In the world of sales training, there are lot of opinions on what works and what doesn’t. In reality, the only way to tell is by testing something out personally and seeing if it results in more closed sales, higher commissions, and happier customers.
With that being said, there are some sales tips and tricks which are better left untested.
Read straight from a script
I have had the misfortune, as have many of you have, of being sold by telemarketers reading straight off of a script. It is usually painfully obvious, and the worst part is that I know that these often well-meaning salespeople on the other side of the line are costing their companies a fortune, as they have not been taught to think beyond their scripts — and so are easily stumped by any objection not on their “cheat sheet.” Scripts can be valuable, but they must be rehearsed and internalized to some degree, not simply read off.
Ken Krogue provides some overused call openers which you should avoid, in this short but informative blog post.
It is probably this “trick” which has earned salespeople a bad reputation is some parts. While most don’t tell blatant lies to their customers, nonetheless many have been trained to stretch the truth in order to gain an advantage.
Colleen Francis gives some great real-life examples of how these little lies can backfire, whether it be fibbing to get past a gatekeeper or pretending to be something you are not.
Of all the sales tips and tricks, this one is truly the laziest: just be cheapest. The result of selling this way is more work for less pay for both the salesperson and her company, which will face dire straits if it has too many salespeople giving up margin on every deal. The only place low price does the trick is in the commoditization of goods which can be sold at great volume, which is why the Wal-Marts of the world do so well. For the rest of us who do not move millions of pieces of widgets and knick-knacks daily, a different tactic is required.
Evan Carmichael makes a good point when he suggests asking simple questions to uncover a prospect’s definition of value, or the main thing that will cause them to buy, aside from price. We at Asher have advocated this approach for years, and it’s why we stress the importance of listening. Your prospects will usually tell you what they value the most on their own, if you gently guide without interrupting.
So, which sales tips and tricks actually work? Reading some of the past articles in this blog will give you a lot of effective ones, but probably the most important one is this: treat your prospects the way you would like to be treated if you were in their shoes, and you will likely get far. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t push for the sale, but it does mean that in doing so, you should also truly help the person in front of you, rather than see them as just the next commission check.