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Why Old-School Selling No Longer Works

NoJust say no to “no.”

There’s a longstanding mantra in sales: The more no’s we get, the closer we are to a yes. Well, not in my book. It’s time to retire and toss this worn-out way of thinking. 

Out With the Old

This sales mantra emanates from an old-school sales formula: Make 100 cold calls, talk to 20 people, set eight to 10 appointments, and get one client … if you’re lucky. That’s a lot of no’s—and a lot of wasted selling time.

In With the New

Why would you spend your valuable sales time talking to people who say no when there’s a proven way to get a yes? It’s not a secret. When you receive a referral introduction to a qualified prospect, you acquire a new client more than 50 percent of the time (many sales pros tell me it’s actually closer to 70 percent).

Referral selling means using your well-nurtured relationships to build sales. It’s like having your own private sales force working for you. Prospecting through referrals allows you to leverage your success instead of endlessly starting over by prospecting cold leads.

Your New Future

Don’t be hoodwinked: Stay away from the no’s. Go for the yes, get those referrals, and just say no to no! Your sales prospecting will never be the same again.

And don’t keep this to yourself. Share the “secret” with everyone on your team. Send it to your boss. Show everyone in your entire sales organization how they can improve their bottom-line results—starting right now.

P.S. Take a peek at another old-school sales mantra to avoid: Always Be Closing.

Comment Here

What are some other old-school sales mantras and strategies that no longer work?

7 Responses to Why Old-School Selling No Longer Works

  1. Great article, Joanne!

    Here’s one you might remember…. “Telling is not selling.”

    Well, as it turns out the internet was introduced as the Information Superhighway.

    As WiFi is now available, we longer have reach farther than our front pocket (or purse) to pull out the smartphone and get (almost) all the answers we need from our handy friend Google.

    If sales and relationships are built through an education process, than telling *is* selling. Most people like to make educated decisions, right?

    I definitely see content marketing on the rise, just like your blog and newsletters 🙂



  2. Heather MacLean says:

    Great post Joanne. Like communications and marketing, the way you sell has changed. There is a new reality that we must all accept and work towards. Referrals are an essential way to sell and even communicate. We all work better when we know someone and thus have a connection. It just makes sense.

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