"Passion and Shoe Leather"

"Passion and Shoe Leather"

A couple of years ago I wrote some of my thoughts about how "the Internet" was going to be the driving force for a revolution in sales and marketing. I’m even more convinced that the methods for disseminating information through these developing techniques of computers and communications are truly producing this revolution.

However (it seems there is always a "however") as much as sales and marketing techniques are being improved and made more efficient by the information age fostered by the Internet, I’m finding that the need for competent people is increasing in greater proportions. The most promoted need at the present time is for software and technically trained developers. With the "Year 2000 Problem", even old COBOL programmers are being seduced out of retirement. It reminds me of when I was in engineering school during the late 50’s and the Soviets had just launched Sputnik; the projected need for engineers seemed to quickly exceed the total human population. Yet, just a few years later there was a true glut of engineers.

I’m not going to tell you here that a glut of software developers will soon arise-- but, the drive by the international community and organizations within the United States are gearing up to meet the challenge of the information age now being defined. I do believe the supply and demand for such trained people will equalize in the near future-- economics will be the catalyst for the solution.

As I have recently visited a number of technology companies around the Washington DC region, there is the talk about the need for the technologists and software programmers. But, very quickly, the conversation with management moves to the ongoing need for "good sales people and marketers." Yes, that seems to be the real urgency that has not changed in the corporate environment. In any personnel discussion, these managers always seem to come around to, "Where are the guys who can help us make inroads into new markets?"

As much as certain marketing and sales activities have become more efficient, there is arising an even greater need for the motivated people who can utilize insights and hard work to develop these new markets that the effusion of new products is seeking. With more products and services being available in the marketplace, the true differentiater for success is the driving forces of people who move them into producing income (hopefully greater than the expenses). Where are the guys who will pound the pavement and have the passion to influence potential customers? Where are the guys who can produce business from the new classes of potential buyers? Maybe "passion for the sale" and the "desire to go make it happen" are not going out of style, but are ever more important.

Maybe the enormous supply of capital is supporting a period of product development that exceeds the need of the developing economy and the buying public-- and even those seemingly unlimited capital sources will reach the point where supply and demand in the marketplace controls development. I predict: the top need in business will always be for smart marketers with passion and who will forge into uncharted waters of the marketplace to develop sales.

I would appreciate comments; contact me at Technology Business magazine: phone: 703-610-8787; e-mail: john@johnsanders.com; internet: www.johnsanders.com.

prepared for the August, 1997 Issue of the FLC NewsLink