An Article from the Economist I thought you might find interesting!

I recently read this article by the Economist “The Art of Selling” (The death of the salesman has been greatly exaggerated), and thought you might find it of interest.

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”


5 thoughts on “An Article from the Economist I thought you might find interesting!

  1. Dan,

    Congrats on the birth of your blog. I agree that humans are still required to sell. But since the availability of information on the internet creates better informed buyers that may be further along the sales funnel, the question becomes… what do you want your sales people to be doing? For example, do you want them closing business from qualified leads, or prospecting and creating those leads? I’d prefer them to be closing business more than generating their own leads. This requires balancing the sales and marketing budgets and efforts. It requires marketing to think more like sales in terms of identifying and understanding specific buyer needs. But most importantly, it also requires marketing to support sales with qualified leads.

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