Over the years there have been many predictions and advice on how to increase sales. A few ideas have been debunked as being just plain foolishness.
Here are some of the more ridiculous advice that have been given:
- There is no need to meet the prospect — you can get everything from the web and a telephone call. While it is true that there are many more ways to communicate with people than before, nothing will ever match the in-person meeting. Whenever possible, meet and get to know the person you are selling.
Research on the internet is important. No one would say not to look up a company before visiting, but to spend hours of time researching a company before you have any reason to do so is a waste of time. We have seen too many sales people fall into the black hole of the internet while researching someone and never coming up for air, much less calling.
- Cold calling dead. We all wish it were, but nothing works as well as picking up the phone and calling for that appointment. Yes, we have all tried email, letters, even LinkedIn. It still remains that eventually you are going to have to call someone and make personal contact. Just do some homework on your pitch and who you're calling before hand. Yes, there is value in creating some sort of credibility and connecting with future clients over social platforms, but don't wait for the phone to ring - it won't!
- Pain is what the sales person is focused on when talking to the prospect. Yet the reality is that the average person is not in enough pain to move from them to you. After all, a sales person is an agent of change; we are trying to get someone to change from one vendor to your company. Ask real questions and help people do what they do better, and you will win. Understanding their pain, is more important than telling them about it.
- Never walk away. Sometimes (contrary to what we have read) it is ok to walk away from a potential sale. If the person is difficult, or the situation doesn’t play out properly; let it go. No one likes do that but there are times it is necessary. And, by the way, don’t discount too fast. Stop chasing dead sales and making it personal to get every sale.
There always has to be balance between your various types of approaches to customers, but the most important thing is to sit in front of them as often as possible, ask dedicated challenging questions, extract the right information and be a challenger and use good insights. Then you will be on the winning path to success.