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The Death of Professional Selling

Today (Jan 12, 2011) I was presented with a link to a blog post titled, "Have We Been Witnessing The Death Of Professional Selling?". In that blog post the author predicted that, "50% of sales jobs – in their present guise – will disappear within three years, and up to 80%, within five years." (link to blog post removed).

What do you think this author is suggesting and do you agree? - by Community Mailbox
What do you think this author is suggesting and do you agree?
I think the author is suggesting that sales people will be rendered obsolete in the future and I totally disagree with that supposition.

Yes, the consuming public has become far more aware of tools at their disposal to learn about things they are considering buying. The issue I see is that this is just information. As sales people we know that information really doesn't sell in most cases. I believe that emotion is still what ultimately makes a sale.

There are exceptions to every rule but I'm sticking to my guns on the fact that information teaches but emotion sells.

Now that we know how "learned" the buying public is, isn't it time for us to become less placid, less like order takers, and really delve into our chosen profession and the products and services we offer?

WE (not the public) should KNOW the information about what we sell - both good and bad. It is the only way we can get past the information hurdle and on to building the customer's emotion for WANTING the product. If you let your prospects file out the door in search of information, shame on you! You need to provide a balanced look at your product and you need to SELL the advantages your product has by matching the benefits with the customers wants.

So what I'm saying is that as a rule, sales people have become lazy in their profession. It is time to awaken the professional inside you and deliver what your customers are looking for - balanced information and the reasons they should buy from you! (and the REAL reason is rarely price) - by Focusdriven
I believe the author is spot on, and that we as sales people/sales managers need to wake up to the fact that our prospects often has better access to information about our solutions than we are using, and are more influenced by social network view of any solution than any 'Sales pitch, Specials or Once-in-a-lifetime-offers' we can put in front of them.

Q: Is this correct in every sales situation?
A: No. You will always be able to find at least one buyer to any solution.

The real question should be: Is traditional selling tools, irrespective how effective they are, good enough to achieve your quota?

I believe we need to rethink the whole concept of selling, and that there are alternatives worth looking at.

Regards, Peter - by PeterGJ
Hello Peter. How would you describe "Professional Selling"? - by Jeff Blackwell
Hi Jeff,
Thank you for giving me an opportunity to expand on my comment, which was suggesting we continually need to review methods and tools to ensure they are relevant in today’s environment.

How do I describe Professional Selling?
Big subject, however I will try to give a short answer.
1/ Setting the scene as I see it:
- Sales environment: It would be difficult to argue that the world has totally changed and that prospects today are relying more on comments and opinions stated by peer-groups, be it on the web or otherwise, than ever before. And it will only increase. Prospects are likely to know more about our products, and its problems, than we as Sales Reps are likely to know.
- Sales individual: As a Reps we only have one product to sell: Ourselves. Further, in a world where most is known; we are only as good as our last sale, so let’s make sure it was a good one.
- Sales employer: In a world of increased competition for everything, Reps are required to be much more productive, have less lost-sales and be much more focused on margin contribution than has previously been asked for.
Summary: While I have all the respect for traditional tools like Rackham, Miller & Heiman, Holden, TAS and so on, they basically focus on two principles: 1/ There is a solution for which clients needs to be identified and closed. And 2/ The Sales Rep is an integrated entity of the organisation and needs to be encouraged to deliver the best results.

2/ Without giving my farm away; I believe there are some great opportunities for Professional Selling in relation to:
- Sales environment: Turning the web/social network environment to a situation where it can work for us to generate pre-educated and qualified prospects
- Sales individuals: There is a need to change the selling courses and books away from ’Swallow the cool-aid’ and re-defining the Reps’ role; building individuals who are focused on relationships, governance and profit contribution.
- Sales employer: There are some great opportunities to be realized in objective alignment, re-developing & aligning client touch-points, re-developing the basic objectives of the marketing department which are all building to a re-definition of the corporate profile and increased market acceptance.

