A couple of thoughts! If you sell, manage, or market products and services in a B2B (Business to Business environment) that require the following, I would maintain that “Selling by ‘Human Being’ is alive and well”!
1. Products are complicated or difficult to understand in the buyer’s mind (buyer is anyone that can influence or start a buying process).
2. There are a combination of products or services that are included in a ‘Solution’, such as physical goods (hard goods), Professional Services or Consulting Services, Software.
3. Multiple buyers (key buying committee members) are usually included in a decsion cycle!
4. The Buying organization may be trying to either continuously improve their business operations by enhancing or replacing complex solution(s) or they are willing to consider an “interruptive” or “revolutionary” approach to the way they do business.
5. The “Solution” you sell, market, or consult on has ‘consequences’ if the buying organization makes a mistake in deciding to buy the solution and implement it! In other words, the Buyer’s feel some level of RISK.
I have always been involved in these types of sales, and I have concluded after 30 years in the selling, marketing and consulting business that these types of sales will not occur and be successful without human intervention or involvement without # 5 above being very alive and well!
Your thoughts are welcome!
This is a direct link to that article!
The Economist “The Art of Selling” http://www.economist.com/node/21533371