Google the phrase "email marketing" and you get 62.2 million hits, with the first page of results offering an almost overwhelming list of email marketing services companies that claim to solve all of your problems for as little as 10 bucks a month. Every week, there's a self-proclaimed social media guru blogging about how to use Twitter or LinkedIn to get more business. And as customer relationship management software becomes ubiquitous, you can easily find hundreds of articles and web seminars that detail how to better leverage these tools to improve your close rate.

To be sure, all of this is great stuff, and the majority of it happens to be free. As a sales executive, I can't consume enough helpful hints. But somehow lost amid all this online advice is one factor that's no less important today than it was before the Internet: a strong verbal pitch.

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