Sales Strategies to Avoid
Closing a sale with customers is all about building the right sales strategies. However, some tactics that sales professionals used in the past may no longer generate the best outcome. Here are some techniques to AVOID so you don’t miss out on those sales opportunities.
Whether you’re a newbie or an expert salesperson, you know that your approach is just as important as closing the deal itself. Your sales strategies will spell a huge difference between hitting that target or none at all.
While most tactics are crafted with good intentions in mind, sales professionals might not realize that what they’re doing could annoy customers. Keep in mind that industries have gone through several changes over the decades. Some of the old practices may not resonate with your prospective customers today.
Take note of these top sales tactics that you should ditch in 2021 and beyond. Doing so will help you stay on top of the competition and reach your goals.
Sales Strategies you Need to Avoid
Believe it or not, some sales reps still cold call prospects to this day as part of their sales tactics. Cold calling doesn’t just waste your time, it often doesn’t drive good results. It will only damage your brand in the long term. Moreover, it’s not as beneficial as inbound selling.
Instead of cold calling, why not make use of that time with inbound strategies such as blogging? In fact, you can generate more leads this way than spending more than 40 hours cold calling people.
Yes, you still have to do some call prospecting. In this case, warm calling should be a good option for you. Pursue inbound leads who express interest in your product or service. In addition, it’s great to engage with your prospects on social media to give an idea of your offering before making that call.
Sending generic sales emails
Did you know that most people send and receive an average of 121 business emails everyday? It can’t be stressed enough how time-consuming it is to wade through hundreds of emails. And, if you’re one of those who send template emails, you’re giving them more reason to delete you from their inbox.
True, using a template sales email makes our lives easier, but, likely, this method won’t generate a higher conversion. The more you personalize each email, the better your chances of receiving a favorable response. Sending customized emails and follow-ups on past responses are keys to strong customer retention.
Those days of the one-size-fits-all approach are long gone. Today, people want and expect to receive highly relevant and personalized messages—whether online or offline. Not personalizing your emails is not only a sign of incompetent sales strategies, it’s just overall bad for your business.
If you want to keep the sales engine going, you need to constantly keep the pipeline full. When you’re almost about to close that deal, it’s tempting to delay prospecting. But remember, once your pipeline is empty, you’ll need to go out and prospect again.
So, include prospecting as part of your regular sales techniques. Schedule a time and day in your calendar each week to do some prospecting. Avoid scheduling other tasks or prioritize other appointments during those times.
Using BANT methodology
Budget, Authority, Need, and Time, or simply BANT, is a sales qualification method popular in the 1960s. It’s a tool that sales professionals use to determine whether a prospect is a qualified fit based on:
- their budget
- authority on buying decisions
- need for the product or service
- and timeline for buying the product.
The downside to BANT is that it’s primarily focused on meeting the seller’s objectives. Essentially, sales representatives who use BANT will ask prospects a series of questions to evaluate if a prospect is worth the time and effort. By contrast, prospects get nothing out of this process. Eventually, BANT won’t work well since it often disqualifies more lead prospects. The time is better spent explaining the value of the product to a prospect.
As to budget, when prospects see the product’s value, they will often find a budget for it. Asking them about their range of budget before identifying the value seems premature at the beginning. This is especially true when selling new or innovative products. Perhaps customers might not have the budget now, but that will change when you demonstrate the value first.
In the Authority component of the BANT formula, you’ll discern if the prospect has the power to make the purchase decision. Times have already changed, and the number of decision-makers in a company has already diversified. You’re not going to talk to a single person who has all the authority for the purchases. It’s your role to approach seven or more people involved in this decision.
As for the need, qualifying prospects are reversed. You must demonstrate to prospects why the need for your product exists. They might only discover such needs exist only after having a conversation with them.
The timing of purchase can change drastically depending on the buyer’s notion of need. It’s counterintuitive to assume that a prospect isn’t worthy enough because their buying time frame is beyond what you’d expect as a salesperson. Ultimately, your sales strategies should be customer-centric; their needs should come first, than yours.
Successful salespeople understand that it’s not about them. It’s about solving a customer’s problem. While you need to hit your sales target, overdoing it will be detrimental to your success. Bullying customers into buying will only hurt your reputation and result in low turnout.
Some of the sales strategies you need to drop immediately are:
Creating time pressure on buyers
“Act now! Offer ends in 2 days!”
We’ve all heard this line before. But why impose a time limit when there’s no need? If you sell products like accounting software, there’s no perfect time when customers will need your business urgently. Unless your offerings are seasonal, this approach will only make you look like a jerk and drive people away.
If you feel the need to be pushy, ask yourself why. What are your motivations for doing so? Avoid time limits altogether and focus on creating a superb experience for your customers instead.
Offering discounts just to close the deal
I’ll offer you a 30% discount if you buy this today!
This sounds like you’re desperate. You’re basically telling customers you’re willing to give away products that could have been used to upsell them. When you offer discounts frequently, this will set an unrealistic bar when closing deals. Customers will expect these perks each time they renew or buy your products again. There are better ways than to settle with this tactic. Consider the long-term impact on your profit margins before offering a bunch of discounts.
Bullying potential customers
Bullying in sales can come in different shapes and forms; some types may be subtler than others. The extreme ones are flat-out pushy and won’t take “no” for an answer. A sales bully might not let go until you sign the check or swipe your credit card. These types of salespeople only have their interest in mind and lack empathy for others.
This approach might help the salesperson outperform his peers. However, things will start to crumble after the sales. Churn rates will skyrocket as soon as clients realized their poor experience with the sales bully. Hence, it would be hard for this sales rep to get referrals from existing customers or partners.
The best sales professionals know how to ask questions to understand the pain points of their prospects. They exhibit professionalism and empathy when representing their company and products. Additionally, they know how to expertly pull the prospects in instead of pushing them through.
Not open to learning new things
The world of sales is always changing. Sales strategies of the past may no longer work today. As a sales professional, it’s crucial to open to changes. Don’t assume that you’re good enough to learn new things.
Update yourself on product details regularly. Ask your managers or peers to review your spiels, calls, or emails. Read industry trends and reviews, so you have a better scope of the market. Also, taking certifications will help upgrade what you’ve learned and apply it to the sales process. This way, you can continuously improve your skills and come out a winner whenever you meet prospective customers.
Focus on the Right Sales Strategies
To sum up, using aggressive sales techniques is a thing of the past. It may even cause more harm than good. Hence, sales teams need to choose the right sales strategies for their customers.
By taking note of all the sales tactics to avoid, you can focus more on improving your performance. Learn more about your product offerings. Empathize with your customers. Attend sales seminars or training. Brainstorm ideas with the team. More importantly, skip those habits that are stopping you from succeeding at sales.
If you’re a salesperson or a business owner who needs an extra push with your business, Full Scale is here. Matt DeCoursey, Full Scale’s co-founder, can teach you the right techniques to get your business strategies from Point A to Z.
Contact us to get a FREE consultation with Matt and his Full Scale team.