16 Proven Sales Tactics that Work in Any Industry

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Ultimately, there is really only one goal in sales…close the deal.

But how do you go about getting the sale? What actions should you take, and what strategies should you avoid?

Fortunately, you can take instruction from other sales professionals and follow the methods they use that work consistently.

We've spoken with successful salespeople from many industries and collected a list of the best sales tactics worth swiping. Plus, we've come across a host of strategies you should definitely avoid.

The best sales teams are always learning and looking to improve.

So start by employing these 16 proven sales tactics in your own business and watch leads turn into happy customers.

What Are Sales Tactics?

Sales tactics are specific actions you can take to increase the odds of making a sale, such as offering discounts, making guarantees, or building an emotional connection with the buyer. Sales tactics can vary by industry or company. And many sales leaders will have tried-and-true methods they picked up over a long career of trial and error.

Sales tactics are different from sales strategies. Sales strategies are bigger-picture guidelines about how your organization will sell, often supporting a longer-term sales plan.

In contrast, sales tactics are targeted maneuvers you can make when engaging with a prospect. These specific actions can be taught or even built into a cold calling script.

Sales tactics help you close this sale. While sales strategies help you grow sales and build a loyal customer base over time.

While they are both important, this article focuses on selective actions you can take to increase your ability to close new clients.

High Pressure Sales Tactics Explained

"High pressure sales tactics" refer to customer engagements where the salesperson is forcing the sale.

These might show up in a conversation when the salesperson:

  • Doesn't take no for an answer
  • Makes false promises to rush past any client objections
  • Pressures the prospect to make decisions they're not ready to make

Think: Jordan Belfort getting grandma to pony up her cash savings for a penny stock she doesn't need…


Let's make this clear up front, you don't want to be this type of salesperson.

Hard selling your product or service is pushy, unethical, and unsuitable for B2B interactions.

Even if these tactics "work" you'll end up with a client who feels guilty about their purchase and is unlikely to turn into a loyal advocate for your business.

If you want to retain clients and generate positive word-of-mouth, remember to stay far away from high-pressure tactics.

4 Retail Sales Tips Your Sales Team Should Consider


Retail sales are interesting to study because they occur face-to-face.

When a salesperson meets a prospect in person, many variables can't be anticipated in a script. Suddenly visual cues like your appearance or nonverbal communication can make or break a deal.

You can use these distinctions to your advantage, though.

Build a personal connection with your potential customer and close the sale with our favorite retail sales tips below:

  1. Sell with your body language
  2. Walk the floor
  3. Run promotions
  4. Sell the benefits

1. Sell With Your Body Language

If 93% of communication is nonverbal that means the words you use are the least important part of making a retail sale.

Instead, focus on your body language to close successfully in a retail setting:

  • Smile
  • Nod and listen
  • Stand confidently
  • Keep your posture open (i.e., don't cross your arms)

All of these visual cues will communicate to your prospect that you are there to help them first and foremost.

People want to be served, not sold, and your body language will convey that you care.

2. Walk the Floor

How many times have you walked into a store and the person behind the counter barely raised their eyes or stepped out to help you?

And how often are you happy to walk out of that establishment empty-handed?

Sadly, the answer is probably too often.

It seems simple, but walking the floor and checking in with patrons is one of the most effective ways to sell more.

Greeting customers gives you a chance to build a connection or let them know about a discount, promotion, or other reason to spend.

3. Run Promotions

Speaking of promotions, limited-time discounts and special offers are extremely effective tactics to consider for retail sales.

Oftentimes, customers are looking for an excuse to make a purchase. Promotional campaigns might be the little nudge needed to realize that now is the right time to buy.

Retail stores can tie promotions and discounts to different events or holidays in ways that keep customers coming back to see what is new.

4. Sell the Benefits (Not the Features)

You've probably heard this sales mantra before: "sell the benefits, don't sell the features." Usually, this is used in conjunction with software or other digital products, but the saying holds true for retail sales too.

People care about how they will feel buying your product, they don't necessarily care about what they get.

