Throwback to Old School Sales: 5 Foundational Steps That Always Hold True

Here’s a couple of questions to ask yourself . . . Are you struggling in the discovery phase? Are you not generating as many sales leads as your competition, or as you would hope to? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, maybe it’s time to consider going back to the basics. I’ve rounded up five old school sales techniques that will always be the foundation of a strong sales process.

Old School Sales Tips That Work

Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, these sales tips will distinguish you from your competition.

  1. Develop a business plan for your sales goals and strategy. Before you set up that meeting or jump on a conference call with a potential client, take the time to define your sales goals and how you are going to achieve them.  Keep in mind that your sales goals should be aligned with your company’s growth goals. Write down specific activities that will achieve these goals. As the old saying goes: Plan your work and work your plan.
  2. Create a list of your best targets for business development. It’s better to have a focused list of 100 – 200 companies that can benefit greatly from your product or solution, as opposed to every company in a specific field. This allows you to build a better message that’s targeted specifically for this type of client. It’s also a more efficient approach, since reaching out to thousands of people is daunting!
  3. The phone is your friend. Social media and email blasts are great tools to generate sales leads, and some would argue that they are a necessary “new school” tool, but don’t forget about reaching out via phone. You have approximately 15-20 seconds to gain the prospect’s interest.  Remember, voice mail is inevitable – be prepared to leave a compelling 20-second message. But don’t throw out all your best benefits and keywords on the first message. It could take several calls to get a response – keep each call fresh with a different reason, pain, benefit or gain.
  4. Target people higher in the organization. When selling a business solution, aim for the top dog in the company and focus on what problem your product or services solves. It’s easier to move down in an organization than move up. What’s better than the COO referring you down in his organization? This is what we like to refer to as the “Golden Referral.”
  1. The Golden Rule of Sales Competition

If you want to gain more business than your sales competition, remember that the name of the game is trust. People buy from companies they trust.

Customers hope businesses give them good information to make an informed buying decision – the result of how well information is received and the believability of that information. This will separate you from your competition. And don’t forget a personal touch – no generic social media tags or email blasts!

It’s simple: if you do a poor job of educating a prospect about why they should purchase a specific item, they won’t purchase the item.

Put your customer’s needs first. It’s your job to solve their issue to make their life easier. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is starting a sales call with a demo or presentation before knowing what your prospective client needs.

It’s your job as a seller to not only have people buy your product, but also develop a level of trust so that they will keep coming back time and time again. One of the best ways to determine if a prospect trusts you is to take note of their body posture (are they crossing their arms?) and see if they are checking their phone or clock constantly.

So the next time you find yourself low on leads or struggling in the discovery phase, throwback to the basics and follow these five old school sales tips to help you get results.

As President and Founder of Optimus Sales Group, Marc Metz uses his 30 years of sales leadership expertise to customize sustainable sales strategies for business owners. Marc can be reached at [email protected].