Consumer patterns and buyers' behaviours are constantly changing
Consumer patterns and buyers' behaviours are constantly changing, and any great salesperson must be able to change with them.
Sales tactics that may have worked great 20 years ago will probably be doing more harm than good for your business in today’s customer-centric world. It’s all about the customer experience and consumers just don’t like being sold to meaning old hat hard sales tactics no longer work.
So, how do you sell to people who don’t want to be sold to?
The first thing you need to do... drop the tactics below.
1. Cold calling
Stop cold calling. It’s outdated, annoying and will most definitely negatively impact your brand. No matter what you’re trying to sell, consumers do not want a generic and time-consuming sales pitch on the phone. Think about how many cold calls you’ve had that make you want to buy a product or service, probably not many.
Call prospecting is still important and cannot be ignored, however warm calling is the way to go. Spend some time researching your leads and speak to people who have shown interest in your brand. Make the reason for your call compelling rather than using an outdated cheat sheet to try and secure more leads.
2. Meeting face-to-face to start a relationship
In many cases, having a face-to-face meeting with a lead is just a waste of time. What could be simply done over the phone or a video call has the potential to take up an entire day of your sales team’s finite time. Technology has progressed immensely in the past 20 years, so roll with the times and adapt your way of starting a relationship with a lead rather than wasting time on meeting face to face.
Spend some time researching your leads and speak to people who have shown interest in your brand
3. Telling, not asking
Like most of us, you have probably had a phone call in the past from a salesperson telling you that you ‘need’ something or you ‘must have it’ in order to grow or be successful. If your sales team is doing this- stop them now.
You don’t know the people you are calling, no matter how beneficial you believe your product to be, simply telling them they need it, probably will not work.
Instead, ask them about their pain points or the problems they have that you could solve, if they feel like your product or service can truly make their lives easier, they will be far more likely to listen.
4. Pushing hard for a borderline deal
Making sales and hitting your targets is important- there is no denying that. However, if you find yourslef trying too hard to close a deal or you don’t feel like your prospect is truly recognising just how great your product is, don’t force it. Having lots of deals with clients who are only half on board or have unrealistic expectations will only damage your brand image. Yes, you could secure the deal if you tried hard enough, but is there truly enough benefit in it for the customer?
5. Don’t rush your sales process
For a sales rep desperate to meet their targets, it can be difficult to resist the urge to rush through the sales process to try and close a deal in as little time as possible. Yes, you don’t want a sales cycle that goes on forever, but appearing too keen may also put prospects on. They may begin to wonder why it is you’re pushing so hard and the sense of desperation may overwhelm them and begin to push them away.
Take your time, get to know your prospect and delve into how your product really will solve their pain points. Don’t rush meetings if you’ve caught them in a busy week and give them some breathing space- make them feel like the power and the freedom is still all theirs.
6. Relying on Social Media
Social media is an integral part of any inbound marketing strategy. They are great for building brand awareness, starting conversations and reaching out to your customers. However, setting up a social media account and leaving it there will do your business next to no good.
Social media is where your prospects spend their time. Create meaningful content that resonates with them, answer any questions they may have and let yourself be recognised as a truly helpful source.
7. Alienating your Marketing team
Align your sales and marketing teams. Marketing and sales go hand in hand and now, you cannot have one without the other. In the past, these two departments have been held completely separately, but this is the time to merge in a process we like to call ‘smarketing’-separate blog?.
Bring your marketing team ideas of content that would help you in your sales process.
8. Sending meaningless emails
Sending a string of emails to your prospects trying to cling onto contact is a waste of time. Set up personalised automated emails to go out on dates or after a set amount of time after a phone call or meeting to reignite the conversation. Don’t waste time writing hundreds of the same emails every day when platforms like HubSpot can automate this process and save hours of your time and raise your team’s efficiency.
9. Not learning new things
Consumer patterns are constantly changing, and no sales professional is too good to learn new things in order to keep up. If you don’t your sales techniques soon become outdated and intrusive and you will start to see this negatively impacting your sales results. At Pixel Lab, we offer sales enablement training for your sales team so that your entire sales department is aligned and selling in the best possible way.
What is your biggest sales challenge in 2020?
- Using outdated technology and not alligning sales & marketing
- Using outdated methods to sell
10. Letting the grind wear you down
Being a sales professional is a stressful job. Overtime it can wear you down and this will only result in lower performance on the job. That is why it’s so important to have a great work/life balance. Make sure when you’re not at work you relax, find a hobby, go out with friends and family and get your mind away from the day-to-day grind that is selling.
11. Forcing every prospect through the same sales process
Every prospect that comes through your sales funnel will be different and expecting each person to react the same way to your sales process is near on impossible. Be flexible in your approach to each account and learn how to read the signs and determine next steps for any prospect you're working with.
12. Keeping the competitive edge to yourself
Sales can be competitive. But sales teams that work together are far more successful than ones where it is every man for themselves. Get rid of your top seller's leader board and instead work together and share tactics you find most successful.