It’s true. The old-school car salesman approach of yesteryear is dead and gone. Back in the day, the Hard Sell represented the epitome of sales skill…the idea of talking a prospect into buying something that may or may not meet their needs was hailed as a supreme accomplishment. That’s no longer the case. People have quick, easy access to information (and yes, I’m talking to you, smartphone). Because of that, it’s much more difficult to talk someone out of objections with fast lingo, half-truths and exaggeration. The internet has also done consumers an unintended favor: it got everyone used to the idea of evaluating information for themselves. In recent years, customers have become much more likely to question the source of information both online and in person. Armed with this newfound knowledge, they’re more confident in their own decision-making abilities while being less willing to be bullied into making a quick decision by a pushy salesman. We’re all more willing to walk away, get a second opinion, or check other sources for better deals.
In this shall we say “more-evolved” era of sales, the process of selling has become more intellectual. Talent and art still have their place, but today’s sales process is based more in hard numbers and facts. Sales has become more defined and yet more interdisciplinary (and, if we’re being honest, a bit more overwhelming). We have seen companies struggle in two areas. On one end of the spectrum are the companies that refuse to embrace modern tools and methods like information gathering, the psychology of buying and selling, etc. On the other end are the companies that jump at every gimmick and fad without being thoughtful about the process ad how it will relate, in real-world applications, to their business model.
We might reflect a bit on that time when the Hard Sell was an effective ploy and think we’re doing so much better now, but mark my words, at some point in the not-so-distant future, today’s approach will also slip into memory. It will probably be incremental – as most things are – but, eventually, it will become outdated too. Since the world keeps changing and the way we process information continually evolves, effective sales outreach needs to evolve with it, or be left behind.
The take-away here?
Education is a primary pit-stop on the road to conversion.
Make sure your company’s sales materials are selling your products’ or services’ primary benefits in terms that directly relate to your customers’ needs. Tickle & Woo encourages companies to craft compelling, informative sales messages that can be emblazoned inside every Tickle Box mailing. Our Customer Happiness Team can even help you write the content!