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Sales Profession "Dot Com" Is there an E-Salesperson?
By Curt Tueffert   Printer Friendly Version

I write this column knowing that the readers are all Internet savvy. There are no assumptions here. In order to read this; you have access to the Internet.

My question is "Where does the profession of sales fit into the brave new Internet world?" The question is just the tip of the iceberg for knowing just how, when, and where the Internet will impact the role of the sales profession in the great game of business.

Historically, the sales professional crafted his/her trade by providing and presenting products and solution to business's and consumers who lacked the tools necessary to make those decisions on their own. The art of selling was to persuade prospects and customers that the products and services offered met and exceeded the uncovered need, want, or desire.

Now, in an age of instant information, comparisons, and lighting quick change, many people have removed the salesperson in the sales process. What value does a sales person bring when you can buy houses, cars, stocks, reduced mortgages, drugs, computers, and advice, directly off the Internet?

Tough question if you are reading this column and work in a market that can be usurped by a web site. I am not convinced the profession of selling is dead, or dying. I think the profession is in major change. The smart sales professional will anticipate this change and be ready before it is too late.

Sales people have to add more value today and tomorrow than they ever did. Their prospecting, advice, consultation, and recommendations must come from both the heart and the head. Empathy is what is required from the heart. To really ask the right questions that enable you to really care about the customer, their needs, and your solution. Knowledge is the head requirement. You see, you need to know your product and service better than ever, to complete against the Internet. If you sell a product that can be purchased from the "Net", you better be very good at understanding your customer, desiring their best interest, and communicating that to them or, they'll just move a few mouse clicks and you're out a sale, a commission, and a future customer.

The brave new world is ripe for great sales people to earn honest, strong livings. Just remember to ask, "What value am I bringing to this business deal. Is that value greater that what my customer can get from the Internet. WHY?" Answering the why part will make you a great sales professional. If you cannot answer it, your title might change from sales professional to order taker.

Questions, comments, concerns can be addressed to me at tueffert@aol.com.

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