Aug 14, 2017

FOREWORD








High performance salespeople view the customer as the center of buying process. This attitude enables them to concentrate on the customer’s needs. By concentrating on the customer needs, the salesperson builds trust that establishes the salespersons’ right to advance.

People believe more what they say than what you say. Therefore, salespeople who give customers the opportunity to be convinced through involvement are most likely to be successful.

All SALESPEOPLE CAN SELL…

But in today’s competitive market, you have to sell better than ever before, not only do you face stiffer and more knowledgeable competitors, but like most professional sales people, you have less and less time to spend with your customers. This is real truth, whatever kinds of sales activity you are involved in.

In a recent sales survey, one company discovered that, its salespeople spent only two and a half hours in a day in front of customers. The balance of their time was involved in travelling, waiting, doing paper work, sitting with computer and other related tasks.

It is evident that, in today’s market place you have to make every minute count, the more skillful you are with your customer, the more sales you will make.

The Result……? More satisfied customers for your company and the more success for you.

Professional selling skill will help you make that sale by giving you the opportunity to learn new skills and improve techniques you are not using. Almost millions salespeople in more than a thousand companies have improved their performance by developing the skills learned in a similar type of sales techniques mentioned below posts. But to make this work, you have to invest time and effort. I am sure that you will find this to be one of the most useful experiences in your professional career.

In every industry the job of the professional salesperson has changed significantly in the past decade. No longer is he a simple seller of products and services, today’s professional is a marