Skip to main content

Article 4 min read

Not your grandpa’s sales pitch: 3 outdated sales techniques to put to bed

Replace old, tired techniques with these new and improved strategies so you can win more sales now.

By Maria Waida

Last updated September 1, 2020

With all due respect to our pioneers of sales, it’s time we revamp how we do things around here. Clients of today have different expectations and needs than the ones you learned about in college. Replace your old sales pitch techniques with these new and improved strategies so you can win more sales now.

Forget about the hard close; learn how to influence instead

The grandfathers and mothers of sales relied on sales pitches that were designed to persuade your client into buying their product. Most sales reps today find that trying to wrestle one particular outcome from any conversation with a client is impossible. That’s because forcing someone to think or act the way you want them to never works.

While some reps are blessed with powers of persuasion, we suggest finding ways to influence your customers instead. Thanks to the internet, the buyer’s of today now have an unlimited amount of information available at their fingertips. They’re less likely to respond to a pushy sales pitch since they’re far more educated on their available options 🤓 Instead of trying to convince them why your solution is superior, engage in an open dialogue.

Your goal should be focused on providing influence. Influence in this case refers to respecting the customer’s needs and offering real advice in return, even if that means having to steer them away from your product. But don’t worry! Because unlike the methods of our sales forefathers, the sales of today are built on trust and personal connection.

Don’t be a sales robot; have a heart, Tin Man

What we mean is, don’t be afraid to be yourself when going through the sales pitch and process. The idea that a sales rep has to reflect the utmost professionalism and project company values into every official conversation is a good one. But in today’s world, developing a personal brand and connecting with clients on an individual level is paramount.

Be relaxed and personal with your prospects. Make sure you treat each interaction as an opportunity to build a real human connection 👫 This means that you’ll do a lot more listening than talking but at the end of the day, the client is the ultimate decision maker in any sales process.

A measly 13% of customers believe a salesperson can understand their needs. Defy their expectations by being someone they enjoy connecting with so you can put their needs first!
As Keith Ferrazzi, the best-selling author of Never Eat Alone, once said, “Success in any field, but especially in business is about working with people, not against them.” Consider yourself a partner in the ultimate success of your client and you’ll never lose.

Stop sprinting toward the close; prioritize satisfaction for maximum results

You should never close a deal just to close a deal. It may seem like a win once the prospect agrees to buy, but seller beware; the worst outcome to any sales process is an unhappy customer. At best they’ll keep your product, realize it’s a bad fit, and stop answering your emails. At worst they’ll ask for a refund and your reputation will be affected.

This can have a lasting impact on your business considering the fact that 13% of dissatisfied customers tell 15+ people about their poor experience, while 72% of satisfied customers will share their positive experience with 6 or more people. Instead of aggressively closing, honor your sales process for what it is, a process, and make sure you know that everyone will walk away happy with the outcome.

This is especially important for building long-term relationships. Companies focused on client retention are three times as likely to increase market share as those focused solely on acquisition. Buyers now have a plethora of options available to them, even after closing. Rather than wasting everyone’s time with a hasty sale, consider if this choice will be a good fit beyond the buyer’s immediate goals.

Improving your skill at qualifying leads will help ensure your prospects are more likely to be the best fit. In this instance it’s important to identify and answer the questions your client hasn’t even thought to ask. This practice has been considered taboo in the past, but the transparency of information available requires us to focus the sales pitch on customer satisfaction. You know your product the best. Once you’ve carefully assessed the needs and desires of your client it’s time to give them a helping hand 👋🏼

The best attitude to approach this strategy is one in which you consider your role as their personal consultant on a highly urgent matter. Your real job is to help them find the best possible solution. Once you do, the sale makes itself!

For more tips and strategies on how to improve your sales expertise, subscribe to the Base Blog! And be sure to check out our other helpful articles on Sales Performance.

This post originally ran on the Base blog. Please visit if you’d like to learn more about Zendesk Sell.

Related stories

12 min read

Sales negotiation skills and strategies to win more deals

Sales negotiations can be delicate. Learn how to set your sales team up for success with key strategies and training.

9 min read

100+ catchy sales slogans and taglines that customers will love

Memorable sales slogans and taglines are the earworms of marketing. Learn what makes a great one and how to harness its power to accelerate sales.

8 min read

What is transactional selling, and how does this approach work?

Whether you're a sales expert or new to the industry, transactional selling is a classic negotiation strategy. Get tips on when and how to use it, and see examples of what it looks like in action.

13 min read

How to write a killer sales proposal (examples and best practices)

A successful sales proposal can make the difference between winning or losing a sale. Learn best practices for writing a proposal that helps you close more deals.