The Dawn of the Machine.

The following is not a review or modern adaptation of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman.

For a start, the title is slightly different, and unlike the play, this article has a happy ending, no pun intended.

By this time, the majority of us have been bombarded with articles and blogs about Artificial Intelligence, from positive insights on how the forthcoming of AI will elevate the world to ominous prophecies about how it will annihilate humanity and of course, steal your job.

I am not technologically savvy, but I have been around long enough with a semi-intact memory to know and remember a thing or two about technological breakthroughs and trends. After all, I was the first generation to own a Sony Walkman, and I am the proud owner of Amazon Alexa today.

I do agree that the rise of Artificial Intelligence will replace specific jobs. However, I can only speak about the vocation of Real Estate sales. I have thought about the subject but did not put much reflection into it until a friend and colleague propelled me to read and ponder more about the matter.

My fellow combatant has been driving me insane with his concerns about the demise of the salesman on the hands of C-3PO. He has been talking about that with fiery conviction and how he must reinvent himself away from sales. I have been a supporter of the doctrine that purchasing decisions are driven by emotions, while others believe it is rational, or a combination of both.

A topic that is much too complex to cover in one sentence, however for the sake of our discussion, let us assume that the purchasing decision is a web of emotional and rational elements. According to Professor Michael J. Seiler, who specializes in the behavioral real estate at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, we readily become invested psychologically in a property before we’ve reached a rational decision.

I have been fortunate to partake in numerous Real Estate transactions over the years. Whether a couple is buying their first home to start their young family or a family looking for a bigger house to accommodate their kids or an investor looking for a property, the emotions were rampant.

According to the study by SMITH (an experiential commerce agency), there are up to 8 different emotional mindsets that influence how consumers make decisions. I have selected the ones that I have experienced over three decades of sales. Needs Validation, Decision Anxiety, I’m Special, Know-It-All, and I can think of many more to add to the mix. If we are to simplify the purchasing transaction, we are then looking at an undertaking of two major elements — the first is the parting way with a large some of the money or taking on a sizeable monitory commitment and the second is a cocktail of emotions.

Artificial Intelligence will not replace the human element as long as the purchasers remain human, and humans like to do business with other humans. So, how do salespeople immune themselves from being replaced by a website, a virtual agent, VoicebotsChatbots, or the new generation of ASIMO? There plenty of useful advice on the subject, from shifting your mindset to using technology to maximize efficiency. In my view, the immunity lies in what distinguishes us from the most advanced Artificial Intelligence in the world, and that is our humanity. But that is only half the immunization. It is vital to exercise our human traits such as empathy, trustworthiness, and the ability to relate to customers and prospects on a personal level, and these are the essences of salesmanship.

“We’ll see the rise of the professional salesperson — automation powered by AI will require it. The majority of salespeople will be efficient, so the most effective will win out, and the rest will be replaced by technology. This means we’ll also see a rise in the need for excellent sales training around conversational abilities and navigating complex sales effectively.” Rex Bibertson, principal, LLC

“There are so many think pieces about how AI will replace salespeople, but I think it will simply thin the herd. The future isn’t “death of a salesman,” it’s “death of a lazy salesman.” The best salespeople will embrace it and automate their lives to spend more time closing.” Chris Fago, cloud security specialist, RedLock

For more information on consumer physiology: ;

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