Death of a Salesperson; Could AI be the Ultimate Killer?

Apr 3, 2023

Death of a Salesman is an acclaimed play from 1949 turned movie in the 1960s. It was a story about a traveling salesman who could no longer take the pressures of being away from his family and feeling the pressure of constantly selling to live.

Today salespeople have different pressures; The most significant pressure is the depersonalization that has occurred with the loss of personal face-to-face visits with clients and now the loss of phone calls in favor of emails and text messages. The ability to create a long-term client based upon the long active service of that client is becoming a distant memory.

Even if you successfully landed a long-term client, whatever relationship you have built is only as good as the person on the client side that remains there. With a workforce staying less than five years at a job, your ability to keep long-term clients becomes almost impossible.

Corporate America does not have the same opinion of salespeople either. Teams have replaced the days of one individual representing themselves to clients.

Now the possible final nail in the coffin of salespeople has arrived AI. AI salespeople are a reality, and there is no turning back. With the ability to cold call, answer questions, negotiate prices, and even consult with clients quicker than any human can, it has become the preferred solution of many companies.

The problem is that AI does not have the intuition humans have when dealing with clients. They cannot adapt to special requests, and they cannot create personal relationships with clients.

So as technology advances, AI salespeople are here to stay, leaving human salespeople in their wake. It may be difficult for companies and corporations to give up on having someone honest to talk to when discussing business; however, as AI continues to improve in this field, it may be the only option available. The days of a human salesperson being able to represent and service a client are slowly ending.

It could be argued that AI salespeople will also reduce costs and increase profits; however, at what cost? And is this really what everyone wants? The days of having a personal relationship with someone on the other end of that phone call are slowly slipping away. It is yet to be seen whether this will ultimately benefit clients and companies or create another unseen void in an ever-changing digital world. Only time will tell.

Written by: Hans Hansson

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Hans Hansson is the President of Starboard Commercial Real Estate. Hans has been an active broker for over 35 years in the San Francisco Bay Area and specializes in office leasing and investments. If you have any questions or comments please email [email protected] or call him at (415) 765-6897. You may also check out his website,