Selling today is much more difficult than it was forty years ago, when I started as a salesman. Back then, people would actually answer their phones, and in some cases, even let you in their buildings before they booted you out.
The business culture has dramatically changed since then. Now many companies have restricted their lines of communication. In some cases it can be nearly impossible to talk to any of the key managers. Voicemail is a major screening device. Some companies have even replaced receptionists with automated phone systems. The dilemma is that many companies will not see salespeople without an appointment. And the salesperson cannot ask for the appointment, when no one answers the phone. Read more »