How Old and New-School Sales Techniques Blend in Today's Markets

Business.com / Sales / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Getting both personal and personable will help your sales spike in today's market. Discover new approaches for the new modern consumer.

Whether you work on the floor at a high-end clothing store on Rodeo Drive, 5th Avenue or have you own used car lot somewhere in Arizona, the end goal of being in business is the same.

It doesn’t matter whether you have a company that’s run from the basement of your home on a computer or from the corner office twenty floors up, you need to sell stuff to stay solvent.

This is essentially true regardless of whether the nameplate on your door specifically reads “sales” or not.

Everyone in every type of business has a vested interest in making sure the products or services your company champions makes the move to the people in your target market in exchange for their hard earned cash.

Understanding some new approaches for salespeople will give everyone a better understanding of what motivates the average consumer today.

Related Article: Tips From Closers: 8 Pro Techniques Top Sales Professionals Use When Selling

Rule Number One: Show Some Humility

No matter how long you’ve been in business, you’ve never seen it all. That means you never really know what a prospect wants until they tell you specifically so if things appear to be a little vague during the selling process, ask for some clarity. 

Back in days of yore when brick-and-mortar was the way things got sold, that meant listening more and talking less; in today’s world of E-commerce, that first rule often translates into forming relationships with your fingers on the keyboard through social media and/or hiring some data analytics wizards to tell you what all those Twitter and Facebook posts really mean.

Remember, that it doesn’t matter whether you’re typing or talking, taking over the conversation with direct sales pitches can kill any deal. A prospect can get a rundown of all your goods and services from a website. Your job is to find out who you are dealing with and what they really want.  

Successful Leap

Having said all that, there are still quite a few traditional selling techniques that have made the successful leap from being used in the store front window to the landing page online and satisfying a demand with a supply that focuses on convenience still works wonders. Here’s a case to illustrate this point.

You don’t have to be that old to remember your mother or grandmother carefully clipping coupons to save a few bucks here and there. They might even be doing it now because it’s been a time-honored way of looking for great deals. Satisfying that demand is a great way to sell stuff and a technique those mavens of the Internet couldn’t pass up.

Related Article:Tapping the Right Brain: 5 Steps to Improving Creativity in Sales

Enter, MyDeals.com, a website that puts coupons and discounts together with some great articles on everything from money-saving hacks on energy to ways to save cash while shopping in cyberspace. The brains behind this enterprise knew that supplying coupons and deals would get them occasional traffic, but offering up the extra value of cost-saving advice makes for loyal clients.

Hence you’ll find a bevy of great resources and articles here that are all geared toward helping you save. By the way, if you need some convincing that things have really changed, look no further than PwC’s NextGen: A global generational study. This research found that as of  this year, a full 80 percent of the PwC workforce would be Millennial and this generation puts an emphasis on listening to and staying connected with fellow employees and customers in business.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Here’s another important mantra that you need to sell goods and services that translates into rule number two. People want to be treated with respect and today that means a hard sell is often interpreted as an insult. In today’s market that’s chock full of Millennials, you need to lead with a different kind of offer that’s more than just solving a common problem or issue.

Inviting a prospect in and offering them some value added information makes all the difference but there’s more that needs to be done. Remember recent research from Elite Daily states that today’s generation puts a higher emphasis on authenticity (43 percent) rather than old-school sales techniques.

Today’s shopper needs to feel connected and that their input matters. One of the best ways to accomplish that goal is with adopting an interactive element to your business. Questionnaires are a great way to give people a say in how your products and services are fashioned if you’re still in a brick and mortar environment. Online, you can even go so far as to ask visitors to your website to take a more active role.

Related Article:Born to Sell: Qualities of a Successful Sales Representative

Once again, taking a look at the MyDeals.com website provides a great example. While they make every effort to gather the information that services their target market, the coupons and discounts they put together are enhanced by the submissions they ask for from their readers. It’s a great way to get people engaged and another great technique to turn occasional visitors into loyal clients.

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