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Avoid These 7 Deadly Sales Techniques

Denis Linehan Business coworkers working on a presentation

Want to sell more? You need to let go of these unforgivable sales techniques. Are you still using any of these?

Whatever product you happen to be selling, you doubtless recognise the need to adhere to a few tried and true sales techniques. Sometimes, however, you find that your execution of these techniques is somehow lacking.

You set aside time to work on your pitch each day and approach as many potential clients as possible, yet you still don’t get the results you desire.

You must be doing something wrong, something that successful sales professionals have already mastered.

How, though, do you even begin to reassess your application of the various techniques you’ve familiarized yourself with as a salesperson?

While there are several steps you can take, you must always begin by identifying everything that you’re doing wrong. That said, follow along as we detail 7 sales techniques that are ineffective.

Doing Everything On The Fly

A career in sales often demands improvisation of the salesperson, but sometimes we take improvisation to an unreasonable level.

Despite the fact that we need to be adaptable, there is no shame in rehearsing your pitch from time to time. As a matter of fact, if you know your pitch inside out as a result of practicing it often, you’ll be able to better modify it on the fly.

Further still, there is no reason that you shouldn’t have all of your materials prepared before you start dealing with a potential client. We guarantee you that few people will be willing to wait for you to get your things together, which means that you’ll miss out on a sale or two for your lack of organization.

The short version? Don’t improvise your pitch if you don’t have to, and set up shop before you get to work.

Talking Too Much About Yourself

There is a narcissist in all of us, and we need to keep it in check when we’re on the job. Yes, we sometimes get excited about the products we’re advertising, but clients don’t want to hear us prattle on about our services and goods.

In fact, many of them tend to want to voice their concerns, and if we allow them to do so, we can better address those concerns while making our pitches. That is to say, your customer should be speaking more than you during any interaction.

Furthermore, going on and on about your services comes off as obnoxious and makes you look as if you really want to make a sale; you obviously want to make a sale, buy your customer should not get the sense that you’re desperate to do so.

Trust us when we say that some of your potential clients are already somewhat annoyed by your presence as a salesperson, so letting them take charge of the conversation is one of the more invaluable sales techniques on this list.

Making Long Pitches

This tip goes hand in hand with the previous one. As we’ve already established, nobody wants to hear you talk about your services at length.

Well, unsurprisingly enough, people also aren’t too fond of lengthy pitches.

Whenever you make a pitch to someone, you should always operate as if your client has somewhere to be. In other words, the client is not on your time. You’re instead on your client’s time.

Consequently, you need to speed up your pitch. You can do so by condensing the pitch or literally speeding the process along.

Whichever method you choose, make sure that your pitch doesn’t exceed one minute.

Approaching As Many Potential Clients As Possible

We’re as fond of the law of averages as any salesperson, but the law doesn’t mean much of anything if you don’t carefully vet your clients.

Targeting is critical if you are not going to waste your time.  Too many sales people think “everybody” is their market palce when in fact 80% of your prospects will be from a pool of very similar people.

To be blunt, we are asking you to discriminate here, but in the best way possible.

Being Too Persistent

Out of all of the bad sales techniques, we’re listing here, this one is probably the worst.

sales techniques - too persistent

No, we’re not telling you not to try to win your clients over, but there is a point at which your persistence becomes harassment.

And no client wants to be harassed.

You can generally tell when you’re being too persistent due to the fact that clients begin to show that they’re annoyed with you after you’ve shoved your product in their faces 6 times.

In order to avoid coming off as persistent, you can set a limit for yourself. Tell yourself, for example, that you won’t ask more than 3 times unless you’re given reason to think that asking again would be beneficial to you.

Coming Off As Aloof

No one likes a salesperson (or person in general) who isn’t personable.

You might think you look cool and professional when you approach your potential clients in a suit and tie and give a scripted speech, but the fact of the matter is that you won’t make any sales this way.

Instead of being so stiff and rigid, you need to create personal relationships with your clients by appealing to their likes and dislikes. If you notice, for example, that a client is wearing a Metallica tee, mention it and see what happens. The client will likely warm up to you.

If, however, you’re not pitching in person, you’ll have to rely solely on verbal cues and your prior knowledge of the client in order to accomplish this task. You’ll definitely have a harder time of things, but it’s doable.

Not Actually Asking For The Sale

You’d think that asking for the sale was one of those sales techniques that was evident, but as it turns out, there are some people who completely forget to ask for it.

sales techniques - ask for the sale

They spend 2 minutes talking up a product only to forget the most essential part of any sale.

While clients will no doubt understand that a salesperson wants them to buy the product he or she has been describing, salespersons simply need to be more aggressive about making sales.

To be blunt, describing a product without asking someone to buy it makes a salesperson look weak and unsure, and you definitely don’t want to come off as either of those things.

Finding Sales Techniques That Work

Needless to say, for every sales technique that doesn’t work, there is one that does.

You just have to put some time and effort into finding those techniques.

Having said that, if you keep reading up on sales strategies, your pitch and technique are sure to improve, and, before you know it, you’ll be one of those expert salespersons that fledglings come to for advice.

When that time comes, just remember to share your wisdom. Everyone needs a little help sometimes.



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  1. […] It’s critical that you don’t forget to ask for the sale or use any of these awful sales techniques. […]

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