Where have all the salesmen gone?


Algorithm rules. Pop-up ads and SEO.

Sales automation. Who needs a firm handshake, the smell of splash perfume and sincere eye contact!

Users know everything about the product and the industry anyway.

There is no need for more information. Only the recommendation part, which they rely on friends and families.

Strangers knocking on doors and pushing product don’t seem to work as it once did during the industrial era (Death of the salesman).

Willy Loman takes off his hat, and resigns to his fate. Ours is an age of logistic and automation. May the best route win.  User-generated content, user-interphase, user-comment. We call this empowerment. Democratizing the web.  Everyone logs in, surfs and is glued to the set.

And we barely scratch the surface. Since mobile penetration is faster than desktop’s, designers beef up mobile IP and liberate users from their “desks”.

First the “brick” phone, then the I-phone. We should hold memorials for boombox, Walkman, brick phone and mainframe computers. Products are smaller, cheaper, easier to ship. No manual needed. No demo. No need for salesmen. Click here, enter there, and UPS or FedEx will ship to your door (it started with Amazon, Ebay and Priceline until it grows on you). Or more conveniently, swipe your credit card, punch in the vending selection, and transact with a machine.

Every start-up now enjoys lower barriers of entry (open source software, cheaper hardware, increased bandwidth and labor surplus). San Francisco is witnessing a Renaissance: game companies, Twitter etc… Let’s play. Let the game begin.

Excuse me, I just got interrupted by an automated sales call by a machine. At least, it is accent-reduced. So the choice now is speech recognition or live, but from far off-shored call centers. Which one do you prefer? Can’t afford to send a rep. He would fumble despite having rehearsed his elevator speech. He already forgot how to tie a knot. It’s a lost art from a lost species. Where have all the salesmen gone? Long time passing.

 

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