A Humorous Take on the

World of Sales and Management

Old Timer:  "When I started in sales, I had to knock on every single door in my territory"

Response:  "When you were in sales, Sears was the #1 retailer in the world.  Sears is in bankruptcy now.

Times have changed. How about your sales process?

Mike S.
That Was Then, This is Now

Gray-haired salespeople love to tell us how hard it was "back in the day."  They often don't recognize how much has changed in the last 10-20-30 years. 
If the sales environment is changing, what about your selling process? Is it keeping up with the times? Maybe your sales approach needs a makeover!

When I was in Sales...

Old Timer*:  When I was in sales, I could set 4-5 appointments a day calling on the phone

Response: When you started in sales, there was no Caller ID or Voice Mail

Fun Facts: 

#1. In 2009, the most valuable company in the world was Exxon, and #1 on the Fortune 500. This month, Exxon is was removed from the Dow Jones Industrial average.  They still have massive revenues, but far less relevancy.

#2. In 2008, the most popular Social Network was MySpace. The biggest web companies were AOL and Yahoo, both now tiny divisions of Verizon. 

#3 . In 2000, the biggest web Search Engine was Lycos. Lycos still exists, but has less than a .1% market share 
#4  Since 2000, over half the Fortune 500 Companies have gone bankrupt, been acquired, or cease to exist.

When I was in Sales...

Old Timer*:  I would send out 20 personalized letters a day

Response: When you started in sales, a stamp cost 10ยข, and people opened their mail

So What?

There has been more change in sales in the past three years than the prior 50.  Selling the same way today that we did even 10 years ago, let alone 20 or 30 is a fool's errand.

In the time that one salesperson can make 20 door knocks or 30 phone calls or send 15 e-mails, some Marketing Intern will be blasting 10,000 customized e-mails and making 300 dials a day with an auto-dialer.

They can be tracking clicks and views and e-mail opens.  They are boosting their company five-star reviews on multiple sites.  And, they are reaching the customers the way they want to be reached, with information and ideas and offers.

Fishing with Spears or Nets?

Any salesperson approaching sales the old-fashioned way is at a tremendous disadvantage.  Similar to trying to catch each fish with a spear, while competing with a trawler with nets.

*BTW, I am the old-timer, and I've said every one of these things!   I try not to sound like the "Four Yorkshiremen" below :-)

Monty Python - "Four Yorkshiremen".
  • "We used to live in this tiiiny old house"
  • "You were lucky to have a HOUSE! We used to live in one room"
  • "When I say 'house' it was only a hole in the ground covered by a piece of tarpaulin"
  • "You were lucky. We lived for three months in a brown paper bag in a septic tank"
  • "But you try to tell the young people of today that, and they don't believe you"


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Mike Schmidtmann
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