Adding old school salesmanship to modern methods

In the past, salespeople's primary task was to establish relationships with customers. Whether it was through local connections, mutual interests or general reassurances about the quality of products and services, a close-knit bond was key. Today's sales are more about brand awareness, advertising and other modern concepts that remove some of the personality from such connections.

However, technological advances have recently made it possible for companies to reestablish some of these older tactics and keep consumers in the fold. By adapting old patterns to new strategies, businesses can create loyal customers on whom they can depend. Consider the following tools that software and internet make possible and begin to keep customers as close as old-school salespeople once did.

Customer relationship software
Affordable computer applications that record information about customers and their prior interactions with an organization have recently become very popular. In many ways, they are elegant solutions to the impersonal nature of most modern problems that consumers have with companies. A customer relationship management (CRM) program allows either in-person meetings or telephone conversations to be conducted without requiring a representative to ask questions or go in blind. Instead, knowledge of spending habits, preferences and even some personal data can be used to set minds at ease and close deals.

Entitlements and rewards
Older sales techniques may have frowned upon making material rewards a part of sales pitches and customer relationships simply because the costs were prohibitive. Today, promotional products and significant discounts can be rendered freely simply because industries exist to make them easy to administer. Even something as simple as branded apparel, personalized mugs and promotional tote bags are enticing enough to convince consumers that regular interactions with an organization are valuable enough to maintain.

Social media
The mother of all tethers between private companies and individuals is most useful when it is used to keep these two entities in touch with one another. Besides simply providing a forum with which people can compliment or complain to a business, platforms such as Facebook and Twitter offer the possibility of a dynamic and meaningful repartee that makes consumers feel as if they are actually in contact with the human beings who run an organization. With carefully managed social media policies and practices, any company can come to know and actually befriend customers, which makes them all the more likely to do business.  

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