Selling: What Used To Work – No Longer Does

In spite of the stock market surge, things are not good right now, and it is my opinion that the blood-letting, employee dumping, downsizing (true unemployment remains at 17%), expense slashing and the over $1 trillion in cash hoarding by both big and small businesses has only begun rather than nearing its end as the Obama Gang and idiot/complicit media would have you believe. It is also my opinion that the results of the November election will do little to change any of this.

What This Means For You

The economy is about as nice a place as the city dump on the wrong side of town. It is very hard to be optimistic in this economy. So you have to manufacture your own optimism. That may mean tightening your belt and doing more for your clients than has ever been necessary just to keep them. It may also mean doing more for less. It may mean having to put up with some pain in the ass clients that in another time you would cull. It may mean that you will have to reinvent or reposition yourself (or both) by updating your professional selling skills. It certainly means that you will have to work harder than you have in the last decade and a half.

Most business people stay mired in the past and are too slow to react to the oncoming freight train, believing incorrectly that it is light at the end of the tunnel. Truth is, if you are trying to be in the same business in 3 to 5 years that you’re in now, you’ll be out of business. I’ve been saying this for two years but people don’t like to hear it, so they ignore it, stick their head in the sand and play the Ostrich Game.

Just last week, I talked with a sales coaching client who refused to accept my assessment and advice and instead listened to those whose advice mirrored his own. The result? His $5 million a year small business is a shell of its former size and he personally is out $250,000 cash. Another sales coaching client asked for and paid for professional sales training and then totally ignored my advice. The result – he lost $12,000 in an ill fated marketing campaign that netted him zero dollars in revenue. Arrogance and stupidity know no boundaries.

Many business sales professionals are using the same old-fashioned sales techniques that were developed in the 80’s and 90’s. And I’m here to tell you that those selling skills, strategies and techniques no longer work. Is YOUR business one of them?

Techniques that worked effectively yesterday, get lost in the clutter of today’s overhyped sales environment… that’s why most businesses are seeing their response rates drop every year. Don’t expect this trend to change anytime soon.

The techniques taught in books, on CDs, and at sales training seminars just a few years ago, no longer work because the business landscape has changed dramatically in the last 24 months and continues to change almost daily. Prospects have grown more cautious, and are increasingly immune to sales approaches that were taught just two years ago.

Today’s prospects are wise to the world. They’ve seen all the dog & pony tricks used to sell them in the past and they’ve learned how to recognize and avoid old, worn out and ineffective approaches.

The truth is that selling is getting harder and harder. Trust is at an all time low and prospect resistance is at an all time high. Professional sales training geared towards this downward trend are needed more now than ever before.

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