Sean McPheat on modern sales techniques

November 2019

“You probably know already that I often talk about the evolution of the modern-day buyer.  However, simply adapting to some new techniques is not enough.  Today’s sales professional has to evolve along with the modern-day buyer in every aspect.

So, let’s take a moment and identify some of the qualities of today’s sales professional.

A True Believer: You have to believe wholeheartedly in what you do and sell.  Today, that requirement is more important than ever before.  Today’s consumer is so up to date on your industry and is willing to play you off with the competition, that you need an unwavering conviction in your product, service, and company ... more so now than at any time in the past.  If you do not know in your heart that your product, service and pricing is the best value and benefit for the customer, you have a problem.

An Expert: Today’s modern consumer is educated and has access to more information about you and what you sell, than ever before in history.  It’s not uncommon for the prospect to know as much or even more than the sales person about their product or service.  Having rudimentary information, experience and skill about what you do is no longer acceptable.  Today you must be an expert in your field, which requires study and due diligence.

Technologically Advanced:  If you are not yet making the most use of current technology you are a dinosaur awaiting extinction.  Things like CRM maximisation, sales process management, time management, multi-media, e-marketing, e-prospecting, and social networking are no longer a luxury … they are the foundation of your business.  If you are still using sticky-notes to follow up on prospects, a hand-written time and appointment scheduling system and you have no idea of how to integrate your message into sites like LinkedIn; then you are operating in the past.

A Planner:  Nothing that you do today as a modern-day sales person should be by sheer fluke.  Everything you do should be part of a sophisticated and well thought out plan, from your daily work schedule, to your sales interaction to your answers to objections.  Today’s professional has all of these things planned out in advance and is never caught by surprise.  If you do not already know exactly what objections you will get, precisely how many telephone calls you need to make next week; how many emails you need to send out or how many proposals you must write to reach your goals, then you have not arrived.

A Performance Analyst: In addition to knowing how to gather all of your sales performance data via sophisticated CRM software, you must know what to do with the information.  Today’s sales professional works hard; and works smart.  You must know how to analyse your performance to know exactly where you need to make changes or improvements.  Perhaps the problem is the length of response time to web inquirers, or maybe it is that you are having a problem with gatekeeper screens.  Or your lack of sales could be due to prospects that stagnate in the sales process.

A User of Updated Sales Techniques:  Sales techniques of the past are not as effective as they once were; take cold calling as an example. Today’s sales professional needs to learn new sales approaches.  Gone are the days of the smile and dial rhetoric, and the old pitch mentality meant to slam the prospect with benefits.  Today’s professional understands how to uncover problems, expose needs and offer solutions.

Today’s sales professional has evolved along with the modern-day buyer.  Make sure you upgrade your game.  To your success!”

Sean McPheat is Managing Director of MTD Training.  
For information call 0800 849 6732 or visit

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