Chapter Continuing Case Overview of Personal Selling Introduction The National C

Chapter Continuing Case Overview of Personal Selling
Introduction
The National Copier Company (NCC) sells a variety of copiers to small and medium-sized businesses. NCC has been in business for five years and has been growing at a steady pace. NCC differentiates itself from other copier companies by customizing its products to meet the specific needs of each customer and by providing excellent customer service. The company’s salesforce plays a key role in creating value and managing customer relationships.
Brenda Smith has been a NCC salesperson for the past three years. She has steadily improved her sales performance during her time with NCC, and now is in the top one-fourth of all NCC sales representatives as measured by two key metrics: overall sales volume and customer satisfaction. Brenda has been especially successful with small professional firms, such as attorneys, architects, accountants, and medical professionals. She is excited to begin her fourth year with NCC and has established challenging goals to increase sales from existing customers and to generate new customers.
Brenda recently met with Pat Brady, her sales manager and was quite excited about the upcoming year. Pat had told Brenda that she was progressing toward a possible promotion into sales training if she had another good year in her sales position. In addition, Pat gave Brenda this feedback: “Brenda, I think you are doing a fine job with your customers, but I would like to see you become more of a consultative salesperson in the coming year. I would also like for you to sharpen your group communications skills, as that will be important if you are promoted into sales training. We will talk about the specifics more as the year goes along. Meanwhile, thanks for your results to date and good luck with the upcoming year.”
Questions
Brenda had been thinking about Pat Brady’s feedback that directed her to become more of a consultative salesperson. In thinking about her own selling approaches, she knew that she had been concentrating on the needs satisfaction and problem-solving approaches. What must Brenda do to become a more consultative salesperson?
Three months later, Brenda was having mixed results with the consultative selling approach. She was finding that some of her customers just wanted the convenience of having a copier in their offices, and did not seem eager to discuss their strategic goals. She was beginning to wonder about the consultative selling model, thinking it was not such a good idea after all. What recommendations do you have for Brenda?
A month before the annual meeting for all NCC sales representatives, Pat Brady told Brenda, “For the upcoming meeting, I want you to prepare a 10 minute presentation about the pros and cons of the basic selling approaches that we use at NCC compared to our competitors.” NCC’s sales training program advocated the use of needs satisfaction, problem solving, and consultative selling. Many of NCC’s key competitors used the same approaches. However some of the toughest competitors used stimulus response and mental states (AIDA) approaches. This latter category of competitors often stressed lower prices and utilized telemarketing instead of field sales representatives in selling their products. Put yourself in Brenda’s role and prepare the presentation requested by Pat Brady.
Early in the year, Pat Brady told Brenda that her efforts were needed to gain more exposure for NCC’s college recruiting program: “Brenda, I want you to be part of a two-person team to help with recruiting on two college campuses in your territory. The other team member will be an experienced recruiter who had sales experience before moving into recruiting. The two of you should seek out opportunities as guest speakers for classes and student organizations. Your role will be to talk about how sales can be a great place to start a career, and for some, a great career path. Think about the future of selling and what it takes to be successful and share your thoughts with students.” Acting as Brenda, make note of ten key points you would like to make about the future of professional selling and what it takes to be successful.

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