PROFESSIONAL SELLING MAR 3400
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Shanel Mertz on Thursday September 17, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to MAR 3400 at Florida State University taught by Patrick Pallentino in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 96 views. For similar materials see /class/205382/mar-3400-florida-state-university in Marketing at Florida State University.
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Date Created: 09/17/15
J Altman MAR3400 NOTE All underlined terms are the key terms found at the end of each chapter Chapter 6 Creating Product Solutions Developing a product strategy is the third step in our strategicconsultative sales model which consists of three prescriptions 0 Become a product expert 0 Sell specific benefits 0 Configure valueadded solutions Solutions and solution selling The concept here is that your product embodies a solution to the customer s problem therefore the focus is not on the product perse but on the solution that the product represents It s like the difference between selling features and benefits Let s take the example of Volvo Volvo has been marketed for its safety features So when a customer whose quotproblemquot is finding a safe car let s say the customer just survived a scary accident he or she is buying the benefits of a safer driving experience that the product s features more air bags sturdier construction impact resistant bumpers more reliable braking system deliver It s the end result that matters to the customer the solution that delivers the benefits The customer is not buying air bags feature but benefits safety As a salesperson your job is to translate products into solutions and features into benefits Solution selling is a process in which you and the customer work together to clarify the customer s problem discover t the customer s vision for a solution to the problem then implement a plan that turns that vision into reality Product configuration is a way of providing a customized solution to the customer s problem It is typically implemented in technology settings Dell computers successfully used product configuration when it enabled retail customers to design their own desktop PCs from a variety of features such as different options for memory speed and storage capacity Pricing and place two of the four components of the product mix often come into play Written proposals sum up what was discussed in the sales presentation including the facts and figures allowing decision makers to objectively evaluate your offering Proposals should articulate the solution vision that you and the customer have hashed out Sometimes written proposals must follow a specific format laid out by the customer Regardless the quality of your proposal which boils down to how well you can write will be judged against the competition s proposal Product development Salespeople should be aware of how their product was developed and if need be the history of that development Such knowledge shows the customer that your company is 39 39 to 39 39 and 39 39 r Quality control is one quantifiable aspect of the quality improvement process Quantifying the solution for example by providing a costbenefit analysis creates value in the customer s mind by showing how much money they can save or make how much better performance they can achieve and so forth Numbers can be a powerful tool when selling benefits J Altman MAR3400 Organizational culture is the shared values assumptions and beliefs of members of the organization and a huge influence on the sales team s customerorientation How you sell relates directly to the values held by your organization Features and Benefits as stated earlier are two different things Features are the accumulation of data that characterizes your product the facts specifications and characteristics Benefits are the positive outcome delivered by your product or service that is the thing that gives the customer a feeling of gain or personal advantage Benefits tie directly to explicit needs expressed by the customer a solution is not perceived to be a benefit if a need has not been uncovered or stated When selling benefits salespeople use bridge statements that connect the product s features to the benefits that can accrue An example of a bridge statement would be something like this llThe Volvo 580 comes with six airbags and the most advanced braking technology which means that your kids are much more likely to survive a severe accidentquot The bridge statement helps you translate the feature into a benefit Chapter 7 ProductSelling Strategies That Add Value Positioning is part of a marketing strategy designed to create a certain perception of a product in the minds of customers Positioning is about getting inside your customer s head Differentiation is the ability to separate your product from the competition in order to create a competitive advantage A value proposition is the set of benefits and values that you promise to deliver to your customers It could relate to any of the four product mix components product price place promotion or a combination In my opinion the terms llvalue proposition and quotbenefitsquot are synonymous And like benefits VPs are often quantified The product life cycle describes the stages that a product goes through from birth to death When developing a productselling strategy it s important to understand where your product is in the life cycle IBM decided back in 2003 that PCs were at the end of their life cycle in terms of generating high profit margins So IBM sold their PC unit to Lenovo CocaCola has a mature product well over a hundred years old so their marketing team is continuously challenged with keeping the brand relevant Several factors determine where a product is along its life cycle the product s perceived advantages its value r r pricing r 39 changing demographics and changes in technology including manufacturing capabilities Selling strategies will differ depending on whether the product is new and emerging or mature and wellestablished New products may sell on the basis of innovation and creative features that deliver new benefits while mature products might rely on branding and customer service A relationship strategy plays a more prominent role in selling mature products Whether a customer s buying decision is based on quality or price can only be discovered during the needs identification process Pricing can be manipulated in a number of ways from offering special discounts to tradein allowances to favorable financing plans J Altman MAR3400 The Total Product Concept describes the many levels of valueadded benefits associated with a product You should know the four dimensions of a product generic expected valueadded and potential The generic product is basically a function of its category If you re selling a Volvo to a customer who s just looking for something to drive a Volvo is just a car If the customer has some minimal expectations of what a Volvo should deliver then the car is also sturdily built safe and reliable For the customer looking for some added value the Volvo sale may come with a 100000 mile warranty and free oil changes As for the potential product early adopters of new technology may flock to the Volvo if a hybrid or a model that ran on LNG liquefied natural gas were introduced Know what your product is capable of and you can apply this analogy anywhere Chapter 8 The Buying Process and Buyer Behavior We know that the customer not the product is the driving force in sales which means that in order to understand how to sell you first must understand how buyers make decisions that is understand their needs and motives This is what is meant by a customer strategy a plan that seeks to maximize the likelihood that customers will buy and continue to buy from you A customer strategy is the fourth step in the strategicconsultative selling model consisting of the following three steps 0 Understand the Buying Process 0 Understand Buyer Behavior 0 Develop a Prospect Base In this chapter the first two steps are covered The third developing a prospect base is addressed in Chapter 9 When focusing on understanding