Today, I’ll be sharing some thoughts on why I think sales is STILL one of the best professions to get into moving into the future.
Please know that these are my thoughts, and by no way shape or form mean I will predict the future.
(But I’m sure you already knew that!)
So when I think about sales, especially in our rapidly changing and digital world…
I think about both how there are aspects that have remained the same and aspects which are changing rapidly.
In my current job, I actually work for a start-up in Silicon Valley that sells software based on artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Yeah, for most of the world, that’s about as advanced in tech as you’re going to get as far as today goes.
Even working in Silicon Valley, which is the predominant hotbed of all innovation and technology…
Some things still remain apparent to me.
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Technology is not going to replace human connection, nor will it replace the ability to build trust.
If you really boil sales down to its essence, it’s about an ability to build trust and solve problems.
While technology is certainly offering many solutions to our world’s problems…
I don’t think the need for human connection and interaction is ever going away.
Take this time we’re in now.
Everyone is holed up in their homes, and digital connections have risen like 1000%…
But you know what I can’t wait to do?
I can’t wait to go give my friends a hug!
I can’t wait to go celebrate and connect with my friends, because connection, as Tony Robbins puts it, is a fundamental human need.
Don’t get me wrong, Zoom is great, and technology can be awesome in so many ways…
But NOTHING will trump human connection.
Entrepreneur and the preeminent expert on social media, Gary Vaynerchuk, says that in his core.
What’s allowed him to become a successful businessman is the ability to do business on a handshake,
(He’ll often motion like he’s spitting in his hand and reaching out for a good ole fashioned handshake!)
You know why that is?
You know why he says being a person of his word is the MOST important thing that’s allowed him to succeed in business?
It’s the ability to mean what one says.
It’s the ability to keep one’s commitments, to him or herself, AND others.
It’s the ability to build TRUST.
Think of it… who do you take advice from?
Who do you confide in and really take their advice to heart?
Is it your parents? Or maybe your mentors? Or maybe a few close and treasured friends.
My guess is that the people whose advice you take to heart, are the ones you TRUST the most.
And they are almost the people who CARE about you the most.
It may sound fluffy, and it may sound cheesy, but it doesn’t matter, because it’s THE TRUTH.
Business is no different, because whether you’re selling to a department or a company…
There is a HUMAN BEING that your selling to.
And the fundamental aspects of human nature have not changed much since the dawn of time.
I remember when I was 24 years old—starting my first Enterprise sales role.
I was sitting in orientation with my new colleagues, all of which were older than me.
I remember I was asked to share what I thought sales was about, or how to be an effective salesperson or something along those lines…
Truthfully, I forget what the question was.
But I do remember what I said.
I stood up and said this:
Sales is about CARING.
And I remember the room getting quiet.
Well, fast forward a couple of years, and after being a top sales rep in that company… that belief of mine has turned into an ABSOLUTE conviction.
I think CARING and the ability to build trust are SUPERPOWERS.
I really do.
No matter the technology—I don’t you’ll be able to get artificial intelligence to do these things.
That’s why I STILL think sales is such a foundational skill set to master in life.
Add on top of that all the studies of successful business people who started out their careers in some capacity of sales.
Can you imagine some robot or software script trying to build real human-to-human TRUST and demonstrating CARE for you?
(I’m guessing probably not)
And that’s exactly why sales will not be going away—at least not anytime soon!
One of my mentors, Andy Frisella, has a saying:
“The VALUE is in the inefficiencies.”
Now, this might sound like a decree that almost goes against everything that Silicon Valley stands for…
But let me explain what he means.
What he’s saying is that the interactions that take effort, time, and CARE, make the biggest impact.
Andy owns 1stPhorm, a supplement company.
Every time I purchase something from his business, no matter how small an order…
I get a handwritten note from an employee of his that’s different each time.
“The VALUE is in the inefficiencies.”
Now obviously this is not taking anything away from technology, or the great being built here in Silicon Valley.
But what he is saying is that the genuine human to human connection and CARE that happens behind every great business transaction will NEVER go out of style.
I think that’s something worth remembering.
Another thought I have about the future of sales as our world gets more and more digitalized…
The intermingling of marketing and sales.
I mentioned in a previous post, how at Grant Cardone’s 10XCon in 2019, Ryan Deiss, the founder of DigitalMarketer.com spoke.
Ryan said that the new breed of marketers will NEED to be salespeople as well, and the new breed of salespeople will also be marketers.
Let’s face it.
Social media is here, and basically everyone is immersed in it.
It doesn’t matter if you’re 7 or 70… it seems like everyone is in front of a computer (the entire day) now.
Whether you’re a programmer, in sales, or a barista at Starbucks—our entire day is mostly comprised of us staring at a screen.
In the sales world?
That means being on LinkedIn, using tools like Outreach or ZoomInfo, or simply prospecting on Google.
Being online so much, we’re beginning to see a skillset emerge within the sales profession.
…and that’s the ability to effectively prospect online.
Put another way, you’re essentially leveraging these tools to prospect and market.
Regardless if you think you’re marketing or not, you are.
When a prospect sees that you messaged them, and click on your LinkedIn profile, you are marketing.
Regardless of whether you recognize it or not, your profile, your image, your online assets, and even the message you sent your prospect is marketing.
More and more, people want to buy from PEOPLE—not faceless and nameless organizations!
People want to understand who you are, what you stand for, what you care about.
People want to feel good about the people they are buying from.
—and the only way to do that is to put yourself out there.
Again, whether you’re intentionally doing this or not?
You are doing it.
Wouldn’t it be better if you accepted that and went about that intentionally?
The successful salespeople of today (and tomorrow) are effectively leveraging social.
They are learning to USE social media, instead of being USED by it.
They are leveraging technology and tools to position themselves as authorities and experts in the fields of their choosing, and branding themselves, understanding that people want to buy from other PEOPLE.
So where are you at with your relationship to sales?
What’s your outlook on it?
Chances are if you’re reading this…
…you’re already selling to some capacity in your life.
Whether you’re selling directly, own a business, or use sales indirectly, where do you see the profession & art of sales heading to?
Do you think AI & Robots will take over for salespeople?
Or do you think sales & human connecting are here to stay for the foreseeable future?
And also, how has selling changed for you in the past couple of years and how do you see it changing?
Fewer and fewer professionals have desk phones, and more people are online and on social than ever.
Lastly, what are the biggest challenges you’re facing right now in sales?
Let me know what’s going on in your world, shoot me an email at [email protected]
I’d love to hear from you!