Broken sales tactics can be extremely frustrating. You may be right next to the finish line on signing a game-changing prospect, yet you (or a colleague) makes an unforced error that completely scuttles the deal. In other situations, your company may have designed sales tactics or processes that may have seemed effective at the time, but you have now come to recognize that those processes have unnecessarily added complexity to the process.
Whatever the case may be, broken sales tactics can result in lost revenue, more frustration, and lower company morale. It can even go so far as to prevent you from achieving your company’s goals. While all of these things are bad, what is arguably even worse is the fact that you knew you could have converted several key prospects if not for your broken sales tactics. Regret can live with us for a long time.
I want to help you avoid these feelings of regret. To do this, I want to spend this article speaking about how you can fix broken sales tactics. These are some fixes that I have learned in my own life and fixes that I’ve encountered with my colleagues at Dubb. Ultimately, there are some short-term and long-term fixes here, yet all of them can go a long way in helping you avoid the mistakes that you’re making.
Are you ready to fix those broken sales tactics that you’ve been using? Let’s get started.
Prioritize Education Over Sales
To start off, it’s critical to understand that the sales world is experiencing a massive paradigm shift. The old days of sales were all about the deal itself. Prospects would be seen as interchangeable opportunities to hit their annual sales targets. Really, this entire attitude was encompassed by that infamous phrase from Glengarry Glen Ross: “always be closing.”
Sure, this may have worked in the past. Huge companies were created based on aggressive sales tactics. Even today, university graduates enter the workforce and think that they need to take this Glengarry Glen Ross approach to successfully sell their product or service.
While this tactic may help you win in the short-term, it will be damaging in the long-term. You’ll start to recognize that burning and churning through prospects will not lead to consistent sales. Instead of relying on repeat business, you’ll have to constantly search for new clients. Along with this, you may start to develop a poor reputation. You and your colleagues may be seen as ruthless salespeople who are only looking out for themselves and their financial interests.
Rather than embracing this ABC-style of sales, I encourage you to focus on education. Immediately going for the hard sell is going to lose you a significant amount of sales. In other words, it is a broken sales tactic. By leading with education, however, you unlock plenty of short-term and long-term value.
For starters, you show your prospect that you truly get the problems and obstacles that they face in their lives. When you are starting with education, you are forced to create content specifically for that prospect. You have no choice but to step into their shoes and develop content that truly speaks to them. While it may seem simple, this simple act of creating targeted content builds strong relationships with your prospects. They intuitively recognize that you are knowledgeable and have something to offer. From there, they are more likely to make a purchase.
But beyond this important display of empathy, leading with education appears less salesy. Even though one of your goals may be making that final sale, leading with education shows that you truly care about that prospect. You aren’t solely focused on the bottom line. Rather, you want to be a helpful force in improving the prospect’s life. This is an extremely powerful impression to make and is much preferred compared to that old school era of selling.
So even though it may be tempting to lead with the sale, I recommended that you start with education. Offer a deep dive into your product or service and how it can improve your prospects’ lives. Doing so, you’ll avoid broken sales tactics and increase your chances of making the sale.
An emphasis on education over sales naturally leads to the question of how you are going to educate your prospects. Yes, you will certainly want to explain what your product or service does and how it can make your prospects’ lives better.
Yet out of the many broken sales tactics, failing to understand what your audience wants to learn can be one of the most fatal. While the intent to educate your audience is there, educating them on the wrong things shows that you really don’t get them. Your pitch will fall flat and your audience will likely decline your product or service for something else.
So it’s absolutely critical to understand what your audience is looking for. Even if you think you have a good idea, you need to be certain. One great way to gain more clarity is to ask questions of your audience and prospects. See what they are looking to accomplish in their personal or professional lives. Ask them how they measure success and what they are hoping to get out of your product. You can even go into their ROI expectations and how your product or service will help them generate those returns.
The specific questions that you ask will depend on the prospect. You may need to have more in-depth conversations with certain prospects compared to others. That being said, don’t hesitate to ask questions. It not only shows that you care about the prospect’s success, but it will help you craft pitches more closely resonate with that prospect (and even other prospects).
Play The Long Game
One of the best things that you can do to fix broken sales tactics is to take a long-term perspective. This is closely related to this argument of prioritizing education over sales.
Let’s face it: if you are starting with an education-first approach to winning over prospects, you are going to need to be patient. You likely aren’t going to make the sale in your first interaction (although there’s certainly nothing wrong if it happens). Instead, it is important to embrace the long game.
