The way we buy products and services has changed beyond recognition with the advent of the Internet.

We have unrestricted access to price comparing websites or plethora of reviews written by other users, and this is but a fraction of benefits that e-commerce gave us.

In an era when we can configure and order a new car online do we still need the expert knowledge of salespeople?

Check out: Selling in the Post-Internet Age





  • brochureware – a brochureware website is a business website that has very infrequently updated content
  • formidable – causing fear, apprehension, or dread
  • instantaneously – occurring, done, or completed in an instant, very quickly
  • rapport – relation; connection, especially harmonious or sympathetic relation
  • acumen – keen insight; shrewdness
  • ironclad – unbreakable
  • harness – to bring under conditions for effective use; gain control over for a particular end
  • quaint – strange, peculiar, or unusual


Think about it

Based on the text answer the following questions. Leave your answers in the comments below!

  • Historically, what was the role of a vendor?
  • Why do buyers no longer require sellers to provide them with information?
  • What trend is driving prices downward? Why?
  • What is the “Tyranny of Choice” and what is a salesperson’s role in its context?
  • What similarities does the author indicate regarding airline and computer industries?


Practice makes perfect

In the sentences below replace the phrases in bold with the expressions from the original text. Leave your answers in the comments below!

  • Since that transformation is has almost happened, this is a good time to examine how it has modified the way companies buy and sell.
  • Historically, buyers trusted vendors to give product information and expertise, usually in the form of product/benefit presentation that offered the knowledge the buyer needed in order to make a well-informed decision.
  • This is why buyers do not want sellers to waste their time providing information that’s easily accessible in a different place.
  • Quite recently, many business experts believed that the Internet would make sales reps a thing of the past [. . .]
  • The web also requires the sellers to have a higher level of technological skill as well.


Fill in the blank spaces with the missing words.

  • ______ the past 20 years we’ve seen ______ Internet move from dial-up connections and brochure-ware ______ broadband and social networking. Since that transformation is now largely complete, this is ______ good time to examine how it ______ changed the way companies buy and sell.
  • However, while travel agents are ______ longer responsible ______ selling the millions of domestic airline tickets, travel agents still exist, ______ they provide more complex services (______ luxury travel) that assume that airline tickets ______ commodities.
  • ______ the past, selling was seen largely ______ an “art” consisting primarily ______ interpersonal skills, often rooted ______ social psychology ______ as rapport building along with procedural knowledge, such ______ how to configure ______ deal or write up an order


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