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大学体验英语第四册Unit5-Passage B

时间:2007-01-17 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:belle0920   字体: [ ]

Shaking Hands On the Web
Jack1 Welch said something the other day that brought me up short: "Human relationships are declining in the selling game." It jarred me because I'd been wondering whether maybe the exact opposite was true: In the Internet Age, as products become commoditized and buyers compare prices and features continually, maybe human relationships would become one of the few differentiators that could command significant margins2. It isn't happening, says General Electric's CEO. But whatever is happening, it goes to the heart of how we'll all do business in our revolutionized economy.
 Let's admit first that "relationship" is one of the most abused words in business. Dot-com CEOs like to say, "We have relationships with two million customers," but that's usually a lie. It means two million customers have placed at least one order. How many never come back and never will? It's fashionable now for virtually anyone who sells anything to say he has a relationship with the buyer. But that isn't for the seller to say; only the buyer's opinion counts when it comes to judging this connection. 

 Welch knows personal sales relationships aren't disappearing. In selling expensive, mission-critical products like power turbines and aircraft engines, those bonds always matter. But what's amazing is how deeply the Net - in less than 2,000 days of existence as a business tool - has pushed into the realm of big-ticket sales that previously3 would have demanded heavy personal flogging. Example: Radiologists who own GE's CT scanners and MRI machines can go to the Net and try out new GE software that improves the machines' efficiency on spinal4 exams; if the doctors like it, they can buy it for $65,000, as 65% of them do. Three years ago only a few visionaries imagined that someone would buy a $65,000 product without seeing or even speaking to a salesperson5. You can understand why Welch says, "The old belly6-to-belly selling is less and less effective." 

 It is for sure, yet some companies are emphasizing it more than ever. For example, most of the big, incumbent7 retail8 brokerages face a common problem: Online brokers9 are stealing the industry's old source of profits, trading commissions, by cutting them almost to zero. So incumbent brokers figure the only way to make money now is to cultivate relationships, leading customers to like and trust them enough to buy high-margin products and services like front-end-load mutual10 funds and financial planning advice. That's one reason brokers are all calling themselves something else, like financial advisors11, and trying harder than ever to get belly to belly with you.  

?They're assuming, as are many business people, that the Net is destined12 to be a death pit of merciless price competition. Yet it needn't be, as the Amazon paradox13 shows. I travel a lot and talk with all kinds of people, and I'm struck by how many of them speak passionately14 about their retail experience with Amazon.com. It's about the only retail experience they seem to love - and of course it involves no human beings. If we accept that human relationships are invariably the most rewarding parts of our lives, how can people get so cranked up about an experience in which they don't see, touch, or hear another soul?  

 The answer is that Amazon creates a more human relationship than most people realize. Customers love Amazon not because it offers the lowest prices - it doesn't - but because the experience has been crafted so carefully that most of us actually enjoy it. That is not primarily a technological15 achievement. It results from many people at headquarters obsessing16 over what customers want in a fundamentally new kind of relationship, the online experience. No matter what becomes of Amazon, it has taught us something new. 

 I've asked the most prominent chiefs in the shrinking club of Net firms still standing17 - Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Jerry Yang of Yahoo - my favorite question for business people everywhere: What is the source of your competitive advantage? None of these three said anything about technology. They all said essentially18 the same thing: creating a customer experience is superior to anything my competitors can create. 

? We're seeing the outlines of how the Net revolution is transforming selling. Some million-dollar products will still be sold person to person. Other products, like many bought from Wal-Mart and other big retailers19, will get reordered automatically without any human interaction. And millions of others between these extremes will shift toward the Net, where human buyers will make choices based on a new kind of interaction. It will be fascinating to watch. In this way as in many others, the Net puts everything out in the open. We'll soon see who has relationships with their customers and who doesn't.


