Out: canned sales pitch. In: probing questions.
Out: talking. In: listening.
Out: cold calling and hoping. In: networking and planning.
Out: closing a sale. In: opening a relationship.
Out: customer committing to you. In: committing to your customer.
Out: customer service lines. In: customer service reps.
Out: features and benefits. In: reaching customer goals.
Out: single Decision Maker. In: group of decision influencers.
Out: faxing. In: emailing.
Out: just knowing the gatekeeper's name. In: knowing what the gatekeeper likes in her coffee.
Out: side-stepping gatekeepers. In: teaming up with gatekeepers.
Out: sign here. In: we're here for you.
Out: meeting quota. In: blowing quota out of the water.
Sales isn't dead as a profession. Sales is evolving. Internet shopping has had a huge influence over the job of sales pros. Your client can (and will) shop the competition from their phone while they're talking to you! You need to add value to your relationship by being considered an important business partner and resource. The way to make that happen is to be invested in achieving your customers goals, and make sure your product is a part of it.
Make sure you're clear on the short and long term goals of your customers. At every meeting, ask how that project is going, and what you can do to move it forward. Mean it. The reason you have a job is to do what a computer ordering page cannot: establish a value-driven relationship.