Sales: What Works, What Doesn’t

Humans aren’t great at adapting to change. When we find a comfort level, we often stop evolving. But mixing it up once in a while can invigorate your sales process. Even if your technique works, another may work even better.

First, review proven approaches. Although one may fit your personality better than another, make sure you know how to switch gears when your prospect doesn’t respond.

Sales professionals expect a “yes” or “no,” but don’t prepare for an indecisive prospect. Up to sixty percent of your pipeline may be full of the “maybes.”

Find a way to change their “not now” into “yes” with the following tips.

What Works

Find the Value

Your competitors sell the same thing you do; they have a website; they’re on Facebook and Twitter. So, what makes you different? Whatever the “it” is, focus on what you can do for your prospect. Whatever you choose, what you say must be true, unique, and actually serve your prospect.

Before and After

Everyone likes a good story. Don’t tell just any story – make it a before and after tale. Weave a compelling anecdote about a prospect that had issues before you solved their problem.

Make the Prospect the Hero

Elevate your client as the one who did the right thing; they chose to solve their company’s problem with your solution.

Tell Your Story with Images

No, don’t go through a boring PowerPoint or worse – a hardcopy of it. Leave behind impactful visuals that tell your story. Less is more.

What Doesn’t Work

Don’t sell the benefits of your product –

at least not alone. Why is your prospect looking at your products in the first place? Discovery what is needed and why. Then fill that need.


Don’t one-up your competitors on features; they’ll do the same to you. Instead, talk to the prospect about why it’s important to change and why it’s important to change now.

Marketing to Personas

Like the FBI, many salespeople target types or “suspects,” but the people you sell to may only be similar because of their location or business culture. Instead, make your target’s life better, easier, more efficient; that’s what everyone wants. Show them a better way.

Relying on the Standard Elevator Pitch

Everyone needs an elevator pitch, but that short bio only tells your story. Instead, focus on your client’s story. Feature your prospect or client as the hero.

Delivering PowerPoint presentations

The lights are low and everyone has better things to do. Instead of putting your audience to sleep, keep them awake by telling an interesting story instead of a presenting them with yawn-able visuals

No matter what approach you choose, you can always change – but remember, the salesperson who adapts, thrives.


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Tamera Shaw is a freelance writer for Insured Solutions based in Louisville, Kentucky. She writes fiction and enjoys amateur photography. She happily shares her life with husband Ron, daughter Cate and sage cat, Sophie, who grudgingly shares her home with the newest member of our family – Nieko, our new kitten.


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