Once upon a time there were tricks of the trade. If you have been in sales for anytime the lure and attraction of securing the best list of guaranteed questions with tie-downs has most likely been thrown at you. Today, if you rely on the ancient trades banter, you will not sell, you won't even get in the door. Don't believe me? Try this. Walk up to anyone and say the following script, "If I can get you anything you want for nearly nothing, you'd be interested, right?"

Imagine the response. The old time idea was to get someone's interest. Hook 'em. Reel 'em in. Then close 'em. Do that today and eyes will roll at you, phones will hang up, emails will be deleted, and you will want your money back for the sales book you bought. When I first went into sales the extent of my training was the Yellow Pages and the manager's pep talk, "Go get 'em tiger."

Like you, in most cases of career starts, the idea of training became a self help adventure and my bookcases are lined with hundreds of books on the art of selling. Some really good ones are on those shelves. Some were good, back in the 1930s. In my youthful exuberance, I quickly memorized those principles and took off to the marketplace loaded for bear. All that happened was I came back bare. I read one tip that said, never stop closing, never take no for an answer. So, an appointment with a major client was coming up and the manager asked to go along. This was the opportunity to show off my new learned skills and tenacity. The poor buyer heard me come up with a laundry list of reasons she must buy now. After the meeting, we left with no order, however, I proudly proclaimed my persistence. The manager said, "If I could have kicked you I would have broken your leg."

How could that be? Didn't I do exactly what the sales book said? Of course I did and the real lesson is in the marketplace. The marketplace does what it wants when it wants.

Today the sacred buyers hunker down behind barricades as formidable as motes loaded with alligators and snakes when Kings and Queens kept the lowly serfdom at bay. Getting past the security measures is as dangerous to your career as being drawn and quartered was to your life if you were lucky enough to smooth your way past the guards and the King decided you were a nuisance.

The motes today are loaded with technologies like voicemail, herds of lower level buyers that really are data collectors, and assistants to assistants. Try the old worn out stuff that worked for grand dad, and you may as well be using broomsticks against cannons and boiling oil dropped over the side of the castle to keep you out.

Most products and services today come in every shade of color, size, and price. It's competition. As your new shiny beautiful concept is being reduced to a commodity, what will you do? You have a great story. But no audience.

Those old guys rant about making twenty calls here, another ten over there, and at the end of the day before you pass out, there's OMC, or One More Call. Try this for a while and you'll end up hating sales as much as your worn out prospects hat answering the phone. This kind of thinking that keeps you doing the busywork of chasing neon signs will only wear you out in today's world of too many salespeople, calling too often, and never gaining traction.

A better way is to use today's technology to think big, and act small.

Think Big. Go after not only larger clients, but think in terms of industries. Say, the automobile industry. What do you know about buying and selling cars, other than it's about as much fun as teeth drilling without mind numbing drugs? Time to re-think that assault on the profession of car sales. It really is a fascinating business loaded with sharp, bright, and mostly wealthy individuals. The auto industry is a millionaire maker. It deserves serious respect. To me, car sales is like the grand Knights of old, sizing up the opponent and hurling break neck on a horse headed toward the other guy with a sharp instrument to do him in. Only the brave go there. The crowd loves the spectacle and watches from the sidelines saying, "I could do that."

Truth is, only a few can. And, they are stars.

In this suggestion to think big, learn everything you possibly can about the automobile industry and learn the difference between what a floor plan is and a floor mat. The more you know, the better armed you will be to talk to the person at the top.

Act Small. By this idea of acting small means to trim your list to bare bones and focus all energy on one at a time. Even though your energy is directed at one client at a time, your efforts replicate as you build you knowledge base of the industry. The same facts work are top of mind facts on clients two, three, and one-hundred. You, by acting small, have become a specialist.

These two concepts will position you as a resource. When clients see you as a 'go to' person, they call you. You don't have to call them.

This mindset of developing your skills in any industry, pick one, foods, drugs, retail, high tech, or any thing that suits your level of interest. If you have a sincere interest in any industry, that alone sets you up to really enjoy your work. As you research, study, learn, and network in that niche, your energy will rise to a level of enjoyment that you may think of cold calls as play.

The big pay off comes when you make an approach that demonstrates you knowledge instead of just announcing you want an appointment - just like everyone else.

Author's Bio: 

Joe Nuckols
Author | Speaker | Broadcaster | Entrepreneur
Host of Nightingale Conant's My Power Podcast
Joe created the world's first all motivation 24/7 radio format , WNN - Winners News Network - that was syndicated nationally. He has been on stage with many leading speakers such as Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, and more. He received Entrepreneur of the Year award in Fort Lauderdale. Many national publications such as People, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and more have carried stories about his career. He is an award winning advertising writer and winner of journalism awards.