As I have the floor; After 30 years in Professional Selling, I just happen to be working on a book, and associated website and course, called: “The Naked Sales Rep – A return to Sustainable Selling” which will be ready later this year. I look forward to keeping you up to date with its development.

Regards, Peter - by PeterGJ
Well, basically the question uses a metaphor, perhaps for effect. There is no pat answer when a question is so broad. The topic is change and yes--things change.

That said, I'll zero in on one obvious premise that the author relies too heavily on. That is that increased access to information validates the quality of the information. There is no evidence that the premise is foolproof. Are buyers better educated today simply because obtaining information is easier? School is still out on that and we don't have to remove "misinformed" from the dictionary. - by Gary A Boye
I want to add something to what I said earlier.

Salespeople have been competing against other sources of information since the beginning of time. For anybody who has truly been in the trenches, one of the biggest and often most distracting sources of information that your prospect hits you with is your DIRECT competitor. Information, good, bad, or indifferent. What is one more source of information? Just be better than the next guy or source.

Selling is STILL a people business. - by Gary A Boye
I went online, updated myself with the latest models, spoke to friends who are also drivers of that particular marque, hunted for best possible prices and then …. I went back to my regular supplier, had a test drive, negotiated price, and made my purchase.
The blogger appears to be describing Transactional sales.

How long will it be before 50% of all purchases in all market sectors are made in precisely the same manner? No more than three years is my prediction.
The blogger appears to be suggesting that in no more than three years 50% of all purchases in all market sectors will fall within the category of Transactional Selling.

While I can agree that advances in technology (Internet, e-commerce, etc.) have impacted buying behaviors I am not of the opinion that Professional Selling is dead or dying because of Transactional sales.
- by Jeff Blackwell
There have always been, are and always be: Sales people, prospects, and information about products. I don't believe in
any circumstance that 50% of all sales will be transactional.

Bottom line is we buy what we want and not necessarily what we need. Emotional buying will always require sales people. - by triadtraining
All,

I read the post in it's entirety, and it is pretty obvious that the author - not sure why you didn't mention them by name Jeff? - was focusing on B2C selling.

I also read the follow up posts in which the same author described how selling will be in the future... which takes us beyond consultative selling.

It is very easy to become so enthralled with a title,and not understand the substance.

Did anyone think to post a comment on the blog in question, and challenge the author directly?

JJ - by justjono
Hello JJ.

This thread is NOT about the blogger but instead an inquiry about content in the blogger's post about "Professional Selling" and if readers agree. With that being said, mentioning the blogger by name or challenging the blogger directly serves no purpose in this thread as it does nothing to further the discussion.

Regarding the blogger focusing on B2C selling, I am of the opinion that if a blogger wants to limit the scope of his or her remarks to B2C selling this can be done by thoughtful Title selection and/or qualifying his or her comments instead of using encompassing statements such as those below:
  • I suggested that up to 50% of sales jobs – in their present guise – will disappear within three years, and up to 80%, within five years.
  • How long will it be before 50% of all purchases in all market sectors are made in precisely the same manner? No more than three years is my prediction.
Since this thread is not about the blogger but instead an inquiry about content in the blogger's post about "Professional Selling" we welcome comments about that content as it relates to B2C, B2B or B2G selling. - by Jeff Blackwell
Hi Jeff,

Yes, very happy to share my thoughts:

My personal view, is that marketing is about to claim the high ground in most B2B scenarios. They will take responsibility for not only lead generation, but also “presentation” That is quality of web-site design, functionality, and performance. This is the first point of contact now for all those “crazy, busy buyers” (Mrs Konrath) who have already made up their minds, and just want to place an order.

After that, new teams will be created to build brick walls around existing customers – pro-active customer care teams. This is what Sales 3.0 is all about.

Technical support functions will also continue to grow in importance, to support the other two areas, because customers want instant fixes and reliable back-up.

Finally, those salespeople who remain, will become genuine “business consultants, strategic orchestrators and long-term allies” - beyond consultative selling as we now know it.

The 2015 sales professional will not only be an industry expert, but also have a solid grasp of commercial issues, and as a consequence, they will speak the language – no selling involved!

