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The Internet... Does It Make Sales People Unnecessary?

I recently attended a sales meeting where two sales reps were given speaking assignments. The sales manager assigned each a topic that the speaker knew little about and made ground rules that they could not speak to anyone about the topic in their research.

Of course, each speaker went to the internet and was able to piece together informative talks and even feel comfortable making recommendations on which products to use regarding the given subjects.

Once the presentations were completed, the sales manager shared that we just made decisions without a salesperson because we were able to get information on our own. What then is the role of the salesperson if the customer no longer needs a salesperson for information?

He came up with some answers that were motivating and required the sales force to up their selling game.

What does our group say to the statement, "What is the role of the salesperson if the customer no longer needs us for information to make a decision?"

Thanks - by Sell4alivn
"What is the role of the salesperson if the customer no longer needs us for information to make a decision?"
A primary role for many salespeople is to find out what the prospective customer wants and help him/her get it. In many sales scenarios this includes but is not limited to helping the prospective customer in the decision making process. Information (i.e.; data) is only one component in that process (see... Information Overload).

It is important to note that in discussions regarding access to information "validity of the content and the risk of misinformation" is often overlooked. In my opinion that can be a significant mistake.

With that being said, you could have access to the best information on the planet but experience no benefit for the reasons I listed in the following thread: http://www.salespractice.com/forums/t-11678.html - by Jeff Blackwell
What does our group say to the statement, "What is the role of the salesperson if the customer no longer needs us for information to make a decision?"
What is the role of a dentist when the "information" your nerve endings are sending to your brain is that you have a toothache?

Sources of information have ALWAYS been available and relied upon long before the Internet came into existence. Your competitors, for instance, are often a prime source of information, good, bad, or indifferent, for your prospects.

Being a source of information is NOT the primary role of a salesperson. Helping a prospect get what he/she is looking for is. - by Gary A Boye
Another thing the internet can't supply is emotion and the human element that comes along with that.

I had a buyer tell me the other day when I was tying him down on making a decision: "You know what, I've read a lot of stuff online about offers like this and I've never done it. But this phone call has given me the confidence to move forward, so yes, I can make a decision if everything makes sense."

I don't think that the internet will (even with the use of video) will be able to replace that human aspect of sales. - by TWicks
Anybody who wants to find information could do so through a variety of mediums. The sole responsibility of a salesman is not to provide information, but rather to communicate and interact with a buyer, understanding their needs, wants, and desires, and then tailoring a package, or product(s) to suit such a person's needs. - by brbaseball9730
Anybody who wants to find information could do so through a variety of mediums. The sole responsibility of a salesman is not to provide information, but rather to communicate and interact with a buyer, understanding their needs, wants, and desires, and then tailoring a package, or product(s) to suit such a person's needs.

I agree with brbaeball, but to me if the customer is already informed the that hard part is done and all you have to do is sell yourself. having the human interaction is what most of my customers want so the rest is upto the individual to make the sale - by jmassiatte
Check out this thread: http://www.salespractice.com/forums/t-11688.html
- by Jeff Blackwell
Internet is a bunch of files that will never substitute a human being. - by SEOmarketing
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