1 jack 53Hxp     
  • I am looking for the headphone jack.我正在找寻头戴式耳机插孔。
  • He lifted the car with a jack to change the flat tyre.他用千斤顶把车顶起来换下瘪轮胎。
2 margins 18cef75be8bf936fbf6be827537c8585     
边( margin的名词复数 ); 利润; 页边空白; 差数
  • They have always had to make do with relatively small profit margins. 他们不得不经常设法应付较少的利润额。
  • To create more space between the navigation items, add left and right margins to the links. 在每个项目间留更多的空隙,加左或者右的margins来定义链接。
3 previously bkzzzC     
  • The bicycle tyre blew out at a previously damaged point.自行车胎在以前损坏过的地方又爆开了。
  • Let me digress for a moment and explain what had happened previously.让我岔开一会儿,解释原先发生了什么。
4 spinal KFczS     
  • After three days in Japan,the spinal column becomes extraordinarily flexible.在日本三天,就已经使脊椎骨变得富有弹性了。
  • Your spinal column is made up of 24 movable vertebrae.你的脊柱由24个活动的脊椎骨构成。
5 salesperson 7Yoxa     
  • A salesperson works in a shop.售货员在商店工作。
  • Vanessa is a salesperson in a woman's wear department.凡妮莎是女装部的售货员。
6 belly QyKzLi     
  • The boss has a large belly.老板大腹便便。
  • His eyes are bigger than his belly.他眼馋肚饱。
7 incumbent wbmzy     
  • He defeated the incumbent governor by a large plurality.他以压倒多数票击败了现任州长。
  • It is incumbent upon you to warn them.你有责任警告他们。
8 retail VWoxC     
  • In this shop they retail tobacco and sweets.这家铺子零售香烟和糖果。
  • These shoes retail at 10 yuan a pair.这些鞋子零卖10元一双。
9 brokers 75d889d756f7fbea24ad402e01a65b20     
n.(股票、外币等)经纪人( broker的名词复数 );中间人;代理商;(订合同的)中人v.做掮客(或中人等)( broker的第三人称单数 );作为权力经纪人进行谈判;以中间人等身份安排…
  • The firm in question was Alsbery & Co., whiskey brokers. 那家公司叫阿尔斯伯里公司,经销威士忌。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
  • From time to time a telephone would ring in the brokers' offices. 那两排经纪人房间里不时响着叮令的电话。 来自子夜部分
10 mutual eFOxC     
  • We must pull together for mutual interest.我们必须为相互的利益而通力合作。
  • Mutual interests tied us together.相互的利害关系把我们联系在一起。
11 advisors 9c02a9c1778f1533c47ade215559070d     
n.顾问,劝告者( advisor的名词复数 );(指导大学新生学科问题等的)指导教授
  • The governors felt that they were being strung along by their advisors. 地方长官感到他们一直在受顾问们的愚弄。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • We will consult together with advisors about her education. 我们将一起和专家商议她的教育事宜。 来自互联网
12 destined Dunznz     
  • It was destined that they would marry.他们结婚是缘分。
  • The shipment is destined for America.这批货物将运往美国。
13 paradox pAxys     
  • The story contains many levels of paradox.这个故事存在多重悖论。
  • The paradox is that Japan does need serious education reform.矛盾的地方是日本确实需要教育改革。
14 passionately YmDzQ4     
  • She could hate as passionately as she could love. 她能恨得咬牙切齿,也能爱得一往情深。
  • He was passionately addicted to pop music. 他酷爱流行音乐。
15 technological gqiwY     
  • A successful company must keep up with the pace of technological change.一家成功的公司必须得跟上技术变革的步伐。
  • Today,the pace of life is increasing with technological advancements.当今, 随着科技进步,生活节奏不断增快。
16 obsessing 1906224f3e65b7ee81295a81562a22bd     
v.时刻困扰( obsess的现在分词 );缠住;使痴迷;使迷恋
  • Why is everyone obsessing over system specs right now? 为啥现在人人都对系统配置情有独钟? 来自互联网
  • A nitpicker, obsessing over dimes, is too stiff to place orders. 一个连一毛钱都舍不得亏的人,因太过拘谨而不能下单。 来自互联网
17 standing 2hCzgo     
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
18 essentially nntxw     
  • Really great men are essentially modest.真正的伟人大都很谦虚。
  • She is an essentially selfish person.她本质上是个自私自利的人。
19 retailers 08ff8df43efeef1abfd3410ef6661c95     
零售商,零售店( retailer的名词复数 )
  • High street retailers reported a marked increase in sales before Christmas. 商业街的零售商报告说圣诞节前销售量显著提高。
  • Retailers have a statutory duty to provide goods suitable for their purpose. 零售商有为他们提供符合要求的货品的法定义务。
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