In the pulp novels of 1950’s science fiction writers, the future
was a nightmarish place where machines turned on their makers, and
robots took over from – or did entirely away with – their
human counterparts. For countless sales professionals across the country,
that future is now upon us. Only instead of robots, it’s Web
sites, self-service kiosks, direct mail and even interactive TV that
are threatening to replace us, and do our jobs faster, cheaper and
without needing an annual vacation.
Thanks to the Internet, we can now get virtually any product imaginable
delivered right to our front doors, at the click of a mouse. Plus,
once a novelty, self-service options have become commonplace in virtually
every facet of our daily lives. From issuing our movie tickets, to
checking us into our hotel rooms or putting gas in our cars, sales
from self-service kiosks last year topped $161 billion. According
to IHL consulting,those numbers could reach $1 trillion a year.
In other words, if you’re in an industry that is automating,
you could be in danger of losing your job to a kiosk.
To continue to be successful, today’s sales people need to develop
an ability to create a truly positive experience for their customers,
which inexpensive clerks and data entry peddlers simply can’t
match. The following 3 ideas are some of the best (and easiest!) ways
I know to create a more positive customer experience, and keep yourself
from being automated out of a job:
1. Be empathetic and compassionate.
Truly care about your customers. And remember, unless your last
name is "DeNiro" or "Streep," faking it simply
2. Add value and give first.
No, this doesn’t mean giving away free product in the hope that
a prospect will give you their business. Rather, give away things
that will increase your value, such as a referral to another client
or partner, or sharing an idea that could help them solve a business
3. Love what you sell, the company you work for and the customers
Customers buy from sales people who believe in the products they
sell, and the companies they work for. Choose to be honest, open
and empathetic to your customers’ needs, and you will experience
consistent sales growth, build an excellent reputation – and
quickly rise to the top of your field.