I posted that statement on a Social Networking discussion forum just before Christmas… let me tell you… that set the cat amongst the pigeons. Several hundred comments and a healthy yet sometimes rather heated debate ensued.

Old school die hard sales people and professional telemarketers came at me with all guns blazing. I received a barrage of; “cold calling only doesn’t work if you don’t know what you’re doing”. “The only people that think cold calling doesn’t work are those that can’t cut it”.

On the other hand for the majority of business people who never enjoy the prospect of picking up the telephone and trying to drum up interest through cold calling this was music to their ears.

Folks – time has moved on.

The headline statement says (80’s style). In the heat of the moment and eager to protect what they believed in, so many of the “old school” cold callers completely ignored this key element. A big failing in a salesperson who doesn’t actually listen to what’s being said! Cold calling and sales scripts will always work… in certain markets and used by professionals. More importantly, as one element of your sales and marketing arsenal.

The good news is that today there are far more effective ways to get even more people who want whatever you have on offer to come to you and ask if they can buy… how refreshing would that be?

By this time next year there will be more Generation Y’s than Baby Boomers in the population. So what? Generation Y’s don’t want to be sold to the old school way, script or no script. They want to decide who they buy from, what they buy, when they buy and how they buy. This younger generation will be your clients, your employees and for many of you… your employers.

You have to move with the times.

I have run sales teams with 60 plus salesmen and women, in the UK and the USA. I’ve personally cold called, I’ve knocked doors in the rain, and I’ve tele canvassed. What were the options in the 80’s? We had no internet, email, social media, video conferencing, webinars, etc.

The big challenge with many businesses I now work with is that they don’t have enough clients, sales and profits. The owner is passionate about their product or service but doesn’t understand how to make sales. They employ a sales manager… old school style. Smile as you dial, always be closing, etc etc. Results don’t role in, change the manager and sales team… rinse and repeat.

No – change the way you think of sales and marketing and find better ways to become visible and attractive. Let 2011 be the year more clients come to you!

For those that want to embrace change – I wish you a very healthy, happy and prosperous New Year…. and a healthy and happy same old year to those that want to bury their heads in the sand and keep doing the same thing and expect different results – that’s the definition of insanity.