There has been a lot of discussion about how social media and technology are making salespeople obsolete. Particularly in areas in which personal communication and relationship building were traditionally important.
I see things differently.
There is no question that technology has replaced personal sales at low levels. Instead of getting someone on the phone immediately, we have to go through automated prompts. Or often, we can just go online to order something.
But at some point, we all want to talk to a human being, whether to finish navigating a process or to ask pivotal questions.
And by the time we get to that point, we are usually in “purchase mode.”
That means the person we turn to at that moment must be a closer . . . someone who is well-trained, smart enough to help us and who communicates with confidence and conviction.
In other words, a good salesperson.
As for relationships, I had a young salesperson tell me recently that he was having a hard time connecting with a prospect in the tech industry.
I said, “Buy him lunch.” He said they don’t go out to long lunches in the tech world anymore.
I said, “OK . . . then bring him lunch . . . something really good.”
He shrugged his shoulders and said he would try. A week later he called me to say he brought in lunch, they had a great meeting and he closed the deal.
Technology is indeed changing fast . . . human nature not so much.
People need each other, and the business world will always need great salespeople.