Then and Now in Sales

Paying homage to Lefsetz.

Then, it was very difficult to acquire information about your prospects. Now, it’s impossibly simple to find information about your dream clients—if you do the work and use the tools.

Then, there weren’t a lot of ways to prospect. It was door-to-door. It was cold calling. Now, your clients have their own communication preferences. Those preferences might not include face-to-face visits or telephone calls.

Then, the best way in was to find the highest possible authority and ask them to front you into the organization. Now, the best way in is whatever way works—as long as you can find your way vertically and horizontally through the organization.

Then, you had to be an expert on your product. You had to know everything about it. Now, you need to know how to help your client get the outcome they need.

Then, you hated paperwork. Now, you still hate paperwork. But the paperwork is electronic.

Then, it was difficult for your clients to communicate with you. You were out on sales calls. Now, your clients expect you to be always on, always available, always accessible, and always present.

Then, you needed a smile on your face and a shine on your shoes. Now, you need a smile on your face, a shine on your shoes, and you better have something between your ears. Now, you have to help create real business results.

Then, every year your number went up. It didn’t matter if nothing changed. Now, every year your number goes up. It doesn’t matter that nothing’s changed.

Then, unhappy customers would tell 10 people about every failure and every disappointing customer service experience. Now, unhappy customers tell 1,000’s of their closest friends by sharing that service failure with their Facebook friends and Twitter followers. Then their friends share it with all of their friends and followers.

Then, you researched your clients before you called them. Now, your prospective clients are researching you to determine whether or not you’re someone worth having a conversation.

Then, it was hard to tell what was going on in your buyer’s mind, what they were thinking about. Now, your customers and prospects are sharing what’s on their mind in LinkedIn groups.

Then, a face-to-face sales call was an expensive interaction. Now, you hold face-to-face sales calls with people all around the world for free.

Then, it wasn’t what you know it was who you know. Now, it’s who you know, who knows you, what you know about them, and what they know about you know.

Then, your clients and prospects had time to hang around and shoot the breeze with the gregarious salesperson. Now, your clients have no time for a gregarious sales person that doesn’t create value. But they have all the time in the world for real value creator that can help improve their business.

Then, the game was built on trust. Now, the game is built on trust.

Then, selling was difficult. Now, selling is difficult.


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