8 Proven Sales Tactics to Boost Your Success

8 Proven Sales Tactics to Boost Your Success

Ever felt like you’re on a tightrope, balancing between sales success and failure? You’re not alone.

Almost every sale is a precarious process that demands your best. A play of sales tactics, strategies, and approaches that can lead to a triumphant close or an abrupt goodbye as you slip off that tightrope.

Sales tactics are the hidden moves behind every successful deal – they’re your day-to-day toolkit for winning and retaining clients.

If you have some sales experience, you know the drill.

Demonstrating value… earning respect… winning trust.

And of course, the nail-biting negotiations…

Those high-stakes moments where everything hangs in the balance…

“So how do I master these crucial skills?”, you ask…

Stick around and pay close attention as we dissect the most critical sales tactics that will boost your results to new levels.

Are These the Top 8 Sales Tactics?

These are 8 critical sales tactics, but they aren’t the only ones you need to understand and master over time.

For a more comprehensive list of sales tactics and techniques, refer to my 101 Best Sales Techniques article.

These 8 sales tactics are critically important, so it’s a great starter list for you to internalize today.

So now, let’s move on to the 8 sales tactics!

1. Understand the Sales Process

The sales process is like a road trip. You wouldn’t set off without knowing your destination and route, would you?

Successful selling involves mapping out a clear path from identifying potential customers to prospecting to follow-up. This is a crucial sales tactic.

As a sales rep, your job isn’t to identify the sales strategy, but it is to execute the sales process using the very best sales tactics you have.

Prospecting and Lead Gen

Prospecting is akin to selecting where you want to go on your trip. Identifying potential customers who have a need for what you’re offering is an essential part of prospecting.

Illustration of a business person viewing a map with a magnifying glass.

Most organizations will provide some direction and hopefully support with marketing, campaigns, and even lead-generation activities.

You also need to apply your own research skills and outbound actions to generate interest from prospective customers.

There are entire books dedicated to prospecting and methods for generating interest.

If you’re selling a commodity or looking to replace an incumbent solution, you’ll need to generate interest by positioning yourself as an improved alternative or offering better pricing or service levels.

If however, you are selling an innovation of some sort, you’ll need to understand your prospects’ business challenges and help them realize a pain point they may not be aware of (leading to your offering as the ideal solution).

This isn’t merely making cold calls or sending mass emails; it’s strategic work aimed at finding appropriate, high-quality leads.

The Art of Qualification

Say you’ve packed up the car and are ready for departure – now comes choosing the best route: lead qualification.

This helps ensure we don’t wander aimlessly, wasting time and resources on unlikely-to-convert leads.

A good qualification process sorts serious prospects from window shoppers by assessing their fit based on predefined criteria such as need/pain point, budget, decision-making authority, timing, and more.

Illustration of 3 different people, representing unqualified leads.
  • Analyzing customer requirements and how well they match your offerings gives you insight and helps with negotiation in later stages.
  • Determining whether they have the financial resources to do a deal ensures there will be no last-minute hiccups during closing.
  • Evaluating if you are talking directly with decision-makers avoids needless roundabouts later on.
  • There are numerous other details you’ll want to understand when qualifying prospects, so make a list of questions appropriate for your situation and everything you want and need to know.

Qualification isn’t a one-time task but a constant activity throughout the sales cycle, as situations always change and evolve.

3. Build Rapport and Trust

Sales isn’t just about the numbers. The human side is where the best sales reps thrive.

We’re talking about establishing rapport, developing relationships, and fostering trustworthiness. Rapport building starts with active listening – the kind that makes your clients feel heard and valued.

You can’t rush trust; it grows over time through consistency in words and actions.

One of the best ways to develop trust is to complete any and all follow-up items within whatever timeline you committed to your prospect. This sales tactic includes lots of sub tactics that are mandatory.

Also, remember to keep things positive and professional. 

According to a recent PwC study, 59% of customers will walk away after a couple of bad experiences while 17% leave after one negative interaction. Prospective customers have even less patience, and will often leave after a single negative experience.

Illustration of a business woman and man in a disagreement as evidenced by their body language.

Avoid hard sales tactics you may see in movies and hear about in folklore.

Resisting the Hard Sell is an insightful article by Harvard Business Review that explains why high-pressure sales tactics are often counterproductive in today’s market, where buyers crave authenticity above all else.

The Power of Empathy in Building Relationships

If you’re asking yourself “How exactly do I build rapport” with a prospective customer, start with empathy — put yourself in their shoes and see things from their perspective.

