The Stereotypes of Sales Are Tired

Salespeople are not reviled by buyers. Every day across the world, salespeople spend time with their clients and prospects, focusing on fixing problems that require outside help, be it a product, a service, or a more complex solution. Some of these salespeople create little value, others are irreplaceable. Few of them are reviled. They’re moms, dads, brothers, and sisters.

Salespeople aren’t inherently lazy. Like many people who aren’t as productive as they might be, they are poorly led. Salespeople don’t have some genetic predisposition to laziness, and as a group ,they are no different than any other profession.

The likelihood of salespeople being disintermediated by technology is no greater than any other field. While anything transactional in nature lends itself to automation, the human stuff, like deep caring, deep trust, and creative problem solving aren’t puzzles that algorithms can easily solve.

On the whole, salespeople are no more selfish that any other group. This is especially true in this day and age when a self-orientation will repel clients and success away from you. The human behaviors are not the exclusive domain of salespeople, even though there was a time 50 years ago when they were taught and trained to behave badly.

Buyers aren’t working any harder to avoid salespeople than any other time. They still want to avoid time wasters, and they still share their time with people who can create value for them. This isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

The stereotypes no longer match the reality of sales. Projections on the future of sales that suggest that it is going away, soon to be replaced by technology go too far and are too pessimistic.

Sales is evolving every bit as fast as buying. Don’t buy the hype, stay true to first principles.

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