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The Birth Of A Salesman
By Curt Tueffert   Printer Friendly Version

Every place I turn, every new article I read continues to point to the fact that the Internet is changing the way people buy and sell in their personal and business lives. Many people are saying this is the death of the salesman. Well, let me give you my perspective.

If you are referring to the traditional salesman and the traditional methods of selling, I agree. However, I'll argue that now is the time for the birth of a salesman. This new sales professional will have to have three things to survive; Value, Knowledge, and Talent.

1. Value - Sales professionals will be measured in "Internet Time" by the value they add to the business relationship. Gone are the days of simple order taking and easy walk in business. Salespeople will have to add value in every area of their career. From product knowledge, to knowing the customer's business better than the competition. The rules have changed. Ever wonder why it is harder now to get the appointment, to connect on the phone, to have your direct mail read? You need to add value to each and every step of the sales process to get ahead.

'2. Knowledge - Traditional methods said you need to know your product/service better than your competition. I agree. I'll also add, you'll need to know the technology field, the trends, and the timing of both your product and your customer's business. Why? It goes back to point #1, adding value. Your customers will be able to get almost anything and everything from a simple click of the mouse, surfing the sites. Why engage you? Because you know what you are talking about, you know the trends and timing, and you've done your homework on your customer. Bottom line; web pages cannot do thatů.yet!

3. Talent - Perhaps I should say, multi-talented. Tomorrow's sales professional will have to be skilled in more than one line of work. Reason; your primary line might be replaced by technology. Buggy whips, travel agents, bank tellers, and traditional sales rep might be replaced by a "dot.com" site, quicker than you can pen an argument back to me! Be ready; start getting new talents in the marketplace to compliment your current strong point.

If you sell today, or run a business that employs sales people, I suggest you continue investing in "research and development" of both your skill sets and your product/service. Don't be caught flat footed when technology begins to replace traditional selling paradigms.

Questions, comments, concerns? Email me at tueffert@aol.com.

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