Sales Robots of the Future – Would or Will You Buy a Car From a Human-Like Salesbot?

For those of us with sales management experience, we realize that it takes a long time to train sales people. Yes, some have a knack for it intuitively, but not completely. Still, what if you could train a robot or AI (Artificial Intelligent) software one-time, and duplicate it 100,000 times? Well then, you wouldn’t need any sales people, especially if the new high-tech emotional robots were on the scene, developing a personal connection with the client or customer? Does this sound far-fetched to you? Well, let’s talk, because maybe I can change your mind today.

There is an interesting paper written by Julienne Aleta Greer titled; “Building Emotional Authenticity between Humans and Robots,” from the University of Texas at Arlington. The paper explains how uniting the fields of Social Robots and Human Actors will yield and identify clues as to how to quantify social intelligence, which when programmed into a human-like robot will help us enter the age of social robotics where we will feel like they are like us, allowing us to work together accomplishing tasks. How robots can improve our moods and emotions, thus making us happy.

In the conclusion of the paper cited above it notes; “Performance, connection, and authenticity are the gold standard that should be hoped for in the creation of the relationship between humans and robots. We can attain these goals through the specific application of understanding human behavior, gesture, shape and relationships. We must be specific in programming robots to respond to, and to eventually to learn from, the human relationships they will be a part of.”

In considering all this, I have been thinking on all the potential applications where actual human interface could be replaced by a robot. For instance, the operator at a Drive-Through Window at a Fast Food Restaurant, an Airline Ticket Agent, a Greeter at Wal-Mart, a Personal Psychologist, a Robotic Friend, a Teacher, In-Home Care Nurses, etc. How about replacing a car salesperson at the BMW Dealership?

In this case the robot or computer system is an add-on brain, helping the customer think their way into a purchase during the sales process. Scary in a way, and yet, doesn’t it make sense? Sales people who work commission make a lot of money, often the highest paid people in an organization besides the top brass. Eliminating that cost and increasing sales is a sure winner for the CFO bean-counting corporation of tomorrow, but I ask that you consider this in advance, right now today. Think on It.