Robo-selling Doesn’t Create A Customer Relationship

    December 22, 2006

In a post earlier today, the usually-on-the-money Jim Berkowitz at the CRM Mastery blog had a post entitled “Turning Sales Into Science” that spotlighted a number of emerging technologies that are (according to Berkowtiz Inc.’s Alex Salkever) going to “launch your sales force into the future” and “turn a sales operation into a gleaming high-tech machine.”


First off…sales should be about the customer, not the technology.
Secondly…actually, there is no “secondly.” Sales should be about the customer, period.

Now, Salkever’s list has a number of points that require comment.

AS: “If you’ve already won a client’s trust, it ought to be relatively easy to sell him or her more stuff.”

Yes, indeed. If you can fake sincerity, you are golden. And that’s right…it’s not about helping the customer solve a problem, it’s about the stuff!

AS: “Now, for the first time, smaller businesses can afford to send automated phone messages to targeted clients. With these products , a salesperson or business owner calls a toll-free number and records a brief message with a sales pitch. The message is uploaded to the Internet and broadcast using a voice over Internet protocol system to anywhere from a dozen to thousands of customers.”

Greeeeeaaaat. I, for one, would like to welcome our robot overlords.

AS: “Make the buyers come to you.”

Yes, because I certainly know that I love it when vendors make me do things. I really do!

Gah, blech, ick, etcetera, etcetera. The rest of the post is all about the shiny tools that sales folks can use to automate tasks and further dehumanize the customer-vendor interaction. And so forth.
~rant off~

I need my moment of Zen. Ah, here’s one. And here’s another. And one more.

Update: As pointed out in the comments, apologies to Jim Berkowitz, who was excerpting this article by Alex Salkever in the above. The post above has been updated to reflect the correct attribution where necessary.

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Christopher Carfi, CEO and co-founder of Cerado, looks at sales, marketing, and the business experience from the customers point of view. He currently is focused on understanding how emerging social technologies such as blogs, wikis, and social networking are enabling the creation of new types of customer-driven communities. He is the author of the Social Customer Manifesto weblog, and has been occasionally told that he drives and snowboards just a little too quickly.