1The Old World of Sales and Service

“I'm fed up, and I won't tolerate this anymore!”

I've heard many variations on this theme in recent years.

We're fed up with unwanted phone calls interrupting us at home and at work. We hate wading through hundreds of unsolicited emails. We've had it with intrusive social media messages. We're tired of poor service from companies that don't treat us with respect or that send us into a phone mail maze that wastes minutes of our time and never connects us with a living person.

The Old Sales Model: “Dialing for Dollars”

My first sales job required me to make cold calls to bond traders and convince them to buy economic consulting services. We had lists of names and numbers to contact that came from directories of people who worked in banks, securities companies, savings and loan associations, fund management firms, and government agencies.

My sales colleagues and I would psych ourselves into the right frame of mind each morning by drinking a few cups of coffee, maybe telling each other a few off-color jokes (common in the 1980s testosterone-fueled Wall Street markets portrayed in The Wolf of Wall Street book and film), and discussing the latest stories in the Wall Street Journal. On a typical day we might set a goal to contact every person overseeing trading at all the savings and loan associations headquartered in Arizona.

It ...

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