the buying process especially in 323 selling it s important to understand how your customers make their buying decisions Does the individual you re dealing with have sole decisionmaking authority or is the decision made by a committee It s also important to recognize the differences between business and consumer buying Business buyer behavior refers to buying for organizational purposes often made to certain technical specifications in which the decision process may be lengthy but always for seemingly rational reasons Business buying decisions are often made by a buying center which is a crossfunctional unit made up of several departments within an organization Consumer buying refers to purchases often routine for personal use or consumption where decisions are made by individuals sometimes on impulse and frequently based on emotion personal recommendations or brand awareness The chapter discusses three types of business buying situations A new task buy is a firsttime purchase of a product or service sometimes involving an extensive period of information gathering the involvement ofa buying 39 and heavy 39 39 selling 39 I quot U on the product s size and complexity A straight rebuy is a routine purchase done in a 323 context janitorial and office supplies J Altman MAR3400 printer cartridges and commodities for example Salespeople should not take these purchases for granted but must continuously monitor their customers satisfaction levels to guard against poaching by a competitor A modified rebuy is the result ofa customer continuing the buying relationship but forcing its supplier to change the terms of pricing andor delivery Systems selling refers to selling packaged solutions that may result from forming strategic alliances with other companies that offer complementary products or services The book gives as an example the solutions offered by the former FedEx Kinko s now FedEx Office in providing onestop customized document and imaging services There are three types of consumer buying situations Habitual buying decisions require very little customer involvement that is very little time deciding what to buy Items that fall into this category include lowcost items for personal consumption found at Publix or CVS Varietyseeking buying decisions are also characterized by low customer involvement but may also involve brand switching in response to advertising coupons sales or other shortterm incentives Dissatisfaction is rarely a motive The third complex buying decisions is characterized by a high degree of buyer involvement because the product itself is expensive and more complex Examples would be buying a house car boat or home entertainment system You should be familiar with the buying process model as pictured in this chapter Understand the steps in the typical buying process from needs awareness to implementation You should also understand the four steps in the consultative sales process needs discovery product selection need satisfaction and service Understand that in the transactional buying process there is no need for consultative selling skills because the buyer already has the information needed to make a decision On the other hand the consultative buying process requires a sales approach that helps buyers develop needs awareness evaluate possible solutions and add value to the customer s buying experience Buyer Resolution Theory and Maslow s Hierarchy of Needs are crucial tools for understanding buyer behavior Buyer Resolution Theory rests on a model that describes five buyer behaviors also known as the 5W s Model as collectively constituting the rationale for making a buying decision when asking the following questions Why should I buy What should I buy Where should I buy What is a fair price When should I buy According to the theory a prospect will only buy when all five of these questions have been answered An unanswered question constitutes an objection The problem or limitation with the 5W s Theory is that it s impossible to predict which of the five may be most difficult for the prospect On the other hand knowing what prospects are thinking by knowing their answers to the five questions will help the salesperson do a better job becoming better positioned to overcome objections As for Maslow I ve said more than once that you don t have to be a psychologist to be a good consultative salesperson On the other hand it s helpful to understand what makes people tick Maslow s model is based on the idea that people must meet certain needs before others can be meaningfully addressed Hence physiological needs for food clothing and shelter take precedence over safety and security needs Once those needs have been met people begin to focus on meeting social esteem and selfactualization needs which is the territory where consultative salespeople operate J Altman MAR3400 Group influences also influence the buying process These influences are divided into four groups role reference groups social class and culturesubculture Understanding these influences can provide valuable insight into a customer s thinking A demands certain expected social behaviors Everyone plays a role in their personal and professional lives and these roles can influence buying decisions A reference group consists of the categories of people that you see yourself belonging to and with which you habitually compare yourself Members of reference groups tend to influence each other Professional and service groups such as the American Marketing Association or Rotary International are examples Social class influences buying decisions Although the USA does not have a formal rigid class system an informal one nevertheless exists defined by education wealth occupation and income Finally culture can be a powerful influence on buying decisions which presents both challenges and opportunities for marketers as the USA becomes more culturally and ethnically diverse A buying motive is the underlying reason why a customer decides to buy It s an aroused need or desire Four buying motives are discussed emotional rational patronage and product Emotional buying motives often tap into subconscious desires which the buyer may not be able to explain whereas rational buying motives appeal to a buyer s reason or judgment based on objective analysis Common rational buying motives include profit potential quality of service and availability of technical assistance A patronage buying motive is one that causes buyers to buy from one particular business and stems from a strong and loyal relationship with the seller Typical patronage motives are superior service product selection and I of sales r 39 Product buying motives may entail comparison shopping an evaluation ofa product s design and engineering or brand loyalty Chapter 9 Developing and Qualifying a Prospect Base A prospect is a potential customer Prospecting is the act of identifying those potential customers The goal of prospecting is to create a qualified prospect base Prospecting is important to countering the consequences of customer attrition Customers may be lost for several reasons relocation death mergers business failure new buying decision makers or defection to a competitor Joe Girard s Ferris Wheel model is a fairly good illustration of the continuous dynamics of qualifying prospects and losing customers Prospecting should be viewed as a systematic process that taps into several sources Referrals which come as recommendations from satisfied customers or friends are the highest quality sources of new business Other sources of prospecting include telemarketing web sites cold calling networking and social networks such as Facebook Twitter and Linkedln Effective networking can result in many more referrals its importance cannot be overstated Cold calling either by telephone or personal visit is a direct persontoperson attempt to qualify a prospect Qualifying is the process that determines whether a prospect is a good candidate for your product that is whether a prospect has a need Two other factors also come into play when qualifying a prospect determining the authority to buy and the ability to pay
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