Recently, Larry Bruce provided us with a wonderful article called "The American Car Salesman". In it he talked about the characteristics of those who make their living by proving themselves every single day. And for us in the business for some time, it touched us and gave us pride for the independent spirit of those of us who have never drawn a paycheck just for showing up. But no wistfulness here; I think this spirit still lives today.
The Internet revolution, being followed by the Digital and Social Media revolutions is changing the way we do business just as surely as the railroads, settlers, and ranchers changed the old West. Change is here. But it is not the death of the independent spirit here in America. Those qualities will just manifest in otherways and other places.
Today, I hear the debates and passionate exchanges of those who are blazing the way. They are betting their livelihoods and reputations on being right. They are in the trenches and dealing with reality day after day.
The resisters are living wistfully in the past and no longer have the adventurist spirit. They keep asking why.... instead of connecting with their customers.
Yet I see individual salespeople experimenting and trying new things to step ahead of the competition and EARN their way. They are using new technologies and new ways of relating to their customers and guess what... they are still one of the few in America who make their living by proving themselves every single day.
Death of a Car Salesman? I think not. It may be the end of a certain type of selling, thank God, but that spirit of self-reliance, resilience, and independence lives on.