How to Ditch Old-School Sales Tactics

Thu Apr 13, 2017

Kathy Crosett

If you’ve been in sales for a few years, you’ve probably developed a routine that works for you. The real salesmanoldschoolquestion is, does your routine work for your prospects? In your zeal to remain competitive and score major deals, you may have lost sight of the fact that your tactics are a little dated.


Are you relying too much on persuading prospects and clients? It’s tempting, says Marc Wayshak in his recent article, to keep working on a prospect until he says yes. In fact, salespeople often keep trying until they hear a flat out no, many times.

Maybe you’re offering a year of free support or a reduced upgrade to get the prospect to sign the contract. If weeks and months go by and the prospect isn’t showing any signs of budging, you need to get the message. Often, a prospect in a situation like this hasn’t been well-qualified.

You may have jumped into your sales pitch without taking the time to understand what he wants or needs. Instead of immediately trying to persuade every prospect to buy, take the time to collect information. Does the prospect have sufficient financial resources to purchase your product or service? Is he the final decision maker or should you be talking to someone else? After you understand the prospect, you may find it’s in your best interest to move on.


Old-school selling styles can sometimes remind prospects of late night TV pitches delivered at a fast pace and loud volume by an individual who immediately wants to make you hit the mute button. In person, fake enthusiasm is equally hard to take and can prompt a prospect to show you the door. Wayshak advises spending time to develop your true sales personality. In addition, your strategy should include taking the time to get to know your prospect and what interests her, both professionally and personally. Once you find common ground, you can build a relationship. There’s no substitute for coming across as being genuinely interested in your prospect’s situation. Do that, and you’ll find more prospects turning into clients.

When’s the last time you reviewed your sales tactics or upgraded your skills with new training programs?

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About Kathy Crosett

Kathy is the Research Director for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel.

View all posts by Kathy Crosett