At the moment, it is my perception that only 5% of the selling population fall into this category, but within five years, faced with possible extinction, a further 15% will step up, rather than perish.

Sound familiar?

JJ - by justjono
Sound familiar?

JJ
Yes. I think we just witnessed the death of professional soothsaying. - by Gary A Boye
The 2015 sales professional will not only be an industry expert, but also have a solid grasp of commercial issues, and as a consequence, they will speak the language – no selling involved!
Before I respond to your other comments I must ask, what does "no selling involved" mean to you? - by Jeff Blackwell
Jeff/Gary,

I think I am not the only member who would be interested to hear your own predictions for the future of selling, rather than prompting me to play the "soothsayer?"

JJ - by justjono
Have no predictions on the matter. Have seen no evidence that "professional selling" is dying. Expressed some observations above.

Most predictions on dramatic changes in the personal selling field, as found in various texts in the last few years, have not born fruit. Selling IS (present tense) a people business. - by Gary A Boye
We can respectfully agree to disagree.

Some of the sharpest minds within the sales space - all thought leaders - and within my circle, all of whom you will recognize, will confirm that "the times are a changing".

(Promotional links and content removed by Moderator)

Best
JJ - by justjono
Hello JJ.

I have not come across any sales professionals who would challenge the suggestion that "the times are a changing".

I have come across many sales professionals who would challenge the suggestions that professional selling is dying or dead and attribute such suggestions to ignorance and/or hype.

It is possible that what you or others within your circle view as "Professional Selling" and what myself or others view as "Professional Selling" are two different things. With that being said, what does "Professional Selling" mean to you?
- by Jeff Blackwell
We can respectfully agree to disagree.

Some of the sharpest minds within the sales space - all thought leaders - and within my circle, all of whom you will recognize, will confirm that "the times are a changing".

Best
JJ
JJ, the bustling thought leader industry is not the sales industry. Please don't take offense, but it's quite possible that there are members here that have closed more personal sales than all of your circle combined. The practice of observing change is a tenet of strategy in all fields. We do that, and we shift our focus accordingly. Yes, the times are changing. That is the nature of everything. We witness change. Obsolescence of serious sales practitioners is not something we see on the horizon.

The thought leader industry has something to sell. They usually build their USPs around secret sauce recipes while ranting get better or die. Some of us ARE BETTER. That's why we take a very discerning look at what they have to say. If their prophecies are not congruent with the real world of selling that we experience every day, then we won't let them "lead our thoughts." - by Gary A Boye
Gary,

No offense taken! The group to whom I refer are all seasoned veterans, not merely sales space thought leaders, I can assure you - if you wish me to reveal them, I can do so with pleasure.

I don't really want to get into the "mine is bigger than yours" scenario, but my own career in sales now spans forty years, and I have only been running my own show for the past sixteen years.

During that time, I have trained more than 65.000 frontline sales professionals and sales leaders on five continents.

Prior to that, I worked at board level with some of the largest corporations on the planet, and I started as a "bag-carrier" as soon as I left university - and I worked my way up - the hard way.

I would love to share experiences with anyone who has enjoyed a similiar career path.

My assertion is that age and experience allows one to have an educated opinion? I know you will agree.

Best

JJ

PS: I did actually post an extensive response to Jeff's request for my views on professional selling, but I note that it has yet to pass the editorial approval process? - by justjono
PS: I did actually post an extensive response to Jeff's request for my views on professional selling, but I note that it has yet to pass the editorial approval process?
Hello JJ. The post you referred to did not pass moderation because it was found to be an "article" (1) previously posted online (2) by another author - which I take to be the case since you have chosen to post anonymously and have made third party references to the author.
- by Jeff Blackwell
Hi Jeff,

It's OK, didn't expect you to pass it, as it was indeed rather long, but it accurately describes my view of the current state of the sales space - in response to your request?

All my own work - as I am sure you are aware.

I don't in fact you to post this either.

But it has been an interesting experience, sharing views with you and your team.

