<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=577820730604200&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Why Outdated Sales Tactics Fail in 2024 and How to Build Trust Instead

Discover why manipulative sales tactics are failing and how trust-based strategies can transform your approach in 2024.

It is unfortunate that in 2024, there are still sales organizations that choose an approach based on their fear of losing. These organizations adopt strategies built on bullying and manipulation. These tactics, like tie-downs and other traps, still work, but they seem to be most effective on people who are uncomfortable with conflict.

The Negative Stereotype of Salespeople

There is a negative stereotype of salespeople that affects our entire industry, although few B2B salespeople know or use these high-pressure methods, let alone practice pushy, self-oriented tactics. A number of these tactics rely on subterfuge to pretend that the prospect is going to be able to make a decision.

And, indeed, they will make a decision, although they have been deceived and manipulated by the salesperson, who uses an underlying structure to control the conversation. If you have ever had a salesperson who asked you a series of questions to cause you to say yes multiple times, you were being manipulated.

Personal Experience with Manipulative Sales Tactics

In our last house, we needed to replace the brick paver. After the salesperson took a look around, he asked to sit down at our kitchen table. He opened up a big binder and started asking me questions. The nature of the questions was designed to cause me to say yes. He asked if I believed that his company was a good company. I responded, "I have no idea if your company is a good company or not." He shrugged it off and continued with his questions, asking me, “Am I the kind of salesperson you would want to buy from?” I disappointed him by telling him no.

Mrs. Iannarino wasn’t happy with my performance, but she wasn’t aware of what he was doing. His last attempt was a final question, asking me if I would buy from him today if he gave me a 50 percent discount. I have a strong reaction when someone tries to take advantage of me or others. He also had way too much cologne on for me to be able to buy from him.

A Case Study in High-Pressure Sales

I watched a well-recognized entrepreneur take advantage of three other entrepreneurs in a workshop. He asked each person to role-play a scenario they were struggling with in their business. During the role-play, the trainer turned the conversation around and walked each person to the table where they would sign a contract for a $190,000 program. All three complied and signed the contract. The reason they signed is that the trainer put their status in jeopardy by doing this in front of 50 people. At this point, I walked out of the workshop and went to the airport to wait for my flight.

Dated Sales Techniques That Harm Your Business

Any strategy that is built on taking advantage by using pressure, bullying, or some form of manipulation is proof that the salesperson is not effective enough to sell without relying on self-oriented, old, and outdated sales approaches. If you practice any of these tactics, you should immediately remove them from your sales approach. Few salespeople are attracted to these types of sales methodologies, and clients dislike the associated sales strategies and tactics.

In a time when there are more sales organizations than are needed, no buyer or decision-maker needs to engage with a salesperson using pressure or manipulation. You can tell the salesperson is using these approaches as it feels like you, as the client, are not making the decision.

Modern Sales Success: Trust and Value Creation

In the third decade of the 21st century, we have left the era of the solution and entered the era of decision-making. Trust has always been the coin of the realm in sales, especially in complex, rare, strategic decisions to make a significant change to the client’s business. This era of decision-making is the response to the extreme uncertainty businesses face in our current era of accelerating, constant, disruptive change.

Creating Value in Sales Conversations

When we talk about creating value in the sales conversation, the only vehicle we have is helping our clients learn what they need to make the best decision when it comes to their desired outcomes. Instead of withholding information, we arm them with the insights and experiences salespeople stack up over time. While buyers complain about and reject bad salespeople, the kind that offers no help, pressure, or manipulation. These archaic structures fail to address “why change” and focus instead on the tie-downs and other tactics designed to control the client. This is not the same as leading your client to the decision they need to succeed now and in the future.

Reflecting on Past Sales Interactions

Before you leave this article, think back on any interaction you have had with a salesperson who failed to create the value you needed from them, or an experience with a self-oriented salesperson. A self-oriented salesperson selling coaching software called me and offered a demo, as if I had never seen software. I could clearly imagine what the screen would look like, and I was certain I would see a box for the client’s “First Name” followed by a box for “Last Name.” The salesperson eventually asked me to do the demo, revealing that he only gets paid if he can book a demo. I am pro-salesperson, but it is hard to help some reps.

The Need for Modern Sales Leadership

If you are a sales leader who is still using the strategies, rethink your approach. Outdated and manipulative tactics fail to build trust, and they cause your clients to seek a more helpful salesperson with a better, modern methodology.


Sales 2024
Post by Anthony Iannarino on May 21, 2024

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

ai-cold-calling-video-sidebar-offer-1 Sales-Accelerator-Virtual-Event-Bundle-ad-square
salescall-planner-ebook-v3-1-cover (1)

Are You Ready To Solve Your Sales Challenges?


Hi, I’m Anthony. I help sales teams make the changes needed to create more opportunities & crush their sales targets. What we’re doing right now is working, even in this challenging economy. Would you like some help?

Solve for Sales

Join my Weekly Newsletter for Sales Tips

Join 100,000+ sales professionals in my weekly newsletter and get my Guide to Becoming a Sales Hustler eBook for FREE!