7 years ago
February 21, 2017

3 Sales Tactics You Think Are Working…but Aren’t

Here are three sales tactics you think are working, but aren’t.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter
Claire McConnachie

All sales people have their own methods and sales tactics to close deals. They’re constantly trying to improve their sales tactics by reading books, going to seminars, and watching tutorials.

While there are some tried and true sales tactics that all reps should be using, others are just downright terrible. Maybe you got some bad advice from a retired sales rep or you’ve misconstrued useful sales tactics and are using them incorrectly. Either way, bad sales tactics can actually make you lose the sale rather than make it. They should be thrown out in the dumpster and ignored. Here are three sales tactics you think are working, but aren’t.


In the past, companies only looked for aggressive sales people who knew how to be persistent and close that sale no matter what. That might have been a good sales tactic in the past, but buyer behaviours have changed, and this method needs to be eliminated. It won’t work anymore. It’s one of the worst sales tactics you can use today.

Constantly emailing and calling prospects, every week or, even worse, every few days just to forward the same information repeatedly and check in can feel like harassment. Buyers don’t like persistent sales people hounding them at every turn. They need a moment of peace!

If you’ve had a first conversation with a buyer and he’s told you politely that he doesn’t have a need for your offerings right now-listen-and back off. If a buyer has ignored all your voicemails, friend requests online, and cold emails, take the hint and back off.

This isn’t to say that you should totally give up the minute you don’t get a call back from a prospect-just tone it down. Calling him up once every six months to see if his buying situation has changed is totally acceptable; harassment isn’t.

Email Blasts

You’ve come around to the idea that online and content marketing are the best sales tactics to close deals these days. So you’re putting down the phone, quitting the cold calling tactic, and you’re jumping on the bandwagon. You start sending out emails to your leads. In fact, you blast out emails to every single lead you’ve ever generated in your sales career. You figure you can get the maximum return on investment by just blasting the one message once to hundreds of prospects.

Well, you’ve got the right idea-content marketing is vital to today’s market. However, you’re going about it all wrong! You’ve misconstrued one of the good sales tactics and turned it into a bad one. Impersonal, automated email blasts are going to be sent right to the trash. Content marketing only works when you actually nurture the relationship with each prospect individually.

This means that every email you send must be strategic. Each prospect will be in a different stage of the buying cycle, so the emails you’re sending must be specifically tailored based on this knowledge. You need to analyze their past history on your website to see which type of content will be valuable for that specific person.

Assuming the Sale

An old sales mentor might have given you this bad advice before: In order to act confident, always go into a sales meeting assuming you’ve already closed the sale.

However confident this can make you, it can create negative feelings in your buyer and backfire on you. Why? Because these types of sales tactics assume that your buyer is stupid, doesn’t need to have decision-making power, and is too weak to resist your sales tactics.

The problem is buyers aren’t stupid. They’ll see through this and feel insulted. They might feel pressured because you’re so confident that you’re closing the sale that you’re not giving them an option. Buyers need to feel like they have choices. So backing them up in a corner can be a major turn off.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter

Claire McConnachie

Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.