If you hadn't expelled me three years ago, on a rather silly pretext, I would have been able to post openly.

In the event, I'll put all of our exchanges together into one blog post, which I think will make for some entertaining reading for my visitors, and I'll advise when scheduled.

My Best Wishes

Jonathan Farrington - by justjono
The blocks I've been around in my forty plus years as an accomplished sales practitioner have given me a different perspective on sales education.

There are no "thought leaders" no matter how many people want to adorn themselves with that jargon. Yep--that's right. There are, of course, very knowledgeable people out there. I'm one of them. In our free enterprise system, only a tiny portion of people who are in business could tell you who Peter Drucker was. Only a smidgen of men and women who sell advertising ever heard the name David Ogilvy. There's a bunch of people writing books out there and not too many books getting read--let alone understood.

We have an industry of self proclaimed gurus multiplying like fungus because the Internet makes it easy to hang a shingle and post blogs.

I've helped a few people succeed in my life and I'm sort of proud of that. They know who they are. But I don't look at sales as couch potato activity. There were more than a few snow storms I rode through while winning my three national sales contests. Had no thought leaders along for the ride.

I don't buy into the We'll Help You Change Just Send Money buzz. Selling is a people business, and although things change, human species evolution has been a might slower. It will remain a people business. It does take work. - by Gary A Boye
Gary,

It may surprise you to learn that I agree with much of your last comment - but there are points on which we are poles apart.

That's good, and it is healthy.

Thanks for the lively debate.

Oh, and Jonathan please, no need to be formal.

My Best

Jonathan - by Jonathan Farrington
Yes, Jeff there is a sales profession!
Older than eight-years-old Jeffrey Blackwell posted a BLOG to the members of www.salespractice.com, and asked for responses to be printed as a follow up to his post. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church is being borrowed to format this authors reply very much like the myth that someone attempted to relay to little Virginia O’Hanlon on the question of Santa Clauses existance.
---------------------------------------------------------------
"DEAR EDITOR: I am older than 8 years old.
"Some of my little friends say there are to be no Sales People in the future.
"Papa says, 'If you see it on SALESPRACTICE.COM it's so.'
"Please tell me the truth; are there Sales People in the future?

"JEFFERY BLACKWELL.
"Phoenix, AZ."

JEFFERY, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Jeffery, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, JEFFERY, there is a Sales Person in the future. He or she exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Sales People. It would be as dreary as if there were no JEFFERIES. There would be no developed trust then, no listening, and no understanding of needs to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which business relationship fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Sales People! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the doorways on business days to catch Sales People, but even if they did not see Sales People coming in the door, what would that prove? Nobody always sees Sales People, but that is no sign that there is no Sales Person. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that is no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, trust, listening, opportunities, needs, desires, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernatural beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, JEFFERY, in this entire world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Sales People! Thank God he and she live, and he and she will live forever. Together with their customers in their earned trusted advisory role they assist organization and people to become more productive and profitable as thinking partners of the people they serve. A thousand years from now, JEFFERY, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he and she will continue to make glad the heart of business people, clients, and prospects. - by Neonladder
No Sales People! Thank God he and she live, and he and she will live forever. Together with their customers in their earned trusted advisory role they assist organization and people to become more productive and profitable as thinking partners of the people they serve. A thousand years from now, JEFFERY, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he and she will continue to make glad the heart of business people, clients, and prospects.
Hello Jim. :)

I am familiar with the original piece (New York Sun) so I have an appreciation for your response.

Thank you for your participation. - by Jeff Blackwell
As a fairly new member to these forums, and someone who has far less than 40 years selling I'd like to say that I don't see professional sales people going anywhere.

Indeed the times are changing. The internet makes more information more readily available to the consumer, but that also means it's readily available to the professional sales person.

The internet, social media, blogging, web2.0 etc etc are all just tools that cater to people. People are the bottom line.

The reference regarding the car is a perfect sale in the making. The customer qualifies themselves, does the research, knows what they want, and comes in to negotiate a deal.

