Sales Genius

40 insights from the science of selling

By Graham Jones

1. Email selling is dead: You can’t move online for blog posts and so-called experts saying that email marketing is dead. Far from it, the research shows that sales via email outstrip most other sources of sales.

2. You have to be big to succeed these days: The globalisation of brands makes people think bigger is better. Research tells the opposite; significant sales are coming from niche players.

3. Look people in the eye to make them buy: This old sales training adage is nonsense. Research shows that too much eye contact reduces sales.

4. Close the deal: Old fashioned and out-of-date sales methods suggest you should focus on getting to a “close”. Research shows that sales people who do not close the deal make just as many sales.

5. You can always come down in price: The idea is that if you start high you can always lower your price. But studies show people are more willing to have prices raised on them, than lowered. Start low, not high.

6. Get the price right for customers: The notion is that customers focus on price and know what they will pay. Research shows they have no idea about pricing.

7. Sales training is essential: Sales training frequently fails to provide any benefits. Research shows its success depends largely on one factor – whether the boss creates a positive working environment.

8. Don’t over-manage a sales team: The theory is that sales people are independently-minded and don’t need hand-holding. But studies show that good sales teams need more, not less, management involvement.

9. Once a salesperson, always a salesperson: Not true anymore. Sales processes and technology are changing fast and research shows that the best sales people are those who always update their knowledge and skills.

10. Don’t be pushy: Sales success is associated with persistence. Many sales are lost because salespeople are not persistent enough. Research shows that customers want to feel wanted and feel rejected when sales staff are not coming back, time after time.

10 myths of sales busted by
scientific research on sales