.
4. One-Size-Fits-All Sales Pitching
Old-school sales people think that, if they can write and present a pitch perfectly, they can close sales. But only having one sales pitch for all customers, no matter how perfect it is, won’t work today.
To make sales today, you need to ditch the one-size-fits-all sales pitch and instead create a custom presentation for every single customer—a presentation that is based on that customer’s unique needs, wants, and desires. A presentation that shows that you’ve done your research, that you know what the customer wants, and that you care. In addition, the presentation should be a conversation—not a pitch.
5. Selling Products
Sales people shouldn’t sell products and services? That’s right. You might think that is what your job is, but in fact, your job should be to sell solutions. It doesn’t matter how impressive you make products, features, and specs sound, because customers don’t care about that sort of thing.
All they care about is solutions. All they care about is how you can make their lives easier, how you can save them time, how you can help them bring in more revenue, how you can help them achieve their goals and solve their problems, whatever they may be. Your products in and of themselves don’t really matter—it’s how you spin them to be the perfect solutions that matter.
It’s time to update your selling techniques and sales behaviours to match the new buyer’s journey.
About the Author:
Matthew has over 20 years of sales and sales management experience. He is the founder of SalesHub,
an inbound marketing agency that helps companies generate leads, boost revenue, and adapt to the new way customers buy. When he’s not helping companies improve their revenue, he trains and competes in half ironman distance triathlons to “relax”.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author. CPSA does not endorse any of the companies, products and services mentioned within this article.