Perhaps there was very little negotiating, but somewhere a price was asked for and a price was agreed upon. Was this just order taking? A few points as to why I don't believe that is true:

1. The customer already had previous knowledge of their desires and needs. They sought out information from the internet (know your product).

2. The customer then used social media, and contact with friends/family to ask them about the same or similar products to achieve social proof. (the same way sales professionals often so by saying "homes in your neighborhood have saved 15% on their electric bill in the past 6 months).

3. A test drive was taken, and the product either met or failed to meet customer's pre-existing expectations.

4. A price was negotiated which means in the very least some human contact was met. If the customer didn't get the price they were looking for they would have went somewhere else, OR they would have accepted an alternative price based on an existing relationship with their dealer.

I know its basic, but it seems to me that an entire sales process was completed except that much of it was initiated by the customer.

And yet the customer went back to the dealership that they had an existing relationship with. Ultimately the sale of "who to buy from" was predetermined from a previous relationship.

There are some items that are always going to boil down to price provided that there is no relationship, and there is always going to be some relationships that negate arguments about price as long as the price is reasonable.

One last note:
I've recently started a business entirely based on professional selling(B2B), and almost everyone that I have spoken with wants to hire me in one fashion or another. We have been met with comments such as "why is no-one else doing this?" and "That's exactly what we need."

If professional selling is dead, then why are so many businesses looking for someone to do it for them?

Cheers,

Kevin

Edit: I should clarify, "Almost everyone" meaning once we have sat down with them for a sales call - we aren't batting 100% in the prospecting phase. - by KTjia
Here is a excerpt from an article by Paul McCord that seems apropos:

"Then there are the "futurists," predicting how technology is going to change the world of selling, virtually destroying the sales profession while creating untold opportunities for companies to increase sales and profits. These are the same futurists who upon the invention of the telephone predicted that salespeople would never again meet face to face with prospects; and who upon the arrival of the fax machine predicted that mail was no longer necessary; who upon being introduced to email declared that surely this time business mail really was dead. Now, with the gazillions of social media options, they’re proclaiming that this time technology really is going to completely revolutionize the world of selling."

Source link:
http://www.salespractice.com/forums/t-11707.html - by Community Mailbox
Here are a few excerpts from an article I came across: http://www.sellingpower.com/magazine/article.php?i=1333&ia=9223&nr=1"

The assumption that technology, especially the Internet, will replace person-to-person buying and selling is as ridiculous a prediction as the ones that had television replacing radio. Has selling changed? Of course. Is the Fuller Brush Man gone for good. Absolutely. But when it comes to B2B sales, the profession is only going to become more valuable and more professional in the future.
Those who venture to predict the death of sales like to point to the ready availability of information on the Internet. It has all the data a decision maker needs and offers the ability to place an order at the click of a button. What value could a salesperson possibly add? Plenty, according to our sources. Sure, information is available, but that doesn’t mean the decision maker knows where to access it or has the time or ability to make sense of it and how it applies to his or her particular business needs.
Because of the fundamental changes in the sales process, the salesperson needs to see him- or herself more as a questioner than as an educator. The rep must lead prospects through the maze of information and data and help them come to a successful business decision. Think of a mountain climber who has read every book about climbing Mt. Everest: He or she knows the mountain’s altitude, what gear is necessary, and the potential dangers of the climb, but without an experienced guide to walk the trail with him or her, the climber is in danger of becoming hopelessly lost. That’s where the salesperson comes in. The salesperson creates a relationship with the prospect, asking the appropriate questions, providing a breadth and depth of experience the decision maker does not have. That trust is what sets the professional salesperson apart and cannot be replaced by automation.
- by Community Mailbox
In my opinion it's not just the information that weighed on the blogger's buying decision, but but the social proof (he listened to his friends) - something that's difficult for one sales person to counter except by reference to fashions and trends.

