The best sales techniques are simple sales techniques

There have been sales techniques as long as there has been a sales profession. In the early days, notions such as “close early, close often” (Always Be Closing or ABC), or “encourage objections” were very popular – without any evidence-based, field work justification.

Acronyms (like DIPADA and AIDA) used to abound, but few if any were based on any actual research, or ultimately linked to any provable success. Unsurprisingly, these sales techniques have mostly fallen away.

When we first started to observe and analyse the pattern of successful sales people (compared to the average) we noticed certain patterns of verbal behaviour could be linked to success, and then installed organisation-wide.

Whether you call these sales techniques, models, methodologies, best practice or whatever, is less important than treating them as frameworks for success, rather than straitjackets or scripts.

We rely, for the success of the main Huthwaite sales techniques such as SPIN® and PITCH, upon the salesperson exercising independent thought and judgement alongside the research-based behavioural methodology.

Sales techniques are just the start

So while you could refer to the Huthwaite SPIN® model (standing as it does for the four types of question for use in the consultative sales conversation) as a sales technique, the real individual skill comes from how well the model is applied.

And in that case, technique is as much about how well the sellers phrase the questions; how well they listen to the answers; how well they manage the airtime in the meeting to ensure that they are pulling needs from the customer rather than pushing inappropriate solutions on them too soon; how well, when the time comes, they make a persuasive link between the products and services they offer and the real wants and desires of the customer’s organisation.

As for objections, far from encouraging them, the research proves that they are not – in fact – a buying signal; but that when they arise they need to be handled with care and skill. That means identifying what kind of objection they are, and responding appropriately.

That’s why no sales technique can be reduced to an acronym alone. The acronym – at least if it comes from Huthwaite – is just a reminder of the 40 years’ worth of field research that lies beneath it, and which requires skill and practice that can only be honed by training, coaching and a lifetime of positive reinforcement.

We've shared much of our research in our research pages, where you can download resources and whitepapers to improve sales techniques in your business.

For a truly bespoke approach to improving sales in your business, contact us to discuss your sales training needs or take a look at our sales training page for more information.