Sales professionals in the old days had a much different relationship with their customers. In previous generations, selling was more about whom you knew than what you knew. A strong relationship with customers and a few gifts such as golf tournament tickets, fishing trips and the lowest price simply won't cut it anymore. Today’s salespeople face a much different selling environment and the days of “whiskey and ticket selling” are fast coming to an end. The rise of the Internet combined with an economic recession has led to the death of “good ole boy” selling, which is a good thing for the new generation of sales reps who want to prove their skills based on merit and not previous relationships. What Has Led to the Death of “Good Ole Boy” Selling? One of the biggest catalysts for the death of “good ole boy” selling has been the rise of the information age. Thanks to the Internet and mobile devices that can instantly access the Web, customers have a much greater ability to find information about things that they want to buy. In the old days, customers had to rely on sales professionals themselves to get information they wanted about the things that they were looking to purchase. They simply don't have to do that anymore. Since the Internet is now used by over three-quarters of North America, salespeople have to come up with other ways to add value to the buying experience of their customers. The New Way of Selling With “good ole boy” selling now on its last legs, sales reps have to find new ways to close deals and stay on target to meet their goals. Today’s generation of salespeople work in a more consultative manner, according to sales trainer Jeffrey Gitomer. He says that today’s sales professionals have to help their customer make sense of all the information they have, not provide them with this information. The key for today’s sales professionals is helping their customers determine the best way to overcome their challenges and solve their “pain points.” Just because customers have information about what a product or service can do does not mean that they will have a sufficient understanding of how these products or services will help them meet challenges that they are experiencing. The Challenge for Today’s Salespeople For many salespeople, especially those rooted in the older traditions of selling, it can be a challenge to relinquish the authority role and transition into a more consultative position. Many sales professionals are used to the idea that they are the gatekeepers of information, a position that makes them feel powerful and in charge. On the other hand, sales professionals who want to adapt to the current sales environment must get used to the idea that their customers know as much, if not more than they do about what they are looking to buy. They must engage their prospects and customers where they are in the buying process and go from there. Salespeople who are ready and willing to become advisors instead of information sources for their clients will be happy about the death of “good ole boy” selling, since it will allow them to achieve more success. Modern sales professionals who can succeed in this transition will be able to close more business than their counterparts still stuck in the old mindset of selling that was popular in past generations.