• Sales: Old School or New School?

    Chase Marketing Blog

    There has been a lot of debate over the last few years, decades even, about sales as a profession in any industry. Where is it going? Where has it been? Do we still develop the “old school” mentality of “knuckles to wood” or do we take the sage advice of “work smart, not harder”?

    I was brought up in the old school. 200 + cold calls a day, feet in the street in 100 degree weather, channeling Jack Lemmons character from Glengarry Glen Ross on the phones or even worse, the in home sales pitch from Tin Men with Old School Vs. New SchoolRichard Dreyfuss. If you don’t know either of those movies, you’re too young to be in sales kid.

    However, the new school, brings so much more fun to the table. You can track the work, see the results and replicate. Just a fancy way of “apply, rinse, repeat” but effective none the less.

    You can track the work, see the results and replicate. Just a fancy way of “apply, rinse, repeat” but effective none the less.

    Let’s compare the two schools of thought and see which one makes sense for your business, fair enough?

    We’ll do three points for each school. First, prospecting then we have to do the demo and finally, we’ll talk about customer service and fulfillment.

    You can track the work, see the results and replicate. Just a fancy way of “apply, rinse, repeat” but effective none the less.

    Let’s compare the two schools of thought and see which one makes sense for your business, fair enough?

    We’ll do three points for each school. First, prospecting then we have to do the demo and finally, we’ll talk about customer service and fulfillment.

     Old School Sales Model

    Back in my day . . . no, I’m kidding. There are a lot of things to be said about the old-school. The good salesmen, even the great ones, had to hustle like you wouldn’t believe. Getting their hands a lead was so difficult back then and getting a qualified one as well? Forget about it. They were happy with just a phone number! More importantly, they made it work. They made a living out of it.

    Prospecting. Finding people who were interested in their product or service. Where was the first place they looked? That’s right, the yellow/white pages. Call after call, blindly dialing into the night. Handwriting everything, paper upon paper. Rolodex, remember those? The lead pool of a salesmen. Networking at its finest.

    What did it teach us? Build a system! That’s the dirty little secret of being successful at prospecting. Hard work and figuring it out turned into a systematic approach. Turning the art of “spray and pray” into a traceable one for leads.

    Sales demonstration. Alright, you have your qualified lead and now it’s time to build value. Old school was to talk and talk and talk …. you get the picture. Show them “facts” and fancy pictures, spin a good yarn and someone will buy. You also got verbally beat up a lot more too. “My friends, brothers, cousins, mothers, dog walker said you could do it for 30% less!” No way to fact check here. It was more of a dance of patience and wits than about closing a deal.

    What did it teach us? People are people and they want to be entertained. They want to experience something different but relatable. It taught us that the perfect sales is based on emotion and supported by logic. It’s the cornerstone of the industry today.

    Customer service and fulfillment. Back then, if you were able to satisfy half of your accounts you were considered a great salesmen. Can you believe that? HALF! Customer service wasn’t as important then because you were the “guru” of whatever we were selling and who would know more about it than you? Some knew it wasn’t going to last and others didn’t care. Most importantly, the camp that new change was on the horizon greatly outnumbered those that buried their heads in the sand.

    What did it teach us? Innovation. My daughter was watching Sesame Street and the word of the day was “innovation”. Today, at such a young age, we are teaching children the importance of innovation. Improving on what some already did well was the direction only the great ones knew we were going in.  Everyone else hid behind the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. However, in the end, it lead to a whole new world of sales.

    New School Sales Model

    Now for the good stuff. Old school is where I cut my teeth, but new school, that’s where I excelled. New idea’s, new technology, new . . . everything! The only way to truly appreciate what you have is to understand and remember, always, where you’ve been. I’ve called out of the phone book, I’ve knocked doors in the high noon sun too. However, the new school is how you cover the same ground in a fraction of the time.

    Prospecting. “I have an idea, instead of us calling them, let’s have them call us?” You would have been fired on the spot in the old school. Now with the new school, the sky is the limit. You could setup an EDDM campaign. It works just like direct mail, but it’s a fraction of the cost. PLUS, you cover more ground than a direct mailer. Oh, and did I mention that it’s a fraction of the cost?! Old school approach with the new school twist. Also, let’s not forget about SEO.

    Search engine optimization is the best. It makes your product or service available to the consumer 24/7. See, Google has a responsibility to user looking for you. So, you have to make sure that people can find you on the first page. That’s the power of SEO.

    What does it teach us? It is the purest form of “work smarter, not harder”. The internet and revolutionary mail approach has people looking for you, rather than the other way around. Why spend the man hours looking for prospects, am I right?

    Sales demonstration. Great! You’ve invested in online marketing along with an EDDM program that has people, who want to spend their money, looking for you. Now what? Make sure you provide them with the greatest sales demo ever. Your website. It has the low pressure, information giving aspect that prospects of today demand. Now, the trick is to make sure that everything you’ve done so far is going to provide enough value to the customer to close them.

    What does it teach us? You better ask yourself: Does my website explain who you are? What it is that you do? How much does it cost? Well it should because your website is the literal “online first impression” the customer will take into consideration when they are ready to buy. You have to make sure that your first impression is the best.

    Customer service and fulfillment. Like I’ve mentioned before, only 50% knew what kind of customer service and fulfillment was available way back when. Now, it’s the corner stone of every single business. Next to cost, customer service is the most important asset to your business. Fulfillment is a very close third because if you don’t have the valued price, GREAT customer service and deliver on what your promise, then you’re business is done. Period. Again the internet casts such a wide net between, social media, online reviews and blogs, you just can’t get away from it.

    What does it teach us? You figuratively and literally have to expect the best from yourself and business. Every single day.  Today’s market is too competitive and the consumer is too knowledgeable to “fake it until you make it”. Perfect customer service is the standard of today and fulfillment nipping at it’s heels.

    Final Thoughts

    Internet marketing is the here to stay and businesses that are old school will soon feel the pressure of the new school. Number one rule of the jungle: survival of the fittest. Do you feel that you’re ready? If not, let’s talk about it. Our approach is remembering where we came from but using the tools of today to help businesses grow to where they’ve always wanted to be. Doesn’t you and your business deserve the same? I think so. I also think that “coffee’s is for closers only.”

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    Drew Almy

    Vice President of Sales at Chase Marketing Solutions
    With over 10 yrs. of sales experience in the internet marketing field, I lead our sales division with professionalism and passion. Focusing on clients success, is and will always be, our first priority.

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