At its core, the long game is about building trust with your prospects. Yes, it is about being upfront about the fact that you are trying to sell them a product or service. But at the same time, it is about being honest about why you believe in the product or service that you are selling.
It may take some time to explain those benefits—especially if specific prospects haven’t heard about your company or are brand new to your industry. The simple reality today is that people aren’t answering their phones or opening their doors. Right now, the gold is in the value, consultation, and education that we provide to our prospects.
Ultimately, the rule of thumb here is that you should treat others the way that you want to be treated. You don’t need to close your prospects immediately, even if it may seem tempting to do so. Instead, by keeping the long game in mind and putting in the work, your prospects understand that you are truly trying to improve their lives. Patience is a virtue here, as it will make your prospects much more comfortable that your product or service will drastically improve their lives.
A Renewed Preference For Inside Sales
Through the rapid adoption of technology, I believe that one of the starkest broken sale tactics is relying on outside sales over inside sales. While outside sales may have been effective in the old school era of sales, inside sales have been, and will continue to be, relevant for all sectors and industries.
Outside sales are basically making sales outside of the office. Predominantly, this is through things like face-to-face meetings with clients. It can also be things like making sales at trade shows. On the other hand, inside sales aren’t made in a physical, face-to-face format. Inside sales can be everything from making sales over the telephone to sales made over Skype, email, and Facebook.
For the foreseeable future, I think that outside sales are effectively dead. The only way to break through is by embracing inside sales. This is for a variety of reasons, but one of the most prominent is Covid-19. With fewer in-person meetings happening for the foreseeable future, you and your colleagues will need to rely on an inside sales perspective.
The great news? There are so many effective tools that can help you execute an inside sales strategy. Zoom has been a huge force in helping entrepreneurs and salespeople complete their work from home. Not only that, but as I’ll explain below, Dubb can be a fantastic tool to help you with your inside sales strategy.
Whichever tools that you decide to use, they are excellent ways to develop and maintain personal relationships with your prospects. In all likelihood, you’ll find that inside sales is a better and more efficient way of connecting with prospects and generating more sales.
Show Honesty With Video
Some of the best indoor sales strategies involve video. At Dubb, we are huge proponents of the power of video. From connecting with prospects to generating repeat business, video can help you accomplish your sales and marketing goals.
When looking at video in the sales context, however, there is one key benefit that you should absolutely leverage. That benefit is the fact that video can show your honesty and credibility. The visual nature of video immediately reveals your honesty because prospects can see your face. They can hear your voice and the way that you are describing your product or service. It’s almost as if they are in the room with you.
Because of this, prospects will immediately be able to pick up on your honesty. If you are fibbing about your product or service, they are going to intuitively sense that something is wrong. Their spidey sense will start to tingle and they’ll be more likely to pass on your business and go with a competitor. On the flip side, if you are completely honest about your product or service and how it can make your prospects’ lives better, they’ll be able to see it in your face. They’ll start to get very comfortable with your pitch and will be much more likely to make a purchase.
You can think of it this way: in the film The Wolf of Wall Street, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Jordan Belfort asks several different people to “sell me this pen.” I think that this “sell me this pen” attitude is now over. We’re done with that. Instead, we are now living in the era of “sell me through video.”
Video can be your best tool in connecting with prospects and actually selling to those prospects. On the other hand, ignoring video is one of the most harmful broken sales tactics. I encourage you to make the natural choice here.
Leverage Best Practices When Recording Video Content
So understanding the importance of video, you may be wondering how you can actually implement it in your day-to-day sales work. After all, one of the coolest things about video is that you can do so many things with it. But the downside of that is that it can be difficult to know how to get started.
To reiterate, video is critical to building trust. This is especially true in the world of digital sales. Your customers likely have many different choices that they can make, whether that is working with a competitor or finding a substitute good or service. Because of this, your video content offers a great opportunity to show off your product or service, display your personality, and reveal your knowledge and credibility.
Keeping all of these benefits in mind is helpful when you are creating your video content. You want to create videos that lead with value and show your audience that you are someone to be trusted. While the video itself will give you a good head start, you’ll want to actually explain and show why your viewers should listen to you. This can be everything from explaining your background at the company to even including customer testimonials in your video content.
If you are new to video or haven’t had that much time on-camera, it is important to get used to it. Take the time to construct an outline of what you want to say. Better yet, spend some time speaking freely to the camera. From there, review your video content and make notes on what you’d like to improve. The goal in these early takes isn’t to release the video as is. Rather, the exercise is to help you get comfortable speaking to the camera.
