Selling in the Modern Age? 16 tips for success according to business experts

by Ana Lopez

While selling has evolved from bartering for resources to exchanging currency for products and services, the fact remains that sellers’ approach to selling has not necessarily evolved with it. This is especially true when a strategy has worked time and time again.

But as times change, so do customers. Being open to adopting new methods to bring in prospects and retain existing customers helps ensure that a salesperson is capable of establishing long-term business relationships. To help sellers embrace different selling practices, 16 businessupdates.org Business Council members each share advice for the “modern seller.”

1. Stay empathetic and consistent

The art of selling is not about the product or service you are selling. It’s about the person’s ability to be empathetic to customers by understanding their needs and offering solutions to those needs, and to consistently turn every “no” into an opportunity to improve the selling point. Business is done by people, so a buying decision can still be influenced by emotions – Magda Paslaru, THE RAINBOW IDEA

2. Build rapport with potential customers

Build a personal relationship with potential customers before trying to sell them your product or service. Ask them about their business and the problems they want to solve, while also positioning yourself as a resource. The sales part will naturally develop after you develop trust and a better understanding of their needs. – Meighan Newhouse, Inspirational group


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3. Determine how you can best add value to customers

Selling Now is about building relationships and how to provide a lifetime of value to the customer. You need to envision yourself as a subscription service: when customers no longer need you or your service, they’ll drop your offer for the next big thing tailored to their needs. However, if you remain of value, they will remain enrolled. – Tian Derose, EMA Inc.

4. Embrace emotional, human stories

Focus less on “traditional selling” and more on telling an emotional story based on the realities of people’s journeys, the project or product and its future prospects and impact on your ultimate buyer. In an age where everyone has a plan to sell, only human stories that connect with your buyer’s soul will be successful. – Mark Creth, Asia Media Publishing Group

5. Know your audience and offer

The advice I think is best is to know your audience and the product or service you are selling. Be an active listener by hearing what your client is really saying and adapting your “pitch” to the client’s needs. Always follow through. – Amy Hitchinson, The Ivy Academy of Early Learning, Inc.

6. Become a subject matter expert

You must commit to being a subject matter expert, not just a promoter or influencer. To become a salesperson you have to be a big fan of what you represent, but these days you also have to get to know your product in more technical ways. Customers will test you on your attention to detail and your knowledge beyond the holistic use of the product or service. – Dr. V Francis John, ZtartUp.com

7. Establish yourself as a trusted source

Before people buy from you, they need to trust you. Focus on educating the consumer and answering their questions. First, establish yourself as a trusted source of information, especially if you operate in a complex space that many consumers are unfamiliar with. If you can give people insight and useful information, they will return to your brand when they are ready to buy. – Sean Hall, Medlab Clinical

8. Find where your target customers are

One of the biggest changes in sales is that customers are using different channels. This means that the seller must be present and reachable in the channel that customers find most attractive. This varies with emails and phone messages as well as social media channels and online or offline events. You must be present where your target customer is. – Aslak de Silva, Shop yourself

9. Strengthen your knowledge of digital buying habits

The “modern seller” must be digitally savvy and aware of the digital buying habits and digital journey of the customers. They must be able to assess how the prospect behaves at each stage of the buying funnel and have a strategy to attract this customer so that they choose to express interest in the product, service or solution . – Anup Batra, Arrow digital

10. Develop your SEO strategies

Build your company’s search engine optimization or SEO. If consumers can’t find you with a simple web search, they’re likely to find your competitors. The easier you make it, the more organic the incoming traffic will be. SEO isn’t as much of a black box as most people think; it especially requires hard work to write useful, searchable content and acquire backlinks to it. – Tyler Weitzman, Speechify

11. Consider buyer psychology

Psychology is important. The gap between marketing, sales and buyers is usually in the way people think and communicate. How we think determines how we behave and make decisions. We now have tools to predict the mindset and behavior of our sales professionals and their prospects. Consider being prescriptive about how you marry the message and offer, even trying to assign the seller based on how your buyer feels. – Carrie Sullivan, Culminate strategy group

12. Really listen to potential customers

In my opinion, the most successful salespeople are those who actually spend time listening to potential customers. If you identify how to solve their concerns or meet their needs in a meaningful way, the sale will take care of itself. Remember, it’s not really about you or your company, it’s about your customer. Act as an advisor and partner and you will see the difference in your results. – Eileen Valois, Go West Creative

13. Be honest about your products or services

Selling is nothing but being honest about what you have that could be valuable. It’s important to address the pros and cons of your product or service so that each customer is recruited with integrity and realistic expectations. If you are the best but pricey say so. “We’re the best, but it’s hard to be the best at a low cost, so we’re also the most expensive.” – Leely Strogov, AtomicMind

14. Learn to understand the customer and gain their trust

Customers and prospects often worry about the changing world around them. Policy changes, shifting customer preferences, climate change and other macroeconomic shifts can threaten our ability to forecast reliable earnings and make confident decisions. The “modern salesperson” needs to understand the customer’s emotional journey and inspire them to put their trust in you during difficult times. – Shashi Menon, Eco-engineers

15. Invest in your brand

Customers want to know the real you and they want to feel they can trust you to solve their business problems. Fortunately, today it’s easier than ever to show your customers that you understand their business, want the best outcome for them and are the right person to help them. Leverage outlets like social media platforms and write relevant content to show (not tell) your customers. – Sabrina Schafer, Transformation continuum

16. Make use of the three T’s

The three T’s of trust, technology, and trying are key to being a “modern day salesperson.” Build trust so customers can see the positive benefits of the product or service, and use technology to present data to support your argument, because everyone needs to bring data to the table. Finally, try the good old consistent persuasion, as it will always pay off in the long run, even in today’s impatient modern world. – Amit Basu, Craft Furniture

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