Sales is an art.

And mastering this art requires more than just a one-size-fits-all approach. 

Whether you are a pro or just starting, understanding the different types of sales approaches and their effectiveness can make all the difference in closing deals and growing your business. 

From soft selling to consultative selling and everything in between, there is a sales approach that is right for every product, service, and target market. 

In this article, we will dive deep into the world of sales and explore the most common types of sales approaches, their strengths and weaknesses, and how to choose the best one for your business. 

So, let's dive in and master the art of sales!

What Is a Sales Approach?

Sales jobs make up almost 13% of all jobs in the US, highlighting their significance and the positive shift in the profession's reputation.

salespeople job vacancies

Sales representatives with intelligence, agility, and continuous skill development have a bright future. For job seekers, the key takeaway is to learn the art of selling. We must analyze salespeople's selling methods to understand the meaning of a sales approach fully.

A sales approach involves a sales representative's tactics and strategies to persuade potential customers to purchase a product.

Based on many factors, such as the product's nature, the salesperson's experience, and the salesperson's preferred communication style, each sales approach may be more effective than others for a particular sales representative.

Let’s take a look at different types of sales approaches.

Traditional Sales Approach

Traditional sales approaches involve preparing for a battle and emerging victorious. Here’s a rundown of the traditional methods that your competitors already know!

Prescriptive Sales Approach

Equipping potential customers with all the necessary information to make informed decisions and accommodating their preferences would streamline the buying process and increase sales.

Simultaneously, responding to customer requests and providing comprehensive support is a common sales tactic. This may include sharing case studies, testimonials, and brochures and adapting the offer to meet the changing demands of customers. Additionally, customers often need enough time to consider all available options. 

Despite the apparent benefits of being customer-focused, inundating customers with too much information or too many options may harm sales.

Product Approach

A product approach is when a company focuses on producing products it can make better than others. 

Contrarily, a marketing- or customer-oriented approach is used when a company produces what its customers value and want. Even though both approaches may lead to producing the same product, the marketing-oriented approach is better in case of conflicts. 

A few decades ago, most companies followed the product approach, and they gained market share and competitive advantage by being cost-effective. But as the competition became more challenging and technology advanced, the marketing-oriented approach became more popular. 

Modern Approach Techniques

Like past sales transformations, modern approach techniques emerged as a reaction to buyers' surroundings and requirements shifts. 

Nowadays, successful sales strategies require you to be more than just a solution provider. You must share your knowledge, show off your business acumen, and assist clients in making sense of their circumstances and choices.  It is not enough to simply give clients a "solution" to their problems.  You must also explain the factors they must consider and help them weigh their options. 

And, of course, you need to consider the shared understanding required for clients to change their requirements. So, to succeed in modern sales, focus on providing value, building relationships, and being a trusted advisor to your clients.

Following the below sales approach techniques will help you on your path.

Ask Questions

One of the salespeople's biggest mistakes is assuming things about their buyers.  To avoid this mistake, salespeople must realize the importance of asking questions. 

Asking questions is the most valuable tool for making sales.

Asking the right questions is crucial for any successful sales approach. When you ask questions, you can gain valuable insights into your customers' buying minds. This information will allow you to customize your strategy and offer solutions that meet their specific requirements. By understanding your customers' unique challenges, you can position yourself as a problem solver, build trust, and ultimately close more deals. So, always remember to ask insightful questions and actively listen to your customers' responses.

So, to be successful in sales, always ask questions and listen carefully to your customer's responses.

Listen Actively

In a sales conversation, you must actively listen to the buyer and not just hear what they say. It is a good idea to summarize what the buyer has said to show that you understand their point of view.  This can make the buyer feel valued and appreciated, which can help build a stronger relationship with them. 

So, as a salesperson, take the time to listen actively and really understand your buyer's needs and concerns. This will help you offer solutions that meet their needs and build trust between you and the buyer. This will require you to concentrate on what the buyer says instead of planning your next inquiry.

According to a study by Gong Labs 2018, the most successful salespeople listen more than they talk. The study analyzed thousands of sales calls and found that the top performers had a talk-to-listen ratio 43:57. 

talk-to-listen ratio

This means they spend more time listening to their customer’s needs and concerns than just talking about technical features and specs. Interestingly, these top performers achieved an average of 120% above their sales quota by focusing on customer problems and offering solutions that addressed those issues. They took the time to understand their customer’s pain points and asked questions to get them to open up about their needs.  

