4 old-fashioned sales techniques that don't work

By Lew Nason

Insurance Pro Shop


Do you want to set more appointments with the right prospects and close more and larger insurance and annuity sales in just a few days? Then isn’t it time for you to face up to the fact that the old sales techniques that have been taught for the past 50 years have completely lost their effectiveness?

People today are too smart to fall for all those old-school mind games and gimmicks. Today, sales occur 98 percent of the time because the prospect has developed some respect and trust for the salesperson. And that kind of relationship only happens by having real conversations with people.

Today, you must learn to ask the right questions to get your prospects to tell you about their problems and what they really want. That way, they'll want to meet with you and end up practically selling themselves.

Here are four old-fashioned sales techniques that don't work.

1. "Selling is a numbers game."

Sales is only a numbers game when all you know is traditional old-school selling techniques. There is a better and easier method of building trust and getting your product or service message across. Simply by changing your sales approach and asking the right questions, you'll begin a serious conversation with intelligent back-and-forth questions, answers, insights and clarifications, all for the purpose of attaining deeper understanding for both parties.

2. "Use a sales script to sell."

People can tell when you're using a script, even if you think you're pretty good at it. There's nothing personal about it and people will pick that up. Being artificial just puts you into the typical salesperson category. If you learn to ask the right who, what, where, when, why and how questions to get people to tell you what they want, you'll eliminate the negative triggers that can lose your sale within seconds. And, you’ll quickly become their trusted advisor.

3. "Rejection is part of the sales process."

Rejection is not part of the sales process. Rejection is triggered by what you are telling them. Remember: No one likes to be told. Telling is not selling. Ask the right questions to get them to tell themselves.

4. "Focus on closing the sale."

Are you "going in for the kill" with your 101 closing techniques? If you are, then you could end up killing your deal instead. Old-school closings techniques do nothing more than pressure the client or prospect. As a result, the prospect naturally wants to retreat away from that pressure, and that pressure is created by you. By learning to ask the right questions and getting them to tell you, you'll be able to move the sales process forward to get the result you want.

Learning to ask the right questions is the critical key to consistently setting high-quality appointments with your ideal prospects and closing more sales. Asking the right questions is how you establish immediate trust and competence with your prospects to build strong and lasting relationships. Remember, people buy from people they like and trust.

Asking the right questions is how you get your prospects emotionally involved in the sales process. People buy based on emotions and justify their decision based on logic.

If you ask the right questions, it will make them want to solve their problems right now. You can learn how to conduct a better initial interview by trial and error, which is time-consuming and expensive. Or, you could find a mentor or hire a sales coach. Or, you could choose to live with a 25 percent to 40 percent closing ratio. The choice is yours!