How to Keep from Losing Your Job to a Kiosk!

By Colleen Francis

In the pulp novels of 1950's science fiction writers, the future was a nightmarish place where machines turned on their makers, and robots took over from - or did entirely away with - their human counterparts. For countless sales professionals across the country, that future is now upon us. Only instead of robots, it's Web sites, self-service kiosks, direct mail and even interactive TV that are threatening to replace us, and do our jobs faster, cheaper and without needing an annual vacation.

Thanks to the Internet, we can now get virtually any product imaginable delivered right to our front doors, at the click of a mouse. Plus, once a novelty, self-service options have become commonplace in virtually every facet of our daily lives. From issuing our movie tickets, to checking us into our hotel rooms or putting gas in our cars, sales from self-service kiosks last year topped $161 billion. According to IHL consulting,those numbers could reach $1 trillion a year.

In other words, if you're in an industry that is automating, you could be in danger of losing your job to a kiosk.

To continue to be successful, today's sales people need to develop an ability to create a truly positive experience for their customers, which inexpensive clerks and data entry peddlers simply can't match. The following 3 ideas are some of the best (and easiest!) ways I know to create a more positive customer experience, and keep yourself from being automated out of a job:

1. Be empathetic and compassionate.
Truly care about your customers. And remember, unless your last name is "DeNiro" or "Streep," faking it simply won't work.

2. Add value and give first.
No, this doesn't mean giving away free product in the hope that a prospect will give you their business. Rather, give away things that will increase your value, such as a referral to another client or partner, or sharing an idea that could help them solve a business problem.

3. Love what you sell, the company you work for and the customers you serve.
Customers buy from sales people who believe in the products they sell, and the companies they work for. Choose to be honest, open and empathetic to your customers' needs, and you will experience consistent sales growth, build an excellent reputation - and quickly rise to the top of your field.

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Colleen Francis, Sales Expert, is Founder and President of Engage Selling Solutions ( Armed with skills developed from years of experience, Colleen helps clients realize immediate results, achieve lasting success and permanently raise their bottom line.

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