So what has changed in sales?

24th February 2017 |   Chris Alder

Nothing stands still in the world of sales. We asked three experienced sales practitioners to identify the biggest changes each of them has seen since they started their careers.

Instead of caveat emptor – the principle that the buyer alone is responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods before a purchase is made – we now have caveat venditor where the person selling goods is accountable for providing information about the goods to the seller.

Adrian Logan
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The sales development expert

Adrian Logan
Former chairman of the Sales Performance Association and a Founding Fellow of the Sales Leadership Alliance

“There has been a revolution in the relationship between buyer and seller in the three decades since I started out as a salesman.
“Instead of caveat emptor – the principle that the buyer alone is responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods before a purchase is made – we now have caveat venditor where the person selling goods is accountable for providing information about the goods to the seller.

“Latterly, the sales approach was that the salesperson was the bringer of knowledge to buyers. Claims may have been made which products failed to provide. Salespeople were cheap, while knowledge was expensive.

“The Internet has turned that on its head, and knowledge is cheap because it’s at everyone’s fi ngertips. Buyers are very much more informed that ever before – and they have the protection of the law when the products they have been supplied fail to live up the salesperson’s claims. Salespeople can no longer make unfounded and outrageous claims about their products for fear of being held accountable.

“On top of that, they have been forced to acknowledge that they may not know more about their products than buyers. This revolution has, I believe, led to a more collaborative approach between buyers and sellers.”

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