Seth Godin decides that when a business becomes a commodity you can either struggle or re-invent. He misses a third option. You can compete. Fight for share. Thrive. And use the commodity business to generate the cash flow necessary to innovate new products, services and markets. The event that caused His Godiness to kvetch this little bromide was the appearance of a real honest to God door-to-door salesman at his Irvington offices. This is Seth's rendition of the encounter...
A door to door salesman just walked into our offices in Irvington.
A job usually reserved for people selling advertising or janitorial services.
This was an assistant Vice President at Citibank. He's wandering the halls, door by door, trying to sell business checking accounts.
Clearly, all that marble, all those tellers and all that advertising is not enough to meet aggressive growth targets.
Once your business becomes a commodity, you can struggle or you can re-invent. I consider door-to-door selling to be struggling.
First off, Seth could be right. Maybe they are struggling. And this guy is simply humping to meet a quota. Or, maybe this guy has figured out that none of his competitors are going door-to-door. And in this day and age a firm hand shake and real personal contact can be a competitive differentiator. Maybe he is re-inventing. After all it got His Godiness to talk about it.
11.18.05 UPDATE 2: Rick Cooper the PDA Pro has issues with His Sethness' issues on selling door-to-door...
11.18.05 UPDATE 3: The Plan Resonate folks ask "Why is it so fashionable to openly hate on salespeople?"
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