Death of Salesman

Singapore, 8th October 2013

I have never really envied those sales people, certainly not in today’s cut-throat LED environment. If you are not investing heavily in innovation right now and don’t have a clear LED message for the sales people on the road they are as good as dead in the water. I mentioned before that these days we get at times 3-4 sales people a day (!) popping into our office with update, samples or other information, either requested or volunteered. They know we have an open door policy as this is the only way to keep up to speed. But at the same time they also quickly learn that if they are not up to par the door closes…Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” springs to mind…

A few days ago I met with one of my local suppliers who I have known for years. Originally in lighting retail, she confessed to me that life has become so tough and that the efforts she and her team had put in to develop a quality range of LED fittings had really taken a heavy toll out of her both physically as well as financially! While in the older days it was more a matter of doing some re-tooling to upgrade the light fittings, it has now grown into full blown new tooling, new moulding. Manufacturers have come to the conclusion that to be in this (LED) game you have to start from ground zero! This is also why there are so many new upstarts in LED as the playing field has been more or less levelled!

At the same time the salesmen on the road are sometimes sent to their “death” with incomplete information, under developed products and a missing back up sales infra-structure. It is not surprising therefore that some of them, like my local supplier also confided that she was switching fully to project support and supply and no longer was doing retail sales. Working closely with specifiers like us gives her more involvement and participation in developing lighting solutions, with the sales in the end coming through in a far more controlled and qualitative way…survival of the fittest… 🙂

Light Watch 4-173: Death of Salesman has been played over and over again over the years, one of those classics…

09. October 2013 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light watch, lighting and the economy, lighting applications, lighting design practice, lighting of the future | 1 comment

One Comment

  1. Dear Martin,
    what a true word!
    How many % of salesmen coming into your open door never apear again? Any idea?
    keep on posting and looking forward to meet you in Kopenhagen.

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