By Katie King | @katieeking
Watching the UK’s new BBC Two double-glazing TV sitcom White Gold these past few weeks, I’ve been transported back to the flash, brash attitudes of the 1980s salesman. The characters ring true; my husband was an estate agent in north London then. Enough said. White Gold is entertaining (prepare yourself for the swearing) but also a timely and refreshing reminder of just how far the sales profession has evolved.
From the creators of The Inbetweeners, the new sitcom is set in Essex, a county in the UK once synonymous with Thatcherite social mobility. Protagonists Vincent Swan (also narrator) and Brian Fitzpatrick are a comic but stark reminder of an era of immoral, charmless sales tactics, where they smarmily spiel whatever is needed to close a deal.
These dog-eat-dog, greedy characters are perfectly foiled by the shy, university educated Lavender, whose moral backbone and hopeless selling skills make sealing the deal problematic.
It would be naïve to think that such unscrupulous salespeople have completely died out, but the truth is that they are in a minority now. Certainly over the past decade, their demise has been accelerated by the savvy, smart-phone enabled consumer, armed with access to a plethora of social channels, who demands a level of transparency which makes such sales tactics thankfully impossible.
I train, consult and give keynote addresses all over the world, focussing on the pivotal role that today’s salespeople play. In a world of Social Business https://www.slideshare.net/KatieKing/ai-and-the-future-of-marketing where organisations are evolving and using social platforms for sales as well as for recruitment, customer service and marketing, the most successful sales people are those who, irrespective of their age, adopt the right mindset, get trained and then maximise the right mix of social and traditional platforms. They are in fact evolving into a hybrid sales and marketing expert, as they deploy the necessary thought leadership tactics as opposed to the now outmoded cold calling techniques used by our White Gold spivs.
Sales is now a job to be proud of, one that deserves more airtime on the university milk rounds and school career talks. It’s great to see organisations like the Institute of Sales Management (ISM) who are at the forefront of developments and innovations within the sales industry, championing, informing and supporting those working within it.
Looking to the future, it will be interesting to see how the world of sales adapts to the next wave of technology in the so-called 4th industrial revolution. Tune in to our recent Tim Talks on the impact of AI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOAgW7LTpEM
Katie King is recognised in the field of Social Business strategy and digital transformation. She has delivered two TEDx presentations and is a regular on the international speaker circuit. She is also a frequent commentator on BBC TV and radio. firstname.lastname@example.org www.linkedin.com/in/katieeking
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