handshakeTechnology has its place in sales, but this is still a person-to-person business.

There’s a new myth being circulated in the sales community. According to some “experts,” buyers know everything they need to know about our companies, products, and solutions before they ever speak to a salesperson.

They suggest that buyers don’t really need us anymore—that the proliferation of information and the automation of sales have made salespeople irrelevant. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Salespeople still have a role to play—an important one. In fact, buyers might just need us now more than ever.

Computers Cannot Replace Me

Word-class salespeople know and care about their clients. We understand their most pressing business issues and their greatest challenges. We know about their industry developments and competitive landscape. We know what works and what doesn’t.

Our clients don’t just need information. They need help uncovering the best solutions to strengthen their businesses. And this is done by an experienced salesperson who knows how to ask the right questions, not by a “Click Here” button.

The Personal Touch Means More Than Ever

The more technology-driven this world gets, the more we appreciate the personal touch—real recognition, in-person communication, and actually getting to work with people. As John Naisbitt writes in High Tech/High Touch: Technology and Our Search for Meaning, “The more high tech, the more high touch we desire.”

Yes, there are certain things we’d rather get online and do for ourselves. But at the end of the day, we also want to do business with people. For example, when you fly, you no longer need a person to provide you with a schedule, sell you a ticket, or issue your boarding pass. But once you board that plane, I bet you want a flight attendant to greet you and serve refreshments. And you sure as heck want a human pilot in the cockpit.

The same goes in sales: Many clients would rather get information online. But when they have questions, they want quick, thoughtful responses from real, live, experienced salespeople. And before they’re going to sign on any dotted lines, they want to know they’re working with people they can trust. These types of connections are built with referral introductions and in-person communication—not with social networking.

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

For the record: I am not tech-phobic, a Luddite, or afraid of change. As our world and culture change, so will sales—and that’s OK. What doesn’t change is that our community is comprised of people. And people need interaction. So step up and make a difference in your clients’ lives and businesses. Help them succeed by being a top-notch, high-touch sales professional. Be a resource, a cheerleader, and a sounding board. Be part of the solution.

For more on how to leverage technology AND relationships for sales success, get your copy of Pick Up the Damn Phone!: How People, Not Technology, Seal the Deal—now available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble. Or get the digital version for your Kindle or Nook.

Comment Here

When you’re spending money with a company, what would you rather do for yourself, and when do you want to talk to a real person?