Keith Barrot

Selling – Shoe Leather, Technology & Warren Buffett

Even the best salesperson today will not be able to maintain their performance without using the technological tools available to communicate with clients, customers and prospects. More and more today salespeople are relying on text messaging, email and social media for example as the quick and easy way to sell.

These forms of technology, and others to come in the future, are a fantastic tool for the sales effort however they need to be seen in that context, as a tool for your business and not a replacement for sound knowledge of selling skills.

Salespeople don’t have to be an expert in computer science to make the most of these tools available, but they do require to have an understanding of what can be achieved with technology and how it can be applied to improve their sales. It needs to be realised that selling is a very people concentrated profession and as such the need to have developed sound selling and people skills is vital for success.

Those in sales should not become disillusioned if they find that sales don’t happen, despite all the technical systems used, and understand there is no substitute for the shoe leather (old school) approach to selling, meeting prospects and applying well established sales skills.

The mention of (old school) selling reminds me of a time not to long ago when the world was possessed with the terms “Old Economy” and “New Economy”. When the tech revolution was at its height the worlds most famous and successful investor Warren Buffett was ridiculed by those on Wall Street and many others for his refusal to invest in the “New Economy”.

History proved him correct, the bubble burst and all those, with a few exceptions, who followed the crowd filed for bankruptcy or went broke. Warren Buffett continued with his (old school) investment strategy that had proved itself since the 1950’s and which he still uses today with exceptional success for himself and his shareholders.

In all business the markets we operate in will differ and it will be the astute salesperson that recognises what tools are available and the best to use for their selling success. Understanding the well established selling processes, effective listening, personal presentation and good point of sale material are some of the skills essential to succeed in sales.

“Technology will get you TO the door; salesmanship will get you IN the door and the business.”

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One Response to “Selling – Shoe Leather, Technology & Warren Buffett”

  • Great article Keith. There’s one last thing that technology should do as well.

    Many sales people walk out of a presentation without the business (not through lack of skill but lack of readiness on the client’s behalf).

    Agents need to use technology to keep in touch with these customers so that they can remain top of mind and eventually get them back in the door.

    Then they can use their selling skills to get the business when the client is ready to do business.

    Poor follow-up systems will dramatically reduce the incomes of even the best salespeople. Technology helps you to stay in touch and remain on their radar for when they are ready.

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