When I was growing up in Harrow in London, we didn’t have carpets or wood floors like people do now. Well, we did, we had some on the stairs, it was the height of Middle Class suburbia that we could afford a fitted carpet somewhere in our house. Not in all the house, but at least somewhere.
When I grew up there was no internet, no computers, no social media. The telephone, had a cord and was connected to the wall. I want to write something funny like … “and dinosaurs roamed the earth” because looking back now, this feels like it was a long time ago. But in years, it wasn’t really that long ago.
Things have changed, we now have fitted carpets through out our house or in my last flat, I had the natural wood floor boards.
So what has this got to do with sales?
When I was growing up, my mother would have a “spring clean”. The first sign of some sun in March and April and she would pick up all the mats hang them over the washing line and beat them to great rid of the dust.
The great things about this, is that it worked. My brother and I were pulled in and my mum would make us bang these mats to get the dust out and tell us it was a game and fun. She has always been a clever woman.
It’s kind of ironic, that when I purchased my first house, she gave me a second hand vacuum cleaner as a present. It was an ancient old thing, in the days before Dyson, where you had to buy endless dust bags to feed this vacuum cleaner. They were expensive and would disintegrate and the dust would go everywhere, meaning you needed to vacuum again.
Now my partner and I have a Dyson, in fact we have two, because we merged two households together, we had two of everything. My Dyson has been relegated to “dirty jobs”, while her Dyson is “for best”. but enough about my domestic arrangements, what has this go to do with sales?
This is all a metaphor. Sales is sales, we are still doing the same job, but it has evolved and keeps evolving. When I started in sales, I hand wrote letters and a typing pool typed them up on word processors. It wasn’t for years until I got my first 386 Laptop with Amipro on it, replacing DEC All-In-One.
Now I write on a Mac. I still write, but I have some more efficient and more effective way of writing. The typing pool teased me endlessly about my spelling, so much that I hated going in there. Now my spelling mistakes are highlighted or autocorrected. Output is the same, it’s just more efficient and effective.
Our Dyson, gets the carpet or our wood floor clean and it takes a damn sight less time and effort than banging those carpets.
Digital Selling (or social selling) is still about sales, it takes nothing away from all of the skills you have built up over the years. Now there is nothing wrong taking your rugs out and banging them on the washing line. There is nothing wrong in hand writing your letters and handing them to be typed by a typing pool on a world processor. But, and it’s a big but, times have moved on and there are now more efficient and effective ways of working.
More efficient and more effective, means that you do more for less. You get a greater output (revenue) for less effort (people and time) or you can put in the same effort are are putting in now and getting an even greater output. The choice is yours.
Whenever there is change, it scares people, it also means that there are vested interests that won’t to hold the change back. Why, I don’t know, it could be that they don’t understand it or they would have to rewrite their 30 year old training materials. Either way, they will try and convince you nothing has changed. The things is, the world has changed. We have the internet, social media and mobile and you may hate all that stuff, but it’s not going away. It’s like we have walked into a room and the door has shut behind us. We cannot go backwards, however much those vested interests tell us, nothing has changed and we need to go back.
It’s time, and as so many companies have done before ward, we need to step forward and embrace the change and embrace digital in sales.
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