Through this approach, they could gain the trust of their clients and foster long-lasting relationships with them. In short, remember to listen actively and focus on your customers' needs and concerns.

Be A Mentor

The act of educating has become more important than pitching in sales. The following image shows your customers' most common questions and teaches you how to answer them accordingly.

Educate your customers

Try to find moments where you can teach buyers something new when listening to them. Education is a great way to help buyers understand that what they thought they wanted may not be the best solution for their needs. 

By sharing your knowledge and insights, you can help guide them toward a better understanding of what they truly need and how your product or service can meet those needs. Teaching can also build trust and establish credibility with the buyer. 

When you take the time to educate them, they will see you as a valuable resource and someone they can rely on for guidance. So, next time you talk to a buyer, do not just focus on selling your product or service; instead, look for opportunities to teach and educate them, leading to more successful sales in the long run.

Make Decisions On Behalf Of The Clients

As a salesperson, you should be proactive and show your prospects why they should choose your business instead of giving them a chance to say no. A good salesperson will assume the prospect is ready to buy and use closing statements to seal the deal.  This will help the buyer feel more comfortable and confident in their decision, leading to fewer questions and less second-guessing.

By following these guidelines, you can refine your sales technique and increase your chances of success. 

Remember to focus on the customer's needs and be patient.

Be Available And Responsive

As a salesperson, you should be attentive when prospects reach out to you and make them feel heard and valued. But beyond that, building a relationship with your clients is important beyond just providing a service. 

Show them you are there to make a sale and genuinely care about their well-being and satisfaction. Being friendly and approachable and taking the time to get to know them will create a level of trust and comfort that will make them more likely to choose your business over the competition.

Different Types of Sales Approaches 

Regarding sales, how you connect with your customers can make a big difference in your success. It is important to learn which approach works best for each customer and to develop your skills in using and combining different approaches for better results. 

Are you stuck in your current approach or open to trying new things to improve your sales game? Check out the following tips:

Soft Sell Approach

Using a soft sell approach means you are not pushy with the customer. Instead, you provide helpful information and recommendations to assist them with purchasing decisions. 

This approach is often used in stores where customers and salespeople are talking to each other in person. 

Here are some techniques you can use when soft selling:

  • Letting the customer know how popular the product is
  • Be your own testimonial for the product
  • Recommending other products that might interest them
  • Mentioning that your prices are lower than your competitors

Hard Sell Approach

A hard sell approach is when salespeople persuade customers to buy their product immediately without letting them take the time to think it over. It can be a bit pushy, and some customers may not like it, so it is important to use it cautiously. Sometimes, it can be effective when combined with a soft sell approach.

For example, if you have a promotion on your product and you know the customer will not be able to get the discount later, you can start with a soft sell approach and then gradually move to a hard sell approach to make the sale before the promotion ends.

Networking Approach

The networking approach to sales is all about building relationships with people who can help you generate leads and sales. 

This means reaching out to various people, including friends, family, colleagues, old classmates, and even those working for other companies.

This approach could be perfect if you love meeting new people and attending social events. By cultivating a large network of acquaintances, you will have a better chance of getting referrals and making sales. 

One of the great things about this approach is that it is often a two-way street.  When you help other salespeople in your network, they will be more likely to help you in return. 

So, it is about making sales and building long-term relationships that can benefit everyone involved.

Gap Selling Approach

In gap selling, you should aim to help your customers achieve their goals by highlighting the gap between where they are now and where they want to be. You are not just trying to fix a problem; you are showing them how your product can help them reach their goals.

This approach shifts your customer's focus from solving a problem to addressing the problems they didn't even know they had without your product. By doing this, you can help them achieve more than they ever thought possible.

SNAP Selling Approach

SNAP selling is an approach where the salesperson and the customer work together to achieve the same goal. 

This method aims to keep the customer's needs at the forefront of the conversation, and the salesperson acts as a guide to help the customer make the best purchasing decision for them. The acronym "SNAP" stands for four key points to remember when using this approach:


You must keep it simple. Ensure your pitch is easy to understand and provides clear information about what you're selling.