Let's take a few retail scenarios and illustrate the point better:

Retail item for sale

"Selling the feature"

"Selling the benefit"


This bedding has the highest thread count we offer and is built with microfiber technology…

This bedding is so soft and keeps you so cool during the night you'll fall asleep and stay asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow…


These yoga pants are infused with bamboo charcoal nanoparticles…

Sweat all you want in these yoga pants, we promise you will never smell after a workout again

Food supplements

This supplement gives you 100% of all your daily vitamins with six servings of vegetables…

You will rocket out of bed each morning with boundless energy after taking this supplement…

Give these retail sales tactics a shot with your team, or the next time you're on the floor and watch the cash register sing.


5 Creative Sales Tactics to Use Over the Phone

Creative Sales Tactics to Use Over the Phone

If you're lucky enough to reach a prospect on the phone, they are bound to be short on time and short on patience.

You have a small window of opportunity to keep them engaged and make the sale.

Make the most of your sales calls and use these creative tactics to close more effectively when dialing prospects:

  1. Ask for permission
  2. Personalize your pitch
  3. Ask open questions
  4. Compliment the competition
  5. Explain who isn't right

1. Ask for Permission

"Can I have just 30 seconds of your time?"

Asking for permission (and waiting for a response!) is a great tactic to disarm your lead. Normally, people will have trouble denying a small request and will effectively give you the green light to sell to them.

Asking for permission or agreement requires your prospect to say "yes," creating more of a collaborative interaction.

2. Personalize Your Pitch

This tactic requires some creativity upfront but will help your pitch resonate better with customers.

When you chat with a prospect, share clues that show you understand who they are, where they are, and what problems they are facing.

For example, during your conversation:

  • Ask them about the big sports game their city just won
  • Reference what time of day you're catching them during
  • Use the right lingo for their company and role
  • Mention trends you see other similar businesses facing

With comments like these, prospects are less likely to see you as a distant stranger and more likely to see you as a trusted advisor.

3. Ask Open Questions

Treat every sales call as an opportunity to learn more about your prospect and their problems rather than an opportunity to close a sale.

Open-ended questions show that you genuinely care about the issues they face and what their struggles are.

When you ask open questions, you can get the prospect to pitch to you. Hone in on specific pain points they share and then share how your offering will provide relief.

4. Compliment the Competition

This tactic might initially seem counterintuitive.

"You want me to sell for our competitors?"

No, not really.

The point of complimenting the competition isn't to make their offer seem better than yours.

The point is to demonstrate that you are an unbiased consultant, only here to help them make the best decision.

Knowing the product or service of the competition inside and out will help you accurately assess the pros and cons of purchase for your prospect.

When you step into your lead's shoes like this they are far more willing to trust you and buy from you.

5. Explain Who Isn't Right

This tactic is sort of the anti-pitch.

Explain to your prospect who is perfectly wrong for your product or service offering.

By employing reverse psychology, your lead will unintentionally identify as the right client for the sale without you forcing the point.

Here's a simple framework to illustrate the idea:

Client Characteristic

Anti-Client Pitch

Perfect Client Implication


Small business





Service Mode



4 Bad Sales Tactics to Avoid

Bad Sales Tactics to Avoid

While you're building a playbook of great sales tactics to employ, you might also want to consider a handful of tactics worth avoiding.

Closing a sale by any means necessary doesn't build lasting trust in your business. Try to stay away from these aggressive methods when selling:

  1. Manipulative sales tactics
  2. Pressure sales tactics
  3. Bad-mouthing the competition
  4. Illegal sales tactics

1. Manipulative Sales Tactics

Manipulative sales tactics prey on your prospect's negative emotions to get them to buy.

For example, you might try to make the lead feel guilty or shameful if they were not to buy from you.

Manipulative sales tactics make the prospect feel like they are hurting you personally by not making a purchase.

It's not good practice to discuss your need to hit quota or close a sale for money. The sale should be all about helping the client, not yourself.

2. Pressure Sales Tactics

Pressuring prospects to make a purchase through coercion or bullying might get the sale but won't get you a loyal customer.

This kind of tactic makes the prospect feel like they have no other choice but to say yes.

The stereotypical car salesman that doesn't let you walk off the lot without keys in your hands isn't the look you should be going for.

3. Bad-Mouthing the Competition

Even if it's true, speaking poorly about your competitors is a terrible choice to make when selling.

Insulting a competing business won't highlight the advantages of your offering and will only make the prospect associate you with negative thoughts.

Instead, talk about what the competition does well but highlight how your offer is different or incrementally better.

