Every sales tactic we know today started off as a germ of an idea in someone’s mind. It had some success and was then replicated across campaigns and teams.
The thing with sales tactics is that a positive result isn’t always guaranteed and triumph is often a hit or miss.
In today’s fluid, fast-paced world, some of the old and trusted sales tactics don’t work as well as they used to or they just don’t work at all. Make sure you don’t make the same mistakes by learning what sales tactics are considered outdated in this day and age.
Using advertising and inserts
Many people use online newspapers and apps for their information fix. Using paper pamphlets only serves to waste a lot of paper, but it doesn’t necessarily result in sales. Today, a sales campaign will need to be delivered to devices, from phones to tablets for it to be effective.
Trying the phonebook approach
The old-fashioned “let’s get a phonebook and call numbers at random” just doesn’t work anymore. You can’t hope to make numerous calls and get a customer in the process. Today, phones come with a caller ID and an option to save a number as spam, so it’s easier than ever for people to avoid taking a call. Your pitch will never reach your audience given the said factors.
Email IDs have spam and junk folders too so there’s a high possibility that the user never sees the email that you’ve sent. Trying a one size fits all approach no longer works today. Direct mail is viewed as a nuisance and treated as such. Customers need tailor-made content that will engage and draw them in.
Too many calls, visits or texts
In sales, there’s always such a thing as overdoing it. When your sales tactic is to bombard a potential customer with constant information, it will only prove to be counter-productive for you. More often than not, less is more. Take up less of their space and time, put the message across as succinctly as possible so you can better hold their interest. They’ll likely take the decision themselves even without being told what to do.
Like pamphlets and inserts, snail mail makes its way to the dustbin or recycle bin in zero time. Most people look at old-fashioned mail only when it’s cards, government documents, and bills. This just means money spent on your part but no result in the end.
Using TV ads to sell a product may not always work that well today. More and more people are opting for online channels that give them targeted content. Similarly, most people’s magazine is, more often than not, a news app.
Hours are spent browsing the internet and watching content online so the sales pitch must also be there. For instance, get your message as an ad that plays before a YouTube video or as a small note in a magazine app or blog.
Your spending has to change as well
Even the way sales teams are spending money has to change. Things can’t always be a big budget for physical media. People, especially youngsters don’t care for such channel. The main focus has to be on e-marketing if you want a more expansive reach.
Steer clear of click bait
If it ever worked at one time, right now it’s less likely to. More and more people think it’s tacky when they see this kind of manipulation. A company stands to lose rather than gain from this type of approach.
Today, the focus of sales teams can’t just be constant information, sales pitches, and glitzy promotions or events. As much of the world gets online, sales tactics must be taken online as well.
Harness the power of the internet, social media, and influencers to make sure your customers get to your product.
The Rise of Social Media
All of a sudden, it seems like social media is everywhere. We can’t start our day without checking Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or even YouTube.
Has this been an overnight occurrence or a gradual build-up? It seemed like there was a time when it was enough to have an email account to keep in touch.
Most companies just set up a website or maybe a merchant site for purchases and then an optional blog. But today, a new way of keeping in touch has taken precedence.
We now feel the need to engage, to seek out, and to be part of a community with others. We want to feel involved, and this demand drives the use of social media today.
Perhaps it comes from the distance between people and their family and friends. Social media gives them a sense of connection. With events like Facebook Live, there’s an immediacy that was previously only gained from being in the same physical space. That has now changed.
Facebook’s Live feature allows you to view the events as they take place—it could be a birthday or a product launch, but you’re there for it all nonetheless.
Social Media History
Social media sites owe their existence to a simple website named classmates.com. Cashing in on our need for nostalgia, Classmates.com allowed friends to have a reunion online. Along the way, you could catch up with friends you’d lost touch with and find out how everyone was doing.
The site, which is still active today, has over 55 million accounts. Other copycat sites followed but none with the kind of popularity the pioneer site enjoys.
While there are plenty of social media sites that paved the way, none was quite as renowned as Google’s Orkut. Ten years ago, it was perhaps the only thing that people used to get in touch with each other. It was personal, fun, and rapid. When Orkut closed down in 2014, it felt like the passing away of an era.
In 2003, LinkedIn was a social media site with a difference—it was for the serious professional and for the business person who wanted relevant business connections and contacts.
Filled with incisive analytical essays, impressive people, and job opportunities, LinkedIn continues to be successful in what it set out to do with close to 300 million users on the site.
Another site that offers something different was Myspace. Launched the same year as LinkedIn, it used a love for music to bring people together. So many of the big names we see in music today owe their start to their personal Myspace page.
We all know the origins of the big daddy of social media—Facebook. In the last nine years that it’s been around, it has garnered users and followers like nothing anyone has seen before. Their current count now stands at a billion plus users.
Twitter was launched in 2006, and by 2008, 400,000 tweets had been sent out into the world. In 2010, the site saw a user base growth of 1,382%. In 2015, Pinterest’s growth rate was 135%, just five years after it was first launched. In 2016, Instagram had over 400 million users.
The numbers are staggering and speak to one thing—our need to create our worlds and to keep people we know and love in those worlds.
Social Media Influencing—The New Sales Tactic
Sales tactics have undergone considerable changes in the last few decades. But nothing has revolutionized the world of business quite like social media influencing.
This is how fast the practice has grown and has become one of the most coveted sales tactics of today. In fact, if your sales plan doesn’t include a strategy for social media presence and influence, it might not deliver the results you want.
With other kinds of methods, costs can go up, working hours can increase, and the results aren’t always encouraging. Considering how much of decision-making takes place online, it makes sense to use social media influencing to leverage better sales.
Consider How Sales Start
The standard sales cycle starts with awareness. There has to be a sense of the brand, and a way for it to convey the kind of value it can give to its target audience. The job of marketing is to make this happen.
What better way to do it then than to use social media influencing?
This sort of influencing is seamless in the overall experience which is one of the many advantages of this method.
When users are online or checking in to see the latest posts on their timeline, they’re much more open to unobtrusive sales pitches. Users don’t have to travel to a different page until they buy the product.
But the best thing is, the sales pitch happens within their line of sight. This is one of the key differentiators of this kind of sales tactic.
Another way social media influencing helps sales is that it generates leads for teams to follow up on. It could be in the form of a sign-up form or a click toward the merchant website.
Whatever the case is, these leads get created which can then be used by the sales team.
Social media influencing also provides data which is vital for future use. How many users visit a particular site or page? What can be done to interest them to buy a particular product? There are specific sales tactics can integrate these kinds efforts with a big payoff.
If this kind of tactic sounds like a good fit for what you want to achieve, you can easily find social media influencers on websites such as https://influence.co/.
Close to 57% of users who follow social influencers’ pages do so to see for product recommendations. While over 36% of users consider the information in these pages to decide whether they want to buy a product or not.
It’s no doubt a considerable number and any sales team can use this chunk of followers to create compelling, engaging products.
In fact, close to 20% users on Facebook say that they would buy a product on the social media site itself if it were possible.
When influence takes place, it results in visible actions—tweets, visits, buys, posts, comments, shares, and downloads. All these are essential clues for the sales team to make projections for future business plans.
Whether it’s garnering followers, driving site traffic, engaging in conversation with users and creating brand visibility and loyalty, social media influencing does it all.
If you’re looking for direct sales response, you can’t get a better avenue than social media influencing!
Jeanne San Pascual is a Marketing Manager at ContentHow and a freelance copywriter. In her roles, she wears a gamut of different hats—from running extensive marketing campaigns to writing copy that converts—all to ensure business success on the web. Visit her site to know more about her work and how she can help you!