If 'everyone' is buying an iPhone, more and more people want one. A few of us like to go against the flow, but if everyone else thinks a Ford is better, Vauxhalls get harder to shift. - by Care Promote
I spoke with Jeb Brooks at The Brooks Group about this yesterday and he weighed in this morning with the following post: http://www.brooksgroup.com/blog/index.php/2011/02/01/no-professional-sales-is-neither-dead-nor-dying/

For those who are interested, I have posted a hyperlink to the
U.S. Department of Labor's 2008-2018 projections
for Sales and related occupations in the following thread:
http://www.salespractice.com/forums/t-11713.html - by Jeff Blackwell
Gary, your experience always shines.

Seasoned sales reps know that sales is a human dynamic. Sales is a "people" business as you and others have said before.

Are buyers better educated today simply because obtaining information is easier?
1 If information is all we need why do we have attorneys and doctors to explain what that information means. For information to have value, there must be reasonable interpretation.

2 How often do prospects ask the wrong questions because all they have is incomplete information? Informaton is factual while education brings meaning to that information.

3 More importantly, how often do prospects fail to ask the right questions? This occurs when there is a disconnect between their goal and the method he or she is pursuing to secure that intended goal.

4 How often do you find Internet information stale and lacking
updated information?


5 When would a novice know he or she has accessed sufficient information or even the right information?

6 How often have prospects misread information altogether?

This of course is obviously a partial assessment.
I feel our lists together present a segment of the human dynamic engaging in a dialectic of issues: the meeting of the novice and the professional. - by John Voris
PeterGJ

I have brought forward excerpts from your post and commented on each for clarity. My comments are in Bold.

How do I describe Professional Selling?

Big subject; however I will try to give a short answer.

1/ Setting the scene as I see it:
- Sales environment: It would be difficult to argue that the world has totally changed and that prospects today are relying more on comments and opinions stated by peer-groups, be it on the web or otherwise, than ever before. And it will only increase.


First, I think you meant, “It would be difficult to argue against the idea that the world has totally changed…

During the George H Bush campaign for presidency, many left wing radio hosts commented that they did not know anyone voting for Bush. It seemed to them that everywhere they went, people didn’t want another 4 years of a republican administration. People would call up and agree that they didn’t know anyone voting for Bush either. Yet, George won that year and assumed the presidency in 1989. What happened?

The Mereological Fallacy seems to be alive and well. This is where the parts do not reveal the whole. Left wing or Right Wing affiliates, often find themselves in political isolation. Your particular environment for example, reveals only a segment of public ideology and a micro-consensus. Your statement should read something like, “according to me and my associates, the world has totally changed.”

There are always pockets of change within every business community but even then, they are moving in different directions and at a different pace.

Telling people that everyone is radically changing before they are actually doing it, is more like mass manipulation by projection than statements of information. (Tell people that everyone is buying an X and watch the sales explode is the idea.)


You should also say that in my opinion people are relying on comments and opinions stated by peer-groups…more than ever before. Actually relying heavily on the opinions of others is more a comment on life cycles than a comment on the whole population. Mature adults make their own decisions, often deliberately ignoring the opinions of others.

Prospects are likely to know more about our products, and its problems, than we as Sales Reps are likely to know.

This comment simply unveils the incompetence of a sales agent. Then, there is reality that also disproves this. Yes, there are individuals who pride themselves as being a Sherlock Holmes incarnate, but they are certainly not the norm. This also goes counter to the dozens of registered complaints, concerning how prospects are all too often clueless about what they want and often don’t know what it is when they see it.

(Please consult the post here at salespractice called, “Do Customers really know what they want?” At last count there were 1,497 hits.)

Again, there are individuals who have the curiosity, time, and energy to gather information on the web but they are not unlike those who in the past who visited libraries, scrutinized competitors, and read trade magazines, before making that final decision to buy back in the 1950’s.

Sales individual: As a Reps we only have one product to sell: Ourselves.

I’m sure you meant to say we sell ourselves, the product and or services, unless your prospects take you to their home at the end of the transaction. Moreover, we all have a lifetime full of experiences where we bought from someone we did not care for or didn’t like at all.

