7 Ineffective Sales Techniques


1. Casting too wide of a net

Don’t: Disregard demographics (age, gender, income, location, etc).

Do: Use specifics to relate to your customers. Being aware of your target audience’s wants and needs personalizes your content for those who are actually interested in what you have to offer.

2. Sounding like you’re trying to sell something

This is a tough one. Nobody wants to be sold. Why? Being “sold” comes across as a lack of control, and consumers want to feel like they are the ones in charge of their purchasing decisions.

Don’t go for the hard sell before the customer even knows what your brand has to offer. But don’t undersell, either. Employ a delicate balance.


  • Act like a trusted advisor
  • Show your expertise
  • Be a good listener
  • Pique their interest
  • Demonstrate how your product or service is a solution to the customer’s problem
  • Use wording that acknowledges customers are in charge of their own purchasing decisions
  • Go for the sell or call to action after you’ve established credibility and fully informed customers of what they’re getting

3. Lying to your customers

Never lie to your audience. Even if you think it will get you the sale. You damage your integrity, and increase chances of a dissatisfied consumer unleashing their angst with a therapeutic rant on Yelp. There are so many ways it can backfire. Your reputation isn’t worth that single sale, plain and simple.

David Ogilvy, the “Father of Advertising,” once said: “The most powerful element in advertising is the truth.”

4. There’s a time and place for “Yes” questions

Use questions that elicit a “yes” response carefully.

When to use:hire-a-copywriter

  • Specific questions that help you to assess the customer’s needs
  • As a tool to pump up excitement

Don’t: Use a lot of leading questions where the obvious answer is always yes. “Do you want a reliable car?”

Acknowledge your customers’ sophistication and intelligence. If the question can be answered instead with “Uh, doesn’t everyone?” (or “What do you take me for, an idiot?”) – rethink it.

5. Short term goals

Don’t sacrifice long term goals for a right-now sale. The ultimate object is to build brand loyalty. Lose sight of the big picture, and you may lose valuable customers.

6. Selling features vs. benefits

Sure, your device has gigabytes of memory, voice commands, and is user-friendly…what’s that have to do with me? Piling on the details without aligning it with your customer’s needs is close to fruitless.

“More device storage to avoid those frustrating warnings. Voice commands to save you time and typing. Easy navigation…” You get the picture.

How will your customer benefit from those features? That is what is important to them; not how many details can be piled into one description.

7. Ignoring objections

Instead of pretending objections don’t exist, address them up front. Get them out of the way immediately.

  • sales-successReframe a disadvantage as an advantage


  • Acknowledge a common objection and explain why your product or service is different

Pretending an objection doesn’t exist does not erase the objection from your customer’s mind. It just leaves a lingering question mark that might cost you the sale.

Constance Matic is a freelance copywriter specializing in advertising, marketing and sales. Learn about her expertise, or find out how to hire a copywriter to optimize your content today.