Whether you have substantial or non-substantial time in front of the camera, I encourage you to leverage prerecorded videos. To put it simply, prerecorded videos have tremendous power. For starters, they let you spend any number of takes to get your message right. You don’t need to speak off the cuff and deliver a muddled message to your prospects. Instead, you can take your time and create a crisp, high-value video for your viewers.
But beyond the unlimited number of takes, prerecorded videos can be watched at scale. Your viewers can watch them over and over again—all on their schedule. At Dubb, we tend to think of this as cloning yourself. By taking the time to create one prerecorded video, you can spread your message across the Internet at essentially zero cost to you. While you are spending time on other important things, your prerecorded videos can continue to do work for you—even when you are sleeping.
Of course, getting on a live phone call or video chat is great. However, when you want to scale your sales operations, prerecorded videos can be extremely valuable. While you can only be on one conference call at one time, prerecorded videos can help you be anywhere—all the time.
So the question from there is how you can incorporate prerecorded videos into your sales process. The good news is that there are few real rules here. For instance, prerecorded videos can be a great option if a prospect is coming across your company for the first time. The prerecorded video can introduce you, your company, and show how your product or service can improve viewers’ lives. You can even include customer testimonials, which will build social proof for you and your business. Whatever you choose, you can heavily rely on prerecorded videos to clone yourself and build relationships with all of your prospects.
If you are looking for a seamless tool that can help you connect with all of your prospects, I recommend that you check out Dubb. At Dubb, we provide an actionable video platform that lets you easily send videos from wherever you are. For instance, you can communicate via video to your prospects when you are completing your work on LinkedIn or Gmail. We also have a Chrome extension so that you can easily record and distribute videos with just a few clicks.
When you record a video with Dubb, you automatically get actionable videos. What do I mean by this? Essentially, when a viewer clicks on the thumbnail link to your video, they are brought to a page where they can take action. Call to action buttons let you lead your prospects down your sales funnel. For instance, you can program your call to action buttons to have viewers download an eBook, fill out a form, sign up for a masterclass, book a call with your organization, or virtually anything else you want. Calls to action are extremely powerful ways to continue engaging with your prospects and generate more sales.
All of this is trackable, meaning that you can see who is watching your video. You can even see how much of the video that they have watched. This data is extremely valuable and can help you allocate your time when selling to different prospects. For instance, if you see that a specific prospect has religiously watched all of your sales and marketing videos, you’ll likely want to spend more time trying to convert him or her.
Ultimately, Dubb can be an essential tool in curing many of your broken sales tactics. It can help you integrate video throughout your sales processes. To learn more about Dubb and how it can help you and your sales colleagues, click here.
Finally, we need to talk about another one of the most damaging broken sales tactics. It’s more meta compared to some of the other granular tactics that I mentioned, yet it is extremely important to implementing an effective sales strategy. That is the fact that you need to fight inertia and embrace experimentation.
Executing a sales strategy, like other parts of running a business, is full of uncertainty. There is no good instruction manual for figuring this stuff out. While we have a general framework and a guide, it is really about our creativity, ingenuity, and perseverance. It’s about taking the facts that you know, making an educated guess about how you can improve your sales work, executing, reviewing the data, and incorporating that data into your future work.
The unfortunate reality, however, is that many organizations shy away from experimentation. Even if things aren’t necessarily working, they find more comfort in the known than in the unknown. This is true even if that unknown offers vast opportunities to grow their businesses.
I urge you to resist that temptation. While it may be nerve-wracking, you must go outside your comfort zone and start tweaking your sales strategy. Yes, following the insights and tactics discussed above can go a long way in fixing your broken sales tactics. But beyond that, feel free to try different sales tactics—even if they seem out-of-the-box or non-traditional. By having a bias for action and being open to different strategies and tactics, I’m sure that you’ll supercharge your sales work.
Start Fixing Those Broken Sales Tactics
Broken sales tactics can significantly harm an organization. Not only are you leaving valuable business on the table, but lost sales can damage your organization’s morale. It can be difficult to see warm prospects saying “no” to your organization and saying “yes” to one of your competitors.
Ultimately, it doesn’t have to be this way. By being open to change and embracing the tactics and strategies discussed above, you can fix those broken sales tactics and accomplish your business goals. The best time to get started is right now.