Professionals Going Old School
Here are five
tried-and-true sales strategies that you should still be using in the
By Tim Brown and Dan
Make no mistake: The world of advertising sales is changing. While technology
seems to be driving everything, it’s the old school, tried-and-true,
consultative techniques that separate the good from the great advertising sales
When we discuss old-school
techniques, we reminisce on old-school heroes such as Zig Ziglar, Harvey McKay,
and Dale Carnegie who taught the world a few fundamental rules of sales, which
can be encapsulated primarily by this one statement: People buy from people
they like and trust.
As painstakingly obvious as that cardinal rule of sales is, there’s a diamond-hard
kernel of truth inside it that many advertising salespeople overlook: The
ability to cultivate and sustain trust with people is the X factor that the
best sales professionals rely upon to consistently excel at what they do. Trust
is a sales professional’s most valuable currency.
Here are five old-school techniques to master, which will help you to build
trust with your association’s clients:
Remember, you are always
Whether you are in front of a huge client, at the grocery store, or posting
your favorite beach photo on Facebook, you are always selling. Be aware of the
image you are portraying and have alignment with your professional and personal
Maintaining a personal brand of trust is a
24/7/365 proposition. People will keep a mental file on you. Every action,
word, and interaction with people goes into the lasting impression you make on
them, whether or not it happened during the workday. Directly or indirectly,
you are always building or losing trust. You never know when a new opportunity
to establish or nurture a relationship is going to crop up. Make trust-building
a part of your persona, make it genuine, and keep your brand switch "on.”
Develop your personal
Speaking of keeping your brand switch "on,” take the time to build a personal
branding statement. Write down a description of your unique talents, skills,
and practices, and why people with whom you do business value them. Then revisit
this statement and ask three fundamental questions:
I living up to my personal brand?
I need to revise it and why?
could I strengthen my brand?
you focus on developing and living up to this personal brand statement, you
will find that your actions automatically become aligned to the statement. You
will actively seek out opportunities to become an expert in your field and
demonstrate that expertise on a regular basis, you will be sought out for your
counsel, and ultimately, your customers will see you as their ally in their
Always be serving. An always-serving
mindset means you are serving the people you work with, whether they are your
peers, you report to them, or vice versa. These are the people you need by your
side to succeed; they are the ones in the foxhole with you. By serving them and
by treating them with respect and humility, you’ll engender a culture of
serving in the workplace. While you are out serving your customers, it
certainly helps to have people back in the association’s home office serving
Be a challenger. In a study published in the Harvard Business Review, five distinct
seller profile styles of salespeople were rated by performance. Coming out on
top was the king of the sales jungle: The Challenger Sales Type.
take control of the conversation through the use of questioning to develop a
deep understanding of their customers’ businesses. Then, they positively assert
their viewpoints, which help to push the customer’s and their own personal
thinking to develop creative solutions.Ultimately, customers do not
simply want yes-people. They want to know that you truly understand the problem,
and that you are promoting the best solution possible.
Eliminate the "F”
Show me a person focused on problems, and I’ll show you a person with a lot of
problems. The same goes with the "F” word: failure. Pessimists tend to let
failure get wrapped around the axle of their success and talent.
Instead, your mindset should be that there is
no failure; there are only opportunities to learn and move forward. Zig Ziglar
never promised us it would be easy. Just listen to his journey as a
door-to-door salesman, and you will see that sales are hard. It’s filled with
rejection. Judging yourself based on that rejection serves no one, so silence
the critic inside yourself…it serves no one.
salesperson takes their lumps. So, replace the "F” word with the word "E” word:
Experience. Treat those experiences as gifts. Through focusing on experiences
rather than looking at failures, we build a sense of self-control, we persevere
through even the most difficult of hardships, and we develop an indomitable
Your capacity to use the tools developed by the old-school masters will become
the bridge that provides any sales professional the five percent more power to
allow them to move from good to great. By using these five strategies, you will
be able to move the sales needle. It’s time to make the old-school heroes
Tim Brown and Dan Streeter are co-authors
School with New Tools:The Extra 5% That Takes You to the Top of Your
Sales Game and Keeps You There.