10-ish Tips To Be A Better Salesperson In 2020

Salespeople constantly have to evolve and it’s usually in their nature to look for an edge wherever they can get it. Here are a few ideas — a mix of actionable tactics and personal strategies — that may help you up your game in the new decade. Like it or not, everybody is a salesperson and can benefit from improving their sales techniques, whether selling products/services or trading in ideas. Here goes!

Be Authentic

An ‘old but gold’ tip. The internet revolutionised the flow of information for transactions and has empowered customers with more information than ever about brands, products, and people. On the other side of the coin, it’s never been easier for salespeople to showcase proof of work online — think personal websites, social media, reviews/testimonials.

Productise yourself

add another dimension by selling yourself as the product

Build An Audience

Much like a pension, you want to have built an audience long before you need it. It seems like a slog and perhaps counterproductive, but building a network by engaging little and often will reap benefits.

Sell Your Worldview

The best modern salespeople showcase the way they view the world (or the market they play in) should be, detail how their product makes progress towards that vision, and invite the customer along to join the movement. They paint a picture of a world with or without their product, interweaving stories of how using it will make the customer’s life better or easier.

Ditch The Business Card

goodbye business cards, hello digital tools
  • Drop them a quick one-line email if we have a topic to follow up on
  • Follow them on Twitter if they regularly post ideas there
  • Follow them on Instagram if you have a strong personal relationship with them.

Experiment With Video

This one I’ve been trialling recently myself, to positive impact. Sending a video message, versus an email, helps differentiate you from 99.9% of others who simply send cold written comms. It helps to humanise you and build a connection with prospects by tying the message to the person delivering it. this is particularly effective if you have never met the person face to face before.

Remove Friction

Go Retro

Flying in the face of all the advice I’ve just offered about leveraging tech, the shallow nature of digital comms leaves the door wide open to stand out with snail mail and handwritten letters. Use sparingly at milestone moments. Take the time to send a handwritten note to a client to show your appreciation.

Recommend A Competitor

This one may be controversial to some, but has dual long-term benefits. If your product genuinely isn’t a good fit and won’t help your prospect, then you can add value to them by recommending a product that can — even if it’s a competitor.

Show Respect

If you don’t get a response after emailing a lead and doing a follow-up, there’s usually a reason. I’ve found that a third email offering to respectfully close out the conversation, rather than persistently following up with the same message, resonates with the recipient and often leads to a response that can re-open the conversation.

Build Bridges

traditional vs modern sales

Don’t Cold Call. Ever.

a millennial’s worst nightmare

Final Thoughts

As always: listen to your customer, learn about them and their business, understand their problems, and help to solve them. Sales is about moving people from where they are before using your product, to who they can be after they use your product.