(I have a rude and narcissistic attorney who handles my business disputes. I buy his services because he is the best in town. And we have never lost)

Further, in a world where most is known;

Much is known but certainly not "most!" That is why epistemology is still taught in universities. I have no idea where you got that, certainly not from anyone in science.

Your statement is a gross exaggeration that for me, hints of an ulterior motive. A seasoned sales rep would never say this.


Sales employer: In a world of increased competition for everything.


If done correctly—there should be no recognized competition from the perspective of the prospect. Once corporate grasps this, they will realize they have always been under several other severe illusions as well.

Summary: While I have all the respect for traditional tools like Rackham, Miller & Heiman, Holden, TAS and so on, they basically focus on two principles: 1/ There is a solution for which clients needs to be identified and closed. And 2/ The Sales Rep is an integrated entity of the organisation and needs to be encouraged to deliver the best results.

They are offering a methodology of procedural implementation that would not be in conflict with the content of any specific delivery.

2/ Without giving my farm away; I believe there are some great opportunities for Professional Selling in relation to: Sales environment: Turning the web/social network environment to a situation where it can work for us to generate pre-educated and qualified prospects

Social Commodification practices do this now.

Sales individuals: There is a need to change the selling courses and books away from ’Swallow the cool-aid’

I have no idea what this is--please clarify.

…and re-defining the Reps’ role; building individuals who are focused on relationships, governance and profit contribution.

Sales has never been a “one-size-fits-all” proposition. If all three factors are to focus on sales, efficacy would demand laser sharp finite application not an encompassing directive as you suggest.

Sales employer: There are some great opportunities to be realized in objective alignment,

Again, I would appreciate it if you would define objective alignment as it pertains to sales.

Without such a definition I would have to say that selling is a humanistic dynamic between the life histories of two or more people and therefore embraces our subjective condition. Selling has no objective alignment that has ever worked with consistency for that very reason.


re-developing & aligning client touch-points,

“re-developing & aligning client touch-points,” sounds more like marketing pop-psychology than anything useful. Again, if you would define such phrases we would understand what you mean. Vagueness only clouds your intended message.

Nevertheless, the problems with sales or sales training cannot be cured by more “doing” techniques and people don’t have magic points. It sounds as if you intend to offer placebos rather effective selling structures.


re-developing the basic objectives of the marketing department which are all building to a re-definition of the corporate profile and increased market acceptance.

Regardless of what any of this means, sales remains a humanistic enterprise where desires are to be satisfied irrespective of any re-development and there are no single basic objectives. Even to make more money is an ancillary event, which has been known for some time. Moreover marketplace acceptance is a fluid concept moving within social and economic unforeseeable forces.

As I have the floor; After 30 years in Professional Selling, I just happen to be working on a book, and associated website and course, called: “The Naked Sales Rep – A return to Sustainable Selling” which will be ready later this year. I look forward to keeping you up to date with its development.

Ah! This explains why all of the hyperbolic language.

FYI-----I do not believe that raw self-promotion is allowed here so keep that in mind for the future.

All said and done, you still did not answer the original question but rather focused on self-adulation.


I’m sorry if you may feel I have been tough on you but salespractice is built on seasoned sales agents sharing proven normative practices and not new-age hypothetical projections.
- by John Voris
To quote Gary: "If their prophecies are not congruent with the real world of selling that we experience every day, then we won't let them "lead our thoughts."

What your offering is called the old "There's Trouble in River City" technique.

Remember The Music Man? The con man explains that if the town does not keep the youth busy with something like a band, their minds will wonder off into untold mischief. Young boys will start smoking and playing pool all day and the daughters will be staying out all night.

The town buys the idea and gives the con man money to buy the instruments and create a band that never evolves.

Your proposition is somewhat similar. The idea is to create a problem that does not exist then create courses and sell books to head off the disaster that never was on the way and laugh all the way to the bank. At least, that is my impression.

Sorry if I am cynical but Gary is right. And it really doesn't matter to me how many years experience you have, how many you trained or who is in your alleged book "who's who."

Maybe it is not your intent but you are framing yourself as a politician hoping to be elected to solve a problem that is not there. - by John Voris
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