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Ask any small business owner how s/he feels about selling and you’ll get a sour lemon face. Few SBO’s really embrace and enjoy the sales process. Consequently, they are “sales reluctant” and their avoidance of learning how to sell in the 21st century is killing deals.

Thanks to content marketing and inbound marketing, 70% of all your prospects are sold before they engage you — or your sales department — to complete their transaction. That’s the good news. Here’s the bad…

Many entrepreneurs using sales techniques straight out of the 1970s are buying back what the prospect has already decided s/he wants to purchase. They are “unselling” their potential buyer with outdated sales lines and lingo.

Like the lame pick-up lines from the 60s and 70s, you may look good as you approach your potential client but as soon as you open your mouth, and an ill-advised line falls out of your mouth, your prospect no longer wants to date you.

Get Up to Speed on the Sales Process

Slick sales jargon that conjure up images of a loud, obnoxious used car salesman in gaudy plaid pants went out somewhere around mid 1980. Thank goodness.

With so much information at their fingertips, today’s consumer is much more informed before making any buying decision. In fact, 97% of your consumers conduct online research before making a purchase and they have reviewed 10–11 pages before starting the sales process.

Consumers still want to buy — they just don’t want to be sold. Consumers today are self-selling.

Learn to Sell – 21st Century Style

Your future client is really looking for three simple things from you.

First and foremost, your future client wants you to listen — really listen. Rather than wait for your turn to speak, they want you to tune in and really hear their needs. (That also means not responding to email while simultaneously speaking to a potential client.)

Secondly, they want you to answer their questions. Your potential client has done their homework. They likely have a pretty good understanding of the additional information they need to finalize their decision.  Don’t wander off from the question being asked with extra info that only muddies up the sales water.

Finally, help them arrive at a solution to their problem — which is the reason they came to you in the first place. Don’t try to dazzle them with all the bells and whistles of your product or service. Too many “I, me, mine, or ours” in your sentences and you can count on losing that sale. Mr./Ms. Buyer wants to hear what’s in it for them.

If you don’t like selling like it’s 1970, congratulations! Your buyer doesn’t either! Consumers today are smart, sophisticated, informed, and educated. It’s time to get up to speed on selling and meet your potential buyers where they’re at…in the 21st century.

Core Business Assessment


Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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