There’s a new myth being circulated in the sales community. According to some “experts,” buyers know everything they need to know about our companies, products, and solutions before they ever speak to sellers.
They suggest that buyers don’t really need salespeople anymore, that the proliferation of information and the automation of sales have made sellers irrelevant. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Salespeople still have a role to play -- an important one. In fact, buyers might just need us now more than ever.
Computers Cannot Replace Me
Word-class salespeople know and care about their clients. We understand their most pressing business issues and greatest challenges. We know about developments in their industry and competitive landscape. We know what works and what doesn’t.
Buyers don’t need just information. They need help uncovering the best solutions to strengthen their business, and this is help comes, not from a “Click Here” link, but from an experienced salesperson who knows how to ask the right questions.
The Personal Touch Means More Than Ever
The more technology-driven this world gets, the more we appreciate the personal touch: real recognition, in-person communication, and actually getting to work with people. As John Naisbitt writes in High Tech/High Touch: Technology and Our Search for Meaning, “The more high tech, the more high touch we desire.”
Yes, there are certain things we’d rather do for ourselves online, but at the end of the day, we also want to do business with people. For example, when you travel by airplane, you no longer need a person to provide you with a flight schedule, sell you a ticket, or issue your boarding pass. Once you board that plane, however, I bet you want a flight attendant to greet you and serve refreshments, and you sure as heck want a human pilot in the cockpit.
It’s the same in sales: many customers would rather get information online, but when they have questions, they want quick, thoughtful responses from real, live, experienced salespeople. Before they’re going to sign on any dotted lines, they want to know they’re working with people they can trust. These types of connections are built through referral introductions and in-person communication, not through social networking.
The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same
For the record, I am not technophobic, a Luddite, or afraid of change. As our world and culture change, so will sales –- and that’s OK. What doesn’t change is that our community is made up of people, and people need interaction. So step up and make a difference in your buyers’ lives and businesses. Help them succeed by being a top-notch, high-touch sales professional. Be a resource, a cheerleader, and a sounding board. Be part of the solution.
For more on how to leverage technology and relationships for sales success, get your copy of Pick Up the Damn Phone!: How People, Not Technology, Seal the Deal.