That way, you sell while staying positive.

4. Illegal Sales Tactics

Any practices that are outright illegal should obviously be avoided. Government agencies often govern unfair and deceptive sales practices like the FTC, and engaging in these practices can destroy your business.

This can also include using customer data illegally to get in touch with prospects.

Whatever the specific maneuver, one sale is not worth jeopardizing the whole company.

3 Sales Tactics Examples

Sales Tactics Examples

Looking for some examples of tactics you can use in your next sales conversation, no matter the situation?

We have you covered with a few simple examples you can put into practice regardless of your business or mode of communication:

  1. Pain point and solution
  2. Personal selling
  3. Challenger sales model

1. Pain Point and Solution

Don't see yourself as a salesperson, see yourself as a doctor treating a patient. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What kind of pain is your prospect in?
  • What symptoms are they experiencing in their business or daily life that you can diagnose?
  • What scenarios or problems are causing their pain in the first place?

When you frame the conversation this way, it's easy to pitch your product or service as the right solution to help your customer feel better.

2. Personal Selling

A personal selling approach is all about building trust and rapport with your prospect.

This tactic turns what might otherwise be a transactional interaction into a relationship.

Before you start doubting, learning about your prospect personally isn't all woo-woo and no business sense.

That's because 68% of B2B customers are lost because of perceived indifference or apathy from salespeople.

When you employ personal selling, your prospect will be able to see how you care about their unique situation.

3. Challenger Sales Model

The Challenger Sales Model encourages salespeople to take a more authoritative and controlling stance in the sales conversation.

While this might seem combative at first, the tactic is successful because it challenges the prospect to consider doing things differently and questions incorrect beliefs they might have.

When done tactfully, the Challenger Sales Model drives unique insights for the prospect during the sales process and frames your offer as a change for the better.

4 Best Sales Tactics to Follow

Best Sales Tactics to Follow

If you're only going to take a few of these sales tactics with you, here are our absolute favorite ones:

  1. Follow up
  2. Use collateral
  3. Be a storyteller
  4. Ask for referrals

1. Follow Up

The oldest tactic in the book? Maybe. But still incredibly effective.

An email without a reply, an unopened promotion, or an unanswered phone call is not a "no" in sales.

If you want to sell effectively, you have to follow up.

60% of customers say no four times before saying yes, so one phone call isn't going to cut it.

Don't get discouraged if you hear crickets after your first pitch.

Track your leads and outreach activities closely in your CRM because the sale is only a few rejections away.

2. Use Collateral

Share helpful sales and marketing collateral with your prospects to increase your chances of success.

The great thing about collateral is that it continues to sell on your behalf even after you stop your conversation with a lead. Share some of these sales materials with your leads to leave a good impression:

  • Whitepapers
  • Case Studies
  • Product Sheets
  • Testimonials

That way, potential customers can reference sales materials at their pace and contemplate buying on their terms.

3. Be a Storyteller

Human brains are wired for narrative. Prospects will listen closely and remember your company better if you can weave storytelling into your sales process.

Want an easy story to tell during your next sales conversation that will help you convert?

Leverage success stories from previous customers. Take the prospect through the journey - from a period of pain to a period of triumph, all thanks to your product or service.

Your prospect will begin to see themselves as the possible hero of their own story.

4. Ask for Referrals

Referrals are right up there with following up.

You likely already have a stable base of happy customers that are willing to sing your praises should you ask.

Word-of-mouth is the most sustainable and profitable source of marketing. Sometimes customers will suggest your company without any prodding, but it's still a good habit to ask for referrals.

If 84% of buyers start their journey with a referral, you can't afford not to make referrals a tactic in your playbook.


Sales is a numbers game. Lots of leads will enter at the top of your sales funnel, but few will convert to clients in the end.

The important thing to realize about this is that marginal improvements in your conversion rate will create a major upside.

By employing the proven sales tactics we covered above, you have the best chance to move the math in your favor.

Take small actions to connect with your prospect and focus on their problems and watch the sales magic happen.

Of course, to keep track of all of the leads you will be contacting (and sales you will be closing), it's really helpful to use a CRM as a source of truth.

Ringy's features put personalized communication at the core of the platform.

So sign up for a demo today to see how our technology can help you implement your favorite sales tactics successfully.

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