There are all kinds of bad tactics earnestly applied in sales calls every day. I do it; you do it; we all do it. Nobody deserves to get beaten up for the occasional goof. Everybody deserves to get beaten up for making the same mistake three times. (Notice what a sweetheart I am – allowing us all to make the same mistake twice!)
What really makes me crazy is all the self-proclaimed sales gurus who insist on teaching and promoting the use of tactics that don’t work any more. I’m compelled to go on record with what I consider the three most egregious. Stop, PLEASE STOP, using these immediately!
1) Asking obvious, safe questions – to get the prospect into the habit of saying, “Yes.” Would you like to save money? Would you like to increase your productivity? Would you like to work with a trusted business partner with a proven track record? Questions such as these are bad enough in the body of a sales call. They can be spectacularly counter-productive when dealing with an objection. If the person you’re meeting is not insulted by this sort of drivel, trust me, that individual doesn’t have enough influence to make anything happen. (By the way, the phrase “trusted business partner” doesn’t make me ill, but it does make me a bit queasy.)
2) ABC – Always Be Closing. It was great theater in Glengarry, Glen Ross. So don’t you get it? It was great theater because it was satire! Behave as Alec Baldwin’s character did in the movie version, and you’ll be correctly labeled as a pompous jerk. (Tone done the aggressiveness a bit and you’ll only be annoying.)
3) The Doughnut Drop – Make no mistake. I love doughnuts! In fact, as soon as I make this post, I’m heading off to a meeting with a client and I’m bringing those beauties shown on the right. I’m not saying to never buy doughnuts. I am wondering if you actually think the decision maker has “Doughnut quality, quantity and frequency” on his or her list of decision criteria. If doughnuts are your difference-maker, maybe it’s time to look for another line of work. At least this one won’t hurt you… But please, don’t think it helps.
I know there are many more “Tried And True” sales tactics that are no longer true. What oldies are you removing from your own repertoire?