Showing real interest in people and their situations demonstrates your desire to address their needs and solve their problems, thus laying the groundwork for trust.

Active Listening

Beyond expressing empathy, active listening is key to uncovering client needs so as to provide solutions that resonate best.

Listening doesn’t simply mean hearing what is said, but understanding underlying themes and messages – reading between the lines.

It’s about making your prospect feel heard and valued. This fosters trust and strengthens the burgeoning relationship.

Building rapport and trust isn’t just a tactic, it’s an over-arching sales strategy that should be at the forefront of everything you do. Great sales reps bring this strategy into all their sales calls.

Beyond your prospect interactions, use this strategy in all areas of life including with your sales team, sales leadership, and other professional relationships. 

Illustration of a man listening to something.

3. Communicate Effectively & Persuasively

As a sales rep, mastering communication techniques is like acquiring the keys to your prospect’s mind. You must present an idea cleanly, and persuade your prospect to buy into it.

The Power of Open-Ended Questions

An open-ended question is more than just a query—it’s an invitation for dialogue. These questions are tools that let us dig deeper into needs and motivations.

By posing “What issues are you confronting?” rather than “Do you have any difficulties?”, we provide prospects with an opportunity to share and relate with us.

This is one of the most important sales tactics as it allows prospects to express their thoughts freely, leading us closer to understanding what they truly need from our offerings.

But remember—asking isn’t enough; showing you are listening plays a pivotal role too.

Relating: The Key To Demonstrating Your Understanding

We know the importance of active listening for trust building and for understanding. The other side of the active listening coin is to relate your understanding back to the prospect.

Combine what you are learning through both spoken and non-verbal feedback to your questions, and paraphrase back to your prospect. As you are learning, there are numerous sub sales tactics that contribute to the major ones in this article.

Be sure to weave in clarifying questions in order to deepen your understanding.

When done correctly, this is a powerful tactic for both entrenching your understanding and clearly demonstrating your awareness and interest in solving your prospects problems.

Some other quick tips when it comes to relating to potential customers:

  • Cultivate genuine curiosity within yourself about their responses and underlying challenges.
  • Use different tones of voice depending on the situation; curiosity, concern, playfulness, warmth, skepticism, and excitement can all be leveraged at different times to enhance your communication and steer conversations. 
  • Go deeper with clarifying questions whenever appropriate

Tactful Use Of Non-verbal Cues

Beyond words, non-verbal cues such as body language and facial expressions can be powerful tools when wielded correctly by sales professionals. 

Your expressions and gestures can either build trust or breed skepticism in prospects. Ensure your non-verbal communication is supporting your desired outcomes by:

  • Keeping an open posture.
  • Maintaining a friendly but professional demeanor.
  • Using appropriate facial expressions and gestures.
  • Maintaining eye contact, nodding, and tilting your head to show curiosity.
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4. Understand Prospect Needs and Motivations

Selling effectively requires that you understand prospects’ needs and motivations.

The more you comprehend what they truly care about (or should care about), the better you can offer answers that will resonate.

Uncovering needs isn’t always straightforward. In some cases, prospects may not even know their problems, and if they do, they may be unable to articulate their needs clearly.

Sales Tactics for Unearthing Needs

Depending on what you are selling, you may have insights to bring into customer meetings. This selling approach is powerful because you come into sales calls as an informed advisor which earns credibility.

If you can identify a potential pain point the customer isn’t yet aware of, they will be very likely to share information to help you further diagnose issues and help them address problems.

Illustration of a man watching "ideas grow" represented by plants with lightbulbs instead of flowers.

If however, you are seeking to learn if your prospect has certain problems, the best approach is to use open-ended questions.

It’s important to create the feeling of a friendly dialogue vs. a Q&A session, particularly with executive-level prospects, who will grow impatient if they feel they are being grilled for information.

The best sales reps consider the details they need to acquire and then formulate open-ended questions that can be woven into a relaxed, enjoyable business dialogue. 

Motivation Matters

Needs are often fronts for the underlying motivations that are pushing a decision-maker to consider change.

Change is always a painful course of action, and most people prefer to avoid it if possible

In fact, most sales are lost to inaction, due to the perceived pain of change and desire to maintain the status quo.

So, what are the deeper motivations driving your prospect to consider a purchase decision? Think about the emotions, personal values, and goals your prospect may have.

Illustration of a business person holding a customer in their hand, raising them towards a dart board that represents the customers goals.

