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Sales Strategy
5 Outdated Selling Techniques You Need to Give Up
May 4, 2017 | Canadian Professional Sales Association lock

While there are numerous selling techniques you can try as you figure out what works for you, there are certain techniques you should avoid at all costs. These techniques are not only ineffective, but they can also drive customers away for good.

1. The Generic Sales Pitch

Being successful in the current sales climate means being savvy in terms of how you approach the customers. People have become inured to the stereotypical sales pitch that offers little in the way of interest.

Not only are people more likely to quickly disengage from the pitch, but they’re also less likely to trust sales people whom they believe are reading off of a generic script. In order to capture people’s attention, selling techniques need to incorporate actual conversation, along with information about how the product or service would benefit the customer.

2. Cold Calling

While still in use, it’s now clear that cold calling is largely ineffective. When you randomly reach out to people, you’re investing a huge amount of time and energy into the off chance that the person on the other end will be interested.

Most customers don’t like receiving uninvited sales calls, which means that the chances that the person on the other end will be receptive are very low. The amount of work this method requires just doesn’t pay off, and it should definitely be ditched in lieu of more effective selling techniques.

3. Using Sales Speak

Using sales speak means speaking in a performative fashion and using lots of buzzwords that, while sounding cool, can be off-putting for the prospective customer. The problem with sales speak is that it immediately strikes the person on the other end as disingenuous—customers are often able to see the sales veneer we put on. In reality, customers want to be able to feel like they can trust you. If you’re using lots of words that sound nice but don’t actually mean very much, you’re not conveying that you have the customer’s best interest at heart. If you want to get ahead, you need to ditch the sales speak.

4. Being Overly Enthusiastic

While enthusiasm about the work that you do is vital, overcompensating with enthusiasm when talking to a customer is another easy way to easily put them off doing business with you. Like the sales pitch, an excess amount of enthusiasm on your behalf can often feel disingenuous to the person on the other end. Even if it doesn’t strike them as disingenuous, they might just find it exhausting.

When having a conversation, people tend to match the tone and enthusiasm of the person they’re talking to. When you’re overly enthusiastic, your sales pitch can be a real drain on the prospective customer.

5. Aggressively Closing

While it’s important to be firm in your pitch and in your offer, you should never be aggressive with a prospective customer. Aggressive selling techniques come in a few different forms, but the most common ones are assumptive closing and alternative closing. In assumptive closing, you carry out the sales call as if the customer is already going to invest by asking something like, “When should we deliver?”

Alternative closing works in a similar way, except it makes the assumption offering two different options—both of which include investing. These sorts of selling techniques often feel more like bullying to the customer than a persuasive pitch. Respecting the customer should always be a priority, and a sales pitch that corners a customer is not a pitch that maintains that respect.

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