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02 2012

The Trials and Tribulations of Being an Old Sales Dog

Syndicated from: Fearless Selling » Blog

Veteran sales people face numerous sales challenges with the most significant being the recent changes in the business world. Although they bring a substantial amount of experience to the table, the sales world has changed and many “old sales dogs” are struggling to adapt. The challenge is that the sales strategies that worked five or even ten years ago may no longer be relevant or effective. Showing up and throwing up is no longer an effective sales approach—actually, I’m not sure it was ever effective. I recently spoke to someone in the cosmetic business who expressed her frustration with how much more difficult it was to reach her sales quota. She lamented that salon owners were focused solely on price and that they weren’t interested in trying new products. As we talked, I realized that she hadn’t changed her approach and was relying on the same tactics and strategies she used when she first began selling more than 20 years ago. One of the most common complaints I hear from the sales teams I work with is that it is much harder to connect with decision makers. They complain that people don’t return their calls and that it takes a lot more work to schedule an appointment or meeting. Welcome to selling in the 21st century! I completely agree that it is more challenging to connect with customers and new prospects. That means we need to take a different approach. We need to use different strategies. And we need to work harder to achieve the same results. When I worked in the consumer electronics industry, sales people would tell me that they used to be able to reach their sales targets simply by standing at the sales counter and handing people the latest new gadget. They found it difficult to compete with competitors who now offered a greater selection at a lower price, even though those stores offered very little service or assistance. Now there are apps that instantly tell consumers the price point of a particular product at the surrounding retailers. All of this this means that old dogs MUST learn new tricks. I’m not suggesting that you use manipulative sales tactics or resort to misleading people in order to close a sale. What this means is that veteran sales MUST update their selling skills. This is no longer an option. In today’s ultra-competitive business world, it is now a prerequisite. Old sales dogs can still succeed. But, they must adapt to today’s new sales world. If your team could benefit from some “new world” sales strategies, give me call. 905-633-7750

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