Selling ain’t what it used to be

Selling ain’t what it used to be

In one form or another, I’ve been in sales most of my life. You could say I was born on commission. The profession, of course, hasn’t enjoyed the greatest reputation over the years, as evidenced by classic characters such as Willy Loman (“Death of a Salesman”), Ricky Roma (“Glengarry Glen Ross”) and Herb Tarlek (“WKRP in Cincinnati”). The stereotype of the pushy fast-talking ABC (“Always Be Closing”) huckster persists to this day.

When I first started out, sales was all about handling objections, having a snappy comeback for any obstacle the prospect might send our way. It always seemed like trickery to me. Fortunately, the profession has undergone some massive shifts in recent years, although the change in philosophy hasn’t filtered down to every car salesperson and boiler room solicitor just yet.

At Imagine, we believe that sales and marketing are two sides of the same coin, with marketing doing most of the heavy lifting. In other words, if we get the messaging, the design and the delivery systems right, we’ll attract likeminded people. That’s the key; we don’t need (or want) to reach everyone, just the ones who “get” us.

That’s why our website is so important. (And why yours should be, too.) In its look, feel and tone, it has always done an excellent job of prequalifying prospective clients. Because it’s not corporate (and neither are we), it doesn’t appeal to the denizens of multinational corporations that make, let’s say, GMO baby food. It does appeal to the kind of folks we want to work with.

But all good things need an overhaul from time to time. And our previous website was no exception. So – drumroll please – I’d like to introduce our new and improved website at Kudos to our internal design group and all of the team members who made this possible. I’m proud of y’all and the final product you created. It truly captures who we are.

If you feel the same way, please give us a call or drop us a line. There’s a really good chance we’re going to be best friends very soon. That’s the essence of sales to me.

Brian Rouff serves as managing partner at Imagine Communications. He can be reached at

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That leaves fraud, which I’d like you to call marketing