Inquire why making a change matters. Ask why your prospect feels a change should or shouldn’t happen. Craft questions so you get to underlying motivations, not just stated business objectives. 

5. Create Compelling Value Propositions

Sales success relies on your capacity to craft an attractive value proposition that clearly outlines how you can address problems for your potential customers.

It’s not sufficient to just specify the characteristics of your product or service; you must emphasize your understanding of prospect problems, and persuasively articulate how you can address those problems.

Features vs. Benefits – What’s More Important?

The debate between features and benefits is an old one in sales.

The common knowledge today is that focusing on benefits leads to better results, but this isn’t my recommended approach.

Before we get to my recommendation, let’s explore an example.

If you are trying to sell a car, you could say that a particular model has the best heated seats on the market (a pretty sweet feature).

But if you explain instead how this means warm, comfortable drives during cold winter months (the benefit), you’ve painted a much more appealing picture.

My recommended approach is to sell both the features and the benefits together.

It’s important to explain the particulars of the various features to satisfy the analytical side of the buyer’s brain.

But it’s also important to satisfy the emotional side of their brain with narratives that bring the actual benefits to life.

You could ask if a customer has ever had heated seats, and how they liked them.

Then paint a picture of how having the best heated seats on the market will take that positive experience to the next level, on the coldest days of the year.

Perhaps even weave in a story of how another customer reported back how incredible these particular heated seats were last winter.

Remember though, people need more than an exciting narrative to fully trust that they are making the right decision.

Yes, we know that people buy based primarily on emotion, but there needs to be some feature-based discussion so they can relax and defer to their emotions.

The best part? Mastering this approach not only helps improve sales outcomes but also enhances the buyer experience.

Your goal is always to create win-win scenarios where buyers are grateful for your involvement and happy with their decisions.

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6. Overcome Objections and Handle Rejection

The path to sales success is usually paved with objections. Conquering these objections is the gateway to success for any sales rep, and doing so is easier than you think.

As sales tactics go, learning to overcome objections is at the top of the list.

Identify Common Objections

There are many common objections that are present regardless of your industry and solution. Start by identifying and crafting responses to common objections including price, timing, and decision-making process.

Develop an approach to identifying and addressing objectives. You can learn more about my preferred approach here.

Remember that prospects are trying to put you in a box to compare your solution to other similar options.

Your job is to differentiate so that you can win more business, without acquiescing to your prospects’ demands (i.e. for a better price).

This is a critical sales tactic, so take the time to plan for success.

Persistence: The Sales Superpower

True sales professionals know that persistence is a superpower.

With this simple habit, prospect resistance can be turned into a positive outcome. Persisting respectfully and patiently will always give you a better chance than throwing in the towel.

Starting now, adopt the mantra of “one more try”.

Every time you think to give up, try once more for your desired outcome. Make one more call. Try one more time. You’ll be amazed at the results.

Finding Gold in Rejection

There are many ways you can benefit from rejection.

First and foremost, the sting of rejection is something you should reflect on every time you lose. That pain is a treasure trove of lessons, but only if you intentionally seek answers. 

My “Secret to Sales Success” framework is all about leveraging your failures to improve your future outcomes. Learn and adopt this model today.

Second, don’t forget to ask about future business opportunities. Many times in my career I have won business from a prospect that rejected me initially. If you stay classy and keep in touch, another opportunity could be just over the horizon.

Lastly, it may seem counterintuitive but many prospects will provide referrals even if they don’t buy from you… and yet, only 11% of sellers bother to ask!

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7. Properly Manage Relationships

In sales, the close isn’t the end of the journey.

Of course, the post-sales process will depend on your organization.

If you are a hunter, then perhaps an account manager will take over after you close the first sale.

Regardless, it’s critical to ensure that you or your account management group are working hard to build lasting relationships with existing customers.

Illustration of a customer marking a 5-star rating.

This is done through demonstrating interest in delivering on expected outcomes, attentive service and follow through, and personal relationship building.

A good follow-up strategy can help nurture important business connections and pave the way for more opportunities.

It’s much easier to find revenue through existing customers who trust you, vs. winning brand-new customers, so don’t sleep on the importance of fostering and developing existing customer relationships.

The power of consistent follow-ups cannot be understated – they’re an opportunity not only for further engagement but also for identifying new challenges, upselling, or cross-selling products that could enhance their experience with your brand.

Master The Art (and Science) of Follow-Up

But how do you ensure your follow-ups hit home?

