Take Five: Check your Sales Tools


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Relationships make the sale. This requires trust, dialogue, and shared commitments and understanding from the client and the salesperson. What NOT to do in sales can be as important as what TO do. If any of these misguided techniques are currently part of your sales toolbox, toss them out today.

#1 Lying or misleading: This sales tactic is never worth it, and it is toxic to a long-term sales business growth strategy. A customer should be informed of the true nature and value of the product as well as any risks before they commit to a purchase. If you find yourself feeling tempted to omit crucial details, overpromise, fudge the numbers about the customer’s expected ROI, or otherwise try to “force” a sale to happen, DON’T DO IT. Your credibility and integrity is worth far more than one single sale.

#2 Poor Preparation: How off-putting is it when a caller asks for you and totally butchers your name? Or uses an old name from a previous marriage? The best sales approach begins hours before the first contact, by gathering as much information as possible on the prospect. If you go into a sales conversation with inadequate preparation, your customer will be able to tell. You need to know who you’re calling, what their name is, how it’s pronounced, what their job title is, how they fit into the larger organization, and why you’re the right person to talk to them about this specific matter – know why you’re calling, not just “who” you’re calling.

#3 Rushed Pace: There is a delicate balance between creating a sense of urgency to commit to the sale and rushing a client into a decision. Even the pace of voice of the salesperson should be deliberate, natural, and reflect the speaking style and culture of the customer. Take your time. Speak like you would to a trusted colleague. Let the conversation flow and take time to really listen to what the customer is saying – you should never sound like you’re reading a script or rushing to get on to the next call. Every customer conversation should sound like your most important conversation of the day.

#4 Information Dump: A little bit of detail goes a long-way – it is so easy to overload a customer with information and (unintentionally) discourage them from committing to a purchase. Deliver a clear, brief sales pitch, then pause, breathe, and let the customer absorb the information.

#5 Office Drop-in: Customers usually don’t want to receive unannounced random walk-in visits from sales people during business hours, even if you’re offering coupons or discounts. If you’re surprising and interrupting your customers in their place of business, it’s an ineffective sales tactic that is likely to create a negative impression of your company in the customer’s mind. Choose your direct engagements with new prospects carefully to avoid this result.

Instead of driving customers away with misguided sales tactics or communication mistakes, invest the time in research and relationship building. Know your customer, know their needs, and know your product so you can help them. This is the best way to build the trust and relationships that will bring in the sales.

Al Davidson
Al Davidson is the founder of Strategic Sales & Marketing, a "leading light" among lead generation companies, delivering B2B lead generation and b2b appointment setting services for clients ranging from local small businesses to the Fortune 100. Since 1989, the company's sales agents have generated over 7 million sales leads, and created millions of dollars for clients.


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