At the turn of the century, Algorithms were as foreign and as misunderstood as Y2K. The smartphone didn’t exist but the BLACKBERRY was taking charge of the market – only because you could send and receive emails on them. THAT’S IT. There were no app stores or even browse capabilities. Computers, while not new 20 years ago, were nowhere near as efficient as they are today.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (or AI)
were taboo subjects not 10 years ago, but we now have many constructive debates around the exciting and concerning potential of A.I. The point is that while technology has really improved beyond our wildest dreams, in my opinion, the one issue we have right now is that computers have the disturbing potential to completely eradicate the need for a physical, skilled and experienced human being.
I assume that all of us are aware that the Apollo Space program was instrumental in getting man to the moon but what you didn’t know would probably shock you. Man took one giant leap with almost no help from the technology that we take for granted today. To put this statement into more quantifiable terms, the latest iPhone has up to 512GB of ROM memory. That is 4 000 billion bits of memory – which is more than seven million times more than that of the guidance computer that got man on the moon!
Amazing, isn’t it! Essentially, there is one simple point. One of mans’ greatest achievements in a few billion years on earth actually relied on the human brain more than it did on computers. Yet, we still ignore the potential of our own skills and ability.
Because I am putting an emphasis on sales in this message, it needs to be said that you and I need to actually believe that we can NEVER be replaced by a machine, when it comes to selling. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t continue teaching us!
Back to the algorithm – specifically the one on a computer when we are doing online shopping.
CHOOSE your product, VIEW your basket and you will notice in most ONLINE COMMERCE sites that below the product you selected were at least 3 other options or RELATED PRODUCTS. Products chosen for you as additional and similar options based on your selection.
SIMPLE enough for a computer to take all the data you have given it and then offer alternative options…based on complex algorithms- or mathematical equations that almost none of us will ever understand. Too difficult for the human brain to do?
OF COURSE NOT.
If you chose a Victorian slipper bath for under R10 000 and quite specific Victorian taps, why is it so difficult for most salespeople to assist the client further when you have to advise them that there is no stock available! One of my greatest bugbears is when a salesperson leaves the sale at, ‘No stock available’, intimidated and concerned at how a client will handle this bit of bad news. In most situations, the salesperson will almost give up and shut off completely.
Now, if you were a computer, you would have immediately offered 3 similar options to choose from! A salesperson has the capability to do exactly the same. From what we have just unpacked, A salesperson MUST UNDERSTAND THAT THEY ARE in fact, CLEVERER than a computer on an emotional interpersonal way. Sadly, (and I make this very generalized comment cautiously as I am aware that there are plenty out there who do realize their own potential,) too many sales are lost as bitterly disappointed shoppers leave the showroom quite deflated.
So, what is the answer to the title of this message – why are computers winning this contest of selling? For me, the answer is quite simple. SELF BELIEF and CONFIDENCE building in one’s ability to accept and satisfy the need of another person.
Key take out time…
YOU ARE GREATER THAN A COMPUTER, BUT YOU NEED TO BELIEVE THIS STATEMENT WHOLEHEARTEDLY.