One key factor is timing. Follow up shortly after the initial sale, and then iron out a cadence your customer is comfortable with.

Follow-ups can include check-ins, sharing of relevant articles or collateral, and regular business review meetings that could happen monthly or quarterly.

Personalizing your messages will demonstrate a human touch, and showcase your understanding of their needs, along with your appreciation for their time and business.

Cultivating Relationships For Repeat Business

Beyond making sure clients remember you through regular communication, relationship management is a longer-term effort that helps existing customers feel your ongoing commitment to their success.

This is done through ongoing effort to learn and understand more about your customers over time, and ensuring that information is captured so you can refer back to it.

We all appreciate the experience when someone seeks our input and feedback, remembers what is important to us, and continues to help us in the ways we want.

Illustration representing a customer providing feedback on their experience.

The more effectively we can do this, the less likely a customer is to leave, and the more likely they are to buy more and refer more business our way. 

8. Commit to Ongoing Learning and Improvement

As a sales professional, standing still is the equivalent of moving backward.

That’s why continuous learning and improvement are mandatory. Keep sharpening your skills to stay ahead of the game.

In an ever-changing field like sales, new strategies and techniques are being developed all the time. Stay on top of new developments via podcasts, books, and blogs like this one.

Learn from colleagues, peers, and of course your own experiences.

Don’t be afraid to try new things and adapt when you find something new that works.

The very best salespeople I’ve known are ravenous about learning, trying, and adapting their approaches over time with a singular focus on what drives better results.

Fostering a Growth Mindset

Cultivate what psychologist Carol Dweck calls the “Growth Mindset”.

Do this by believing that your talent can be developed through hard work, good strategies, experience, and input from others.

The growth mindset thrives on challenge and sees failure as the seed of growth, not as a negative to be avoided at all costs.

Remember that the lessons you take from your sales career are applicable across your life.

Self-belief, commitment, hard work, and adaptability can take you anywhere you want to go and make the journey something worth taking.

Sales Coaching – Your Secret Weapon

Self-paced learning along with your personal experience, reflection, and adaptation are critically important growth strategies.

However, the fastest path to success is through direct coaching and mentorship.

Ideally, your employer provides both exceptional training and strong sales management, but hiring a sales success coach is the ultimate step you can take to drive your results to the next level.

This is a sales strategy only a small percentage of sales reps leverage, but it can have a massive impact on results.

I offer personalized sales coaching and mentorship that starts at the core of your motivations and desires, to help you build the foundation for success.

Tactics and techniques aren’t enough. Mindset is not enough. Learn more about my model and contact me when you want to take your sales performance to the next level. 

Text that states "Hiring a sales success coach is the ultimate step you can take to drive your results..."


How much will these sales tactics improve my results?

If you are good at introducing new habits, then implement any of the above sales tactics immediately to see quick improvements.

However, to really take your game to the next level you need to explore your motivations, desires, beliefs, values, and operating principles.

Read this article for an introduction to these concepts, and contact me directly when you are ready for transformative sales coaching. 

What are the best sales tactics that work from this list?

Every sales tactic is valuable and all of them should be incorporated into your sales toolkit. 

Depending on your experience, the sales strategy at your company, and the functions of your job, some selling tactics may be more useful to you than others. 

Where can I learn more about sales tactics & techniques?

Explore all the articles in my blog for more information on these and other sales techniques and tactics.

You’ll also find information on different types of sales jobs, how to find the right sales job based on your interest and experience, and details about different sales functions like inbound, outbound, hunting, and farming.

There’s helpful information for sales teams, how to craft a winning sales pitch, and methods to script out the perfect sales call flow. 


Mastering sales won’t happen overnight, but with the most effective sales tactics and your unwavering commitment, you can be on your way to massive success.

You now understand how crucial it is to approach prospecting intelligently. How proper qualification is critical for preserving your valuable time and reducing late-stage rejection. You’ve grasped that rapport building isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s essential to win deals and keep clients coming back.

Then there’s communication – asking open-ended questions and identifying needs and motivations are critical for success. Add to this crafting compelling value propositions by focusing on both features and benefits.

Objections and rejections are part of the game, but we’ve explored strategies for handling them too. Remember follow-ups aren’t optional either; they pave the way for repeat business.

Sales tactics don’t end here though! There’s always room for learning and improvement because selling is an ever-evolving art form, and your career success must be a lifelong commitment.

When you’re ready, contact me directly to supercharge your sales ability and earnings.