Show the customer how your product is invaluable and can solve their problems or meet their needs.

Always Align

Ensure you are in sync with the customer's needs and desires.


Keep the most important decisions and solutions at the forefront of the conversation.

SNAP Selling Approach

Following these guidelines allows you to create a positive and collaborative atmosphere that leads to a successful sale.

MEDDIC Selling Approach

The MEDDIC sales approach is about determining which customers are worth your time and resources. This approach is especially useful in B2B sales, where the financial stakes are often much higher than in other types of sales. 

To avoid missing out on opportunities with more profitable customers, salespeople need to be strategic about which customers they pursue. The acronym "MEDDIC" stands for several key factors that salespeople must consider when deciding whether or not to pursue a particular customer. 

These factors include:

Metrics: How much revenue is at stake if you win this customer's business?

Economic Buyer: Who has the power to make budget decisions within the organization?

Decision Criteria: What criteria will the organization be using to evaluate potential vendors?

Decision Process: What stages will the organization go through before making a final decision?

Identify Pain: What is the cost to the organization of not purchasing your product?

Champion: Who within the organization is actively promoting your product to their colleagues?

MEDDIC Selling Approach

Conceptual Selling Approach

Conceptual selling is an approach that focuses on customers' interest in buying a concept rather than a product. 

As a salesperson, you must determine the customer's concept and tailor your marketing approach accordingly. 

To do this, you can ask questions that help you:

  • Confirm information from previous interactions with the customer
  • Gather new information about the customer and their needs
  • Understand the customer's relationship with the product
  • Gauge how committed the customer is to the product
  • Identify any concerns or hesitations the customer may have about the product.

Target Account Selling Approach

This entails targeting specific customers who are likely to buy your product or service. 

To do this, you need to do research and identify the customers' traits that make them more likely to buy. 

The idea is to focus on quality rather than quantity so you do not waste your time and resources on unpromising leads. 

This approach works especially well for salespeople selling online through websites or social media platforms.

Customer Personality Approach

This approach is all about tailoring your sales approach based on the personality of the customer you are dealing with. 

For example, if your customer is someone who is talkative and loves to chat, it may not be the best idea to ask too many questions, as it could take up a lot of time. 

Instead, you could choose an approach that reciprocates their friendly and enthusiastic nature while still ensuring that you're addressing their needs and concerns.

Solutions Selling Approach

Solution selling is all about figuring out your customer's challenges and pain points, and then using your products or services to provide a tailored solution. 

With this approach, you let the customer's needs and goals guide you in finding the right product or service to help them. Let's say you are a website developer talking to a potential client who needs a new website. 

With solution selling, you would ask questions to understand their business needs, such as what kind of customers they have, what their branding looks like, and what features they need on their website. 

Then, create a customized proposal and website mock-up that specifically addresses those needs.

The Buddy Approach

The buddy approach is all about building relationships based on warmth and friendliness. It is a selling strategy that is particularly effective for salespeople who are naturally sociable and outgoing. The idea behind this approach is that people prefer doing business with people they like and trust. 

So, to make this approach work, you need to be genuinely interested in your customers, ask them questions, and show that you care about what they have to say. The key to success with the buddy approach is sincerity. You must be reliable and honest in your interactions with customers, and you may need to follow up with them later to maintain the relationship. 

This approach is particularly well-suited to retail sales, such as jewelry or bridal gowns, where customers may seek a personalized, emotionally satisfying experience.

The Guru Approach

It is all about using the technical details of a product to persuade a customer to make a purchase instead of relying on emotions or problem-solving. 

This approach is ideal for customers who value research and information and are more analytical or reserved in their personalities. 

In fact, the guru approach can be particularly effective with customers who may be resistant to other, more emotional sales techniques.

This sales approach is most effective for retail situations that involve high levels of technical expertise, such as sales of cars or technology products. Customers may see you as a knowledgeable industry expert and trust your recommendations, which can lead to repeat business and quality referrals.

Consultative Selling

Consultative selling is about building a strong business relationship between the salesperson and the customer. This technique is usually used for business-to-business sales. As a salesperson, you position yourself as an expert in your product or service and offer your client valuable advice and guidance. 

You earn the client's trust by asking them about their business needs and challenges, and then you use that information to figure out how your product or service can help them.

Although this approach may take some time to establish, it can lead to long-term sales success because the customer trusts your expertise and values your relationship.

The 7-Step Sales Process

Here are seven practical tips to help you expand your sales process and achieve your business goals. 

Following these steps allows you to locate potential customers, persuade them to purchase, and establish long-term relationships that can generate repeat business and positive referrals.

Lead Generation

The first step in the sales process is lead generation, which involves searching for potential customers interested in buying your products or services. 

According to Crunchbase, successful salespeople typically spend around 6 hours a week researching their potential clients. 

salespeople prospecting

This helps them understand the client's business needs and how they can tailor their product or service to meet those needs. During this stage, salespeople typically gather information to determine if a prospect needs what they have to offer and if they have the budget to purchase it. 

It is important to remember that in today's business world, there are often multiple people involved in the decision-making process on the buyer's side. 

As per RAIN Group, the two most important factors determining whether a potential customer will engage with a sales representative are their specific needs and budget. If the prospect feels the product or service can fulfill their requirements and is within their budget, they are more likely to connect with the sales rep.

ideal customer

Sales Readiness

The next step in the sales process involves preparing for your first interaction with a potential customer. 

This is where you learn about your target market, gather important information, and create a personalized sales pitch that addresses your prospect's unique needs.

Opening Move

In the third stage of the sales process, you finally make your first contact with the potential client, which is crucial to making a good impression. The opening move can be in person, over the phone, or through online communication. 

There are three standard methods of approach that you can use.

  • The first method is the premium offer, where you present your potential client with a gift at the beginning of your interaction to make them feel appreciated and valued.
  • The second approach is the inquiry approach, where you ask relevant questions to grab the prospect's attention and interest them in your product or service.
  • The third approach is the product approach, where you offer a free sample or trial of your product or service to allow the prospects to evaluate its quality and suitability for their needs.

Sales Pitch

In the sales pitch phase, you can showcase how your product or service can answer your potential customer's needs. The term pitch, which means presentation, might give the impression of just using PowerPoint and giving a sales pitch, but that's not the only aspect to focus on.

It is essential to actively listen to your customers, identify their pain points, and respond appropriately to build a stronger connection with them.

Dealing With Concerns

Handling objections is an important step in the sales process that people often overlook. It is the part where you listen carefully to and respectfully address your potential customer's concerns.  Many salespeople give up too quickly: 44% after one rejection, 22% after two, 14% after three, and 12% after four.  However, you must note that 80% of sales require at least five follow-ups to convert. 

Persistence and continued engagement are key in the sales process. Handling objections effectively can distinguish between a good salesperson and a great one.

follow-up rejections

Finalizing The Deal

In the final stage of the sales process, you reach the crucial moment where the potential client decides. 

Depending on your industry and the specific situation, consider using one of these three techniques to close the deal:

Alternative choice

Instead of giving the prospect an open-ended question, you offer them a choice between two options, both leading to the sale. For example, "Would you prefer to sign up for the annual or monthly plan?" or "Do you want the basic or the premium package?"


You can offer the prospect an extra incentive to encourage them to purchase. This could be a discount, a free trial, or an add-on service.


You can motivate the prospect to make a decision by creating a sense of urgency and highlighting the importance of acting quickly. For example, you could say, "This offer is only valid for the next 24 hours," or "We only have three spots left at this price."


According to Invespcro, a significant portion of salespeople, specifically 48%, do not try to follow up with potential customers.

48% of salespeople do not follow up

But it’s not over until you finalize the deal!

The follow-up or continuation step is crucial to keep in touch with your customers, not just to make more sales in the future but also to get referrals from them. It is also cheaper to keep existing customers happy than to go out and find new ones. 

So, maintaining a good relationship with your customers is very important for your business.

Final Thoughts

One important skill for any salesperson is understanding what makes each customer unique. By knowing the differences in various approaches, a salesperson can develop their own strategies that work best for them. 

It is important to experiment with different techniques, find what consistently works for you, and apply it to all your customers.

At AI bees, we believe in dedication, commitment, and genuine care when dealing with our customers. 

As the Manifest Awardee for 2023, we're proud to share our recipe for success with you. 

We'd be delighted to hear from you, so feel free to contact us without hesitation!