Welcome to a new year.

Emphasis on the word ‘new’.

In case no one has told you, the old way of selling is dead. Problem is, people are still using the old way, and even worse, “experts” are still teaching the old way.

Of course I realize all of you are the most innovative and creative salespeople on the planet. None of you ever resort to old-world sales tactics, and none of you ever need a sale at the end of the month.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s begin a realistic look at your approach to sales, your strategy of selling and the tactics you’re using to gain a sale, build a relationship and earn a referral.

Before I get to the new way, I am going to give you some of the elements of the old way so you can:

• Determine whether you are progressive or regressive.

• Determine whether you are endearing your customers or disappointing them.

Nationally syndicated columnist, Email: salesman@gitomer.com, Phone: (704) 333-1112, © 2013 Jeffrey H. Gitomer

• Determine whether this will be a great year for you, or yet another mediocre year of both frustration and lack of earnings.

Let me give you the partial list of the old-world elements – they are not quite dead, but they are dying by the day and becoming irrelevant to the sales process:

• Cold calling.

• Getting past the gatekeeper.

• Getting your phone call returned.

• Finding the pain.

• Preparing your pitch.

• Trying to qualify the buyer.

• Overcoming the objection.

• Trying to “go around” a lower-level person to get to the “real decision maker.”

• Fighting “price.”

• Closing the sale

• Asking for a referral immediately after making a sale.

The worst of all the old-world tactics is trying to use some manipulative “system of selling” in order to walk the prospect through your way of making the sale, versus the prospect’s way of buying.

The Internet has changed the way both businesses and consumers buy. Think about the last time you bought a car. Did you do research on the Internet? Of course you did. Everyone does! You do Internet research for two reasons: one, to get all the facts about making a $30,000 purchase – finding the model, the features, and even the color that suits you best. And two, probably the main reason, is that you don’t trust car dealerships or car salespeople.

The most laughable part of this process is that the car dealer and salespeople have not changed their sales ways in 100 years. They are still begging, offering cars for a dollar over invoice and using every reprehensible tactic in order to get you to purchase “today.”

Take a second look at the list above. How many of those elements are you still using? And how many of you are saying, “My boss makes me do them?” Both funny and sad.

The good part about the new way of selling is that it’s easy.

The better part about the new way of selling is that it’s comfortable.

The best part about the new way of selling is that very few people will be doing it, thereby giving you both a strategic and a competitive advantage.

The new way of selling is simply this: Customize your presentations in terms of how the prospects win after they purchase. Present in a conversational way. Ask questions that both engage and prove that you are prepared. Give an idea or two in favor of the customers to prove that you have their best interest at heart.

Have a happy, healthy, wealthy 2013.

And a happy new way of selling!