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can an AI robot become a salesperson

sushi

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More importantly, can an AI robot sell better than a human or outperform him?

according to sources, most human jobs be will be automated and replaced, so i am guessing how well a robot ai could perform as a salesperson.

there are sales techniques and psychology in selling that a robot cannot get, and most sales and advertising get rejected and ignored by human. So how can a robot perform better than his human counterpart.

The robot advantage is that they get less demotivated by rejections, and continue sending offers and spamming advertising to different people.

but what counts in the end is the success rate and increasing customer revenue.
 

Cognisant

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Salesmanship isn't about making the sale, it's about making them come to you.

From an effort-in/effort-out efficiency perspective unattended roadside produce stands and online stores are unbeatable as they present the absolute minimal overhead and in retail the staffing is always your largest overhead. So in theory there shouldn't be any retail stores anywhere because if people are rational actors they will always seek to get the most they can for the least cost.

In reality people generally spend most of their money in physical stores, those stores may have websites with the same stock at the same price but the physical stores still exist and those stores are staffed by salespeople, why is that?

Simply put, retail is a service.

Part of the service is convenience and logistical efficiency, purchasing bulky items like toilet paper directly from the manufacturer would actually be more expensive by direct delivery than it is in a store and I'll let you in on a retail secret, items like toilet paper are often sold at a 0% profit margin.

They do this to get you into the store, everybody needs to shit and people generally buy their shit-paper from wherever is closest so by having this 0% margin stock in your store you're practically guaranteed to have visitors. You can then bombard these visitors with in-store marketing and your sales assistants can provide assistance. But not to simply make sales (indeed that's arguably a sales assistant's least important role) but rather to engage with, consult with, inform and generally socialize with your customers.

The point being that a happy customer is a returning customer and that's how you build the business, not by making sales but rather by getting more people through the door and as the number of people visiting your store increases the number of sales you make will naturally increase.

For the most part stuff sells itself, it helps to have the stock on the shelves and neatly arranged because how you treat your stock affects people's perception of its value. That's how a sales assistant makes most of their sales, be it a grocery store or a luxury car dealership the majority of a salesperson's time is spent making the stock look good and that everything around it is clean and tidy.

Which is not to say that salespeople don't sell, engaging with the customer is the salesperson's second most time consuming task but note that I'm not calling this "selling", engaging with customers is not about making sales. I can convince you to buy something or pressure you into it but in the first place you were either already going to buy it and you just wanted someone to talk to, or you weren't and I just talked (or pressured) you into spending money you didn't want to.

Salesmanship is not about pressuring people into buying stuff or tricking them (the dark arts of sales) because those are short term tactics, yes they make sales but those people you pressured and tricked are not going to feel good about having visited your store and unhappy customers are not returning customers. Over time these short term tactics will result in fewer visitors and those that do visit don't trust the sales assistants, they don't want to talk they just want to get specifically what they came for, nothing else, and leave as soon as possible.

A great salesperson builds a rapport with your visitors and earns their trust thereby turning them into customers who will continue coming back time and again because they know your store as a happy place. Quite often people will visit retail stores looking for advice, they want to put up some shelves and don't know what kind of fasteners to use or they want to set up a home office and don't know how to connect their laptop to their printer or they have some other esoteric problem, or they're just unhappy and want someone to talk to.

When people are lonely or upset or bored they want to go to their happy place and they'll come up with excuses to justify the trip, oh no I don't have any spare batteries for the TV remote I'd better drop by the local store and get some.

Or they have money to burn, I've helped small business owners fill trolleys with office equipment because they want enough "work expenses" to claim the full amount on their tax return, heck I had one guy try to buy over a hundred laptops because he didn't trust the manufacturer to deliver the goods intact and on time, but he trusted us because we had treated him well in the past.

Make an AI salesman that can earn people's trust and the world is yours.
 

BurnedOut

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Robots can

1. Lowball you in a much more awesome manner than you think
2. Carry out their salemanship with more 'veracity'
3. Easily play on the psychology of the consumer

First case:
Imagine building in an algorithm that monitors realtime prices of a similar product and then provides you with all the information and then offer a discount on that product by instantly shorting all its opponents. This is called 'price matching' however by the time the consumer buys something, it may be too late for the salesman and the consumer to have the consumer understand that they could not 'match price' because of time delay and lack of information.

Second case:
What if an AI categorically lists all the stats of a product and also compare them with their competitors on the spot? You'd be forced to think that you are making a right choice because the lack of sugarcoating and available of (seemingly) true information will influence your decision much more powerfully. Also, imagine that this sales AI is also able to custom tailor suggestions of the same product to each customer by simply providing useful data. Truth is a much powerful motivator than lies when its possibility of being sought is higher than lies.



ll
 

sushi

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i see the future as AI being a sales helper or assistant

but as being the replacement salesman and marketing, i doubt it will work, at least in short term future

it requires mind reading the customer and guessing what he wants, alot of human manipulation, empathy etc. the most ai can do is efficiently spamming adveritisements and harassing you in a way a human will find tiring.

as to cog's post, when it involves money, people will immediately be skeptical.
 

Cognisant

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Of course they are, you wouldn't believe the number of times someone thought I was up-selling them when I tried to steer them away from inkjet printers to a laser printer or asked them how often they print, told them their inkjet toners will dry out in six months, did the math for them and told them it would be cheaper to get their printing done in-store and the photo print quality will be better too.

Usually they would buy the inkjet anyway and that would usually be the end of it, maybe their ink ran out, maybe they used in-store printing, maybe they never needed to do printing again, but sometimes they came back and sometimes they came back and asked for me by name. Or "can I see the guy with the goatee?"

And from then on I owned their soul.
 

ZenRaiden

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Absolutely and definitely yes.
I can say with absolute certainty there are at least several people on this site with enough coding skills capable of making a salesperson AI.

How do I know that?

Simply, because I have been in situations where sales people were trying to make me buy stuff.

Most of the things they do are by the book in form of script and manual.

They use literal algorithms. Pretty sure most people who worked in call centers can tell you how those work.

The reason they use people so far for sales is that they can respond to unexpected situations where the script cannot help.

However most salespeople fail to sell much once unable to go back to their script routine.

Unless you are making high end sales of superb luxury items or selling shady stuff your common sales pitch script telling people the shape of razor or over phone is enough to sell stuff.

Most sales tactics are well functional and most of the sales people are actually terrible at keeping with the routine and script rather than the other way around.

AI would not only adhere to script, but could actually compute and use variety of variables in the algorithms on command at speed of light easily outperforming your typical sales person who usually lack enthusiasm and charisma and usually personality as well.

The main reasons for not using AI is simply, because people think it won't work and the AI people are busy inventing skynet instead of simply applying the already useful knowledge.
 

sushi

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those are some good answers

i am curious how to sales process of an AI works to a human, how it begins , middle and end.

I think its still about human psychology and manipulation.
 

Cognisant

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sushi

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that would be hell, i could see neuromarketing becoming a thing in future.
 

sushi

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I think the future of advertising would be give you a free product, let you use it for a year , and then let you decide whether to pay for it or not. Like a free trial

even the robot in the comic book is a major fuckup in selling stuff
 

Cognisant

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Currently it's all about subscription services but that's just customer loyalty made measurable, the reality is and always has been (and always will be) that it's not about the sales you make today, it's about the people who come back tomorrow.

She'll be back.
 
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