You have probably heard someone say that online stores are making in-person sales obsolete. These people are often envisioning some sort of world where businesses are run by computers that replace real people. That scenario is never going to happen. Computers can enhance a consumer’s experience, but salespeople are an integral part of business and always will be.
Automation has its limits. If customers call a business and reach their automated system, they may find that their problem does not fit into the pre-selected categories of press one, two or three. They need to get to a real person to explain their specific needs. Only a salesperson can address those needs for them, either on the phone or in person. Plus, a salesperson can be creative and seek out a personalized solution for each customer. A computer is not flexible.
Salespeople create relationships with their clients based on trust and history because businesses rely on customer loyalty to survive. Whether you are selling office supplies, motor vehicles or industrial equipment, the relationship your salespeople forge with their clients is the energy that drives your business. Customers want to feel that they matter, and automated sales do not give consumers that feeling. A study done by IPSOS showed that 70 percent of respondents preferred a friendly salesperson over automation. The study respondents felt that they accomplished their tasks more successfully when aided by a salesperson.
People do need people. Only a living, breathing salesperson can react to a customer’s very specific needs. Most customers relate better to salespeople simply because they are not anonymous. People never want to feel as if they are just a transaction; a good salesperson is invested in the entire sales process.