Posted: February 02, 2011
Traditional selling: it’s so dead
Let's bury it for goodBy Liz Wendling
Traditional selling is dead. Unfortunately, many salespeople haven't read the obituary and are still using these extinct selling strategies. They're not offering a competitive edge that separates them from their competition. Rather than changing their approach, they're working harder and longer and are continually reacting to the changes in the marketplace, only to produce the same dismal results as before.
Traditional selling is a manipulative and pressure-filled process designed to get someone to buy regardless of whether they want to buy or not. Traditional selling is about preparing for the battle and winning the war. It's about overcoming obstacles, circumventing roadblocks, and tricking or trapping your customer into the sale. This obsolete way of conducting business is no way to attract and keep loyal customers, and it no longer works in this economy.
Every business needs customers who are confident they made the right decision to buy from you. Customers who feel they bought under pressure and felt coerced into buying invariably end up canceling their orders and changing their minds. This scene plays itself out every day in traditional selling and will continue if salespeople choose to keep selling in this manner.
The path to attracting new customers has become more complex and less forgiving than ever. To sell successfully in this challenging economy requires a solid foundation that is powerful enough to deliver significantly higher value to customers, that goes beyond the products and services being sold.
Everyone in sales - including some of your competitors - knows the traditional techniques. Many use them every day. It's the same old stuff, and years of exposure have made customers familiar with them too. Use these techniques and you will achieve the same level of success as everyone else. You'll remain an average player, not an outstanding one. You'll be part of the pack, not out in front.
So if you find yourself stuck on the dreaded sales plateau, if the daily dose of rejection is making you apathetic or if you're using techniques that are no longer working, you need current selling tools and sales coaching that goes beyond the same tired old stuff.
Enter the new way to sell. Collaborative selling, or consultative selling, begins with a different mind-set and a commitment to creating long-term customer relationships by salespeople who are trusted and reliable resources. The focus becomes the customer's needs and your ability to provide a solution to their problems. No longer is the sales process a battle between you and the customer.
This new way to sell works because it replaces the combative attitude of traditional "push" sell¬ing with the persuasive "pulling" power of cooperative decision making. A true win for both sides.
Collaborative selling is a philosophy and a practice that is being used today by enlightened salespeople, and it is clearly the sales process of the future. Collaborative selling helps professional salespeople build a large, loyal customer base that generates future sales and provides referrals.
Once you understand this new approach and master the steps, your selling per¬formance will improve immediately. Selling will become more nat¬ural, more rewarding, and more fun. You'll find that you can use these techniques and sell yourself in almost any situation. When you use collaborative selling, you get to bury your tricks and gimmicks that no longer work in this economy.
Just be straight and upfront and your customers will thank you for that. Remember, it's not what you sell, it's how you sell.
Liz Wendling is "The Sales Coach for Women" and the author of "The Unstoppable Business Woman." Liz empowers women business owners (and smart men) to create immediate sales results, achieve lasting business success and permanently raise their bottom line. From the novice to the seasoned sales professional and business owner, Liz provides coaching around communicating more effectively and selling more efficiently. Go to: www.salescoachforwomen.com or email Liz@salescoachforwomen.com
Download 2 FREE chapters of her latest book at www.theunstoppablebusinesswoman.com