Old School Sales Tactics Still Work

Editor’s note: Alumnus Chris Jackson, a founder, CEO and chief technology officer for several firms, contends we rely too much on digital outreach vs. calls and personal touch.

Working a phone will generate more sales than an email campaign

This is because all modern technologies and methods trace back to the very basic innate skills and advantages that make us human. As our tools advance, the original usage does not. By understanding what humans are good at, one can use a simple mantra to quickly evaluate anything from venture capital investments and startup ideas to creative workflows within a corporation and marketing campaigns.


There was a time when a salesperson worked a telephone with a phone book or knocked on doors with a vacuum cleaner to sell. That’s how sales were done. Today, we look to digital marketing automation, mass emailing and data analytics in social media to drive sales. This can work well if one is selling sunglasses—one and done.

But if the product relies in any way on a relationship or a trust factor, these communication methods must be followed up with a voice call and maybe a face-to-face visit, depending on the level of trust required to complete the sale.


Those digital marketing tools hearken back to the caveman tribe’s fire circle, where we would socialize, share information and communicate our thoughts in order to bind the tribe together for safety and success (though we are good at a great many other things as well).

With this in mind, you can categorize every idea into one of two camps: those likely to give you an advantage or those that don’t.

Whether you are evaluating a new technology, corporate process or marketing method, one basic test will show you how to use, understand and teach this new concept to others: “Is it easy enough for a caveman to use?”

Working the phone will always win more signatures on the dotted line than will faceless email campaigns. But strategically deploying both will move prospects down the sales funnel much more efficiently.

A simple mnemonic follows: “Does this technology or product enhance the natural innate abilities of being human: communication, socialization, exploration, curiosity?”