Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Sales people explained

It has always been hard for me to communicate with sales people. I think this is a problem most technical people experience. It doesn't matter whether they are selling me things, or selling my work. They just live in another absurd and parallel universe.

It is common knowledge that communicating across continents can be a challenge because of cultural differences. It's the same when communicating with sales people. These are the main differences to "normal" people as I see it.
  • A more liberal approach to the truth or maybe just a more ignorant attitude towards facts. They are often only interested in the good story. I you want to hear about the perfect world or solution, do contact a sales person.
  • A low signal to noise ratio.
    The goal for communication for a sales person is the communication itself. Whether any useful information is communicated is often not important. The entropy of a conversation can therefore be very low. Often it's just not worth the communication.
  • Have no interest in, and no knowledge of what they speak of. The best feature of a sales person is his ability to small talk. Most of the time he won't have the slightest idea about what he is selling.
Don't get me wrong. I generally don't think salespeople are liars or bad people. I just don't think they always comprehend the stuff they are working with. Therefore it is harder for them to separate right from wrong. Therefore they are hard (or impossible) to communicate with.


  1. Knowing that the path of this discurse is relative dangerous I must admit that I too has encountered the canyon that unfortunately can exists between the 2 archetypes. The sales people and the tech people. But isn't a plausible explanation the focus. The sales people uses the communication to reach their goal. It is their only weapon of use when trying to convince the counterpart of the very need of the 'product' they are trying to sell. If the communication contains storytelling that convince the receiver of all the qualities the sales representative are trying to sell, this adds strength to the communication weapon at hand.

  2. Sure Thor, it's a matter of focus. It the focus a motivation to transfer information or is there an alter motive :)