Technology has had a drastic impact on the sales process. As Apttus writes, these changes aren’t just limited to how consumers research products and services. “From prospecting, to negotiating, to closing deals … ” every aspect of a sales professional’s day-to-day life looks drastically different from a decade ago.
While these changes are here to stay, they haven’t made it easier for RV dealerships and other outside sales-driven businesses to succeed. As OMGHub highlights, sales representatives are “no longer sources of product information or pricing,” due to technology-driven transparency. Join us as we review the five least-effective sales strategies that simply don’t work in 2016:
1. Repeating Cold Calls
A whopping 81 percent of modern consumers start product research using Google or another search engine. Customers have convenient tools to access information that are just a few clicks away. Use the time and resources you spent cold calling to improve your online presence instead.
2. Refusing to Take “No” for an Answer
Today’s customers have more choices. If they need to buy a set of measuring cups, an Amazon search will reveal dozens of options, all of which could be at their door in two days. Refusing to take “no” for an answer won’t endear you to customers who are accustomed to options. Instead, sales professionals should also focus on providing options to their buyers.
3. Being Too Indirect
There’s a difference between what the Harvard Business Review calls “low-pressure” selling and being too indirect. With a low-pressure approach, sellers still highlight value and benefits. They make it clear the product will improve their customers’ lives without a hard sell. In contrast, being too indirect can come across as poor customer service or disengagement, which customers hate.
4. Launching the Elevator Pitch
Remember the elevator pitch, or a memorized overview of your product’s specs and standard benefits? Chances are, your customers have already scoped out the same information online before setting foot in your dealership. By ditching the pitch and focusing on personalized service, you’re more likely to make an impact.
5. Don’t Do “Bake-offs”
Putting down your competitors, which Corporate Visions calls a “bake-off,” doesn’t work in the age of tech-driven transparency. If you falsely claim your competitors can’t “touch” your pricing, your customers could lose trust in your expertise.
Today’s buyers are smarter, better-educated and have more access to information than at any time before in history. High-pressure sales techniques could win you more negative reviews than sales in 2016. By avoiding these least-effective sales strategies, you can win the hearts of modern customers.