Is Sales Dead?

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Is Sales Dead?

I bet you can’t recall the last time a salesperson came knocking on your door asking you to buy from his or her unnecessarily wide selection of mops – or anything for that matter. Most of us could agree to assume that the traditional salesperson hardly exists anymore, but does that really mean sales is dead? And is the rise of technology and social media wiping out the realm of sales, or is it doing just the opposite?

Maybe this can be answered by redefining the very idea of sales. According to Daniel H. Pink’s To Sell Is Human, to sell to someone is to move someone, to convince others to “part with [their] resources…so that we both get what we want.” In-person salespeople may have been more or less forgotten years ago, but that does not necessarily mean that the world of selling has been completely obliterated, because perhaps sales has taken on a new mask. A mask that very much includes the technological advances and ever-changing social media platforms of today. Despite the idea that this new digital age is replacing the selling experience, the digital age, in fact, is the selling experience. Think about it. From Instagram to Etsy to YouTube, they are all channels through which someone convinces another to give up his or her resources, whether it be attention or affection or actual money. So is sales really dead? Maybe for the guy (or gal) on commission demonstrating how well the mop works, but much thanks to the digital world, the art of a different kind of selling is still very much alive.


Colin Welsh

Colin Welsh

January 18, 2018at 12:00 am

Very interesting post. I can remember the days when young entrepreneurs came knocking on my family’s door asking us to subscribe to their company’s listserv or buy their new products. However, it seems that this form of face-to-face advertising has diminished. I believe you are right! Sales-people do seem like a thing of the past, but digital technology and mass media have somewhat taken up the slack in this department. It will be interesting to view this as it progresses in the future.

S.K. Palmer

S.K. Palmer

January 18, 2018at 12:22 am

I really like your take in this post. I don’t necessarily think that face to face sales is gone completely. About a month ago I was at Kroger getting gas when a salesman for a car cleaner approached me with the intention of trying to sell me his product. However, I think it is a dying arena. Digital opportunities have made it easier for the consumer to purchase, but also more difficult for marketers/sales people to reach consumers given the high volume of traffic and noise on the internet. Sales will be an intriguing field to watch as the rise in digital technology continues to grow.

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