I associate middle age group as remembering “The Partridge Family” and “All In the Family”. Growing up in the seventies and early eighties, technology was slowing emerging into current family lives. The impact that communication technologies experienced on sales is beautiful. While there are no doubt hundreds of benefits, with each new technological introduction the personally meeting becomes that much harder to acquire.
The first thing to really impact me was your beeper. This seemingly magical device would allow someone to call ones assigned number and abruptly your hip would vibrate indicating who wanted want you to call them. Prior to this awesome invention, if someone needed you on the list of the arduous task associated with calling all of your friends and relations in a weak attempt to track you down. It was a version of shopping I presume, and sometimes the hunted did not should try to be found! If was very straightforward to avoid being caught and the old excuse was that you where just around the corner.
On the business entry similar things happened, they would call your workplace and leave a message that you call them. Your office would have to track you down and look for you, part of your job requirement back just was to “call in” each and every few hours to see and also require called for you. Once again very easy to avoid being caught or found no one really knew what you were doing all day.
Next up was this satellite mobile telephone. This was big, awkward, heavy and totally modern. The phone which was carried in that inconvenient box, allowed you to have access to all incoming calls and allowed you to be found 24 hours a day. In turn, you could return almost any call right where you had been at, no more looking for a pay phone to use. Long gone was manufactured when you could hide coming. The drawbacks were many, expensive, large and heavy, with a short term battery that had to be recharged frequently and horrible reception in bad weather!
The next invention was the vehicle phone. I will retain this short, a phone that you could only use in your car or truck. Simple enough. When you were in your car you could use the phone and avoid the dreaded pay phones. Everyone could call people direct and leave a message for you on your phone “voice mail” and avoid having to call your workplace looking for you. You could still hide out by saying you were not in your car or truck and busy working or selling. The drawbacks were few, expensive to operate and limited in mobility.
At long last, the hand held cellphone was introduced to the world. It is a really light, small, mobile unit that could be carried in your pocket or women’s accessories. As it continues to evolve, it has become a necessity for all business. Communication by texting and shopping online are just some of the thousands of applications the phone is now used for. Buying and selling together with customer relationships are for good changed. Marketing is now the name in the game with creative tactics taken front and center. Sure your message ought to be accurate, but if truth be told there isn’t some angle involving entertainment on some level, it gets lost inside noise.
Acquiring new business that will once relied on one individual to another meetings, is that much more difficult as everything is re-searchable right at your fingertips. You can be just about anywhere… work from anywhere… turning it into harder for a sales team to meet with you.
Something as seemingly mundane as office supplies is now almost exclusively virtual. Every order that processed is through an online portal. Talented and knowledgeable outside sales people are all but vanished. Why? There talents are no longer necessary. The causality of technology. Those hoping to survive will probably need to market in new ways despite how uncomfortable it may be at first. Forget delivering a heavy and quickly outdated catalog. It’s a new and ever changing world. It started with enhancements to our communication and has no result in sight. These are exciting times indeed.