Thursday, March 05, 2009

When techies sell, who wants to listen?


The Tech Republic column “CIO for Hire” by Jay Rollins has an interesting column, “How to cut to the chase on the vendor cold call”, here, today.

The blog entry is a contraposition to the more common question, can “techies sell”. Indeed, there has been a lot of hype about the growing market in technology sales, promoting it as a customer service concept rather than “hucksterism.” Now, the emphasis would be on selling technology that can brutally reduce overhead for companies.

Nevertheless, managers resent the interruptions of cold calls at work as much as they resent them at home, given the social resentment of telemarketing that has developed in the past decade. Rollins recommends particular skepticism about vendors who are not very sure about what they have to sell.

Nevertheless, it’s easy to imagine some of the innovations that can be coming: Energy consumption management systems (as part of the “green Internet”). New technologies for due diligence in identifying consumers – I’ve written about that on the ID theft blog as see fixing this problem as part of the new president’s “infrastructure” repair. Another innovation area for sales would obviously come in medical recordkeeping. I’d be concerned about still another obvious area – employee background checking and online “reputation management.”

I doubt that salesmen are going away. But the talk of the virtues of salesmanship has a flip side: listening to the salesmen. We don’t always want to.

One other little aside: A woman is selling her husband on Ebay -- opening bid $1 -- that is, she is trying to get him a job on Ebay (source: NBC Today show, March 5, 2009).

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