In our high-speed, interconnected, plugged in world, it can be easy to view anything old fashioned as being outdated. However, some old fashioned things are still around for a reason. They've stood the test of time, and have proven themselves valuable in the long run. A lot of old fashioned sales techniques are better off in the dust bin of history. High-pressure sales, doom and gloom, and sharks vs. guppies are all better left in the past. On the other hand, some old fashioned sales techniques still work, and are actually preferred by a segment of customers. Since you don't want to limit your pool of potential buyers, it's a good idea to have these old fashioned sales techniques on hand, so you can pull them out when the time is right.
Marketing automation has made it easy to reach many people in a very short period of time. Unfortunately, a lot of these communications can be overly generic and impersonal. Personalized correspondence can mean a lot to people who are inundated with these cookie-cutter email blasts. A quick note, call, or email that gets their name right and directly addresses their particular needs makes them feel like they have the salesperson's attention. That can be an important first step on the road from salesperson to trusted adviser.
The Art of Conversation
A lot of salespeople communicate via text messaging, email, and other short message formats. Being able to hold a conversation is a skill and, like any skill, it can get rusty with disuse. A salesperson should be able to hold an intelligent, sincere conversation with potential clients at a moment's notice. Most importantly, they need to know how to listen. When a client is talking, they're giving you all the information you need to close the sale. If you take the time to listen, and show a genuine interest in their concerns, it will go a long way toward sealing the deal.
Modern technology has made it incredibly easy to communicate with people we never actually meet. Person to person marketing is one of the sales techniques that has fallen by the wayside. For a lot of people, especially Baby Boomers, a face-to-face meeting is part of the sales experience. They like actually meeting the people they're buying from, and having a chance to size the salesperson up. Whether it's on the sales floor, in a boardroom, or at a business lunch, you should know how to meet and greet potential clients in an interpersonal setting.
In our world of digital communications, old fashioned print media can set you apart as a salesperson. This is one of those sales techniques that can really connect you with local prospects. Coupon mailers, print ads, and well-timed flyers can drum up a lot of business in your area. In a time when people are bombarded with digital ads (most of which they ignore), a physical ad from a local business can draw them out. Print media has been declared dead a number of times, yet it's one of those sales techniques that the biggest businesses continue to use--because it works.
Make it Personal
Whichever sales techniques you use, make sure you adapt them to the personality of the prospect. If customers feel like you're giving them a prepared script, they'll lose interest in a hurry. Shoppers, especially brick-and-mortar shoppers, are looking for an overall experience. Part of that is having a salesperson that listens to and understands their needs. They want to know the value of products and services as it directly relates to them--not a list of generic features that could apply to anyone.
Old Fashioned vs. Outdated
Some sales techniques are gone and should never return. Other sales techniques should be kept around. As technology makes sales ever more impersonal, these old fashioned sales techniques will become more important.