Finally, someone who understands the old guys.
In a very funny column, Forbes contributor Gene Marks come to the defence of the old salesman. He won’t use the technology, he forgets to follow process, he keeps a ton of valuable customer information in his when it should be in a CRM system. But he knows everybody in the industry. And he sells. Lots.
My favourite of his Five Tech Tactics to Help Manage Your Old Salesguy:
Hire a high school kid. If the salesguy’s not documenting what he’s supposed to in the CRM system, give him a voice mail number to call. After a sales call, he leaves a message with the details. Once or twice a week, the high school kid checks the voice mail, enters the data, et, voila.
I appreciate that Marks preaches that the skills of older workers should be accommodated by the technology, not the other way around, because of the value of their knowledge and the depth of their skills. His stage-setting description of the old-school sales guy is hilarious (Favourite line: “He’s been married 35 years and nobody’s met his wife”), all though it does drift into stereotype. As a worker of a certain age, I resent the assumption that we’ve all fading eyes, arthritic fingers and bad memories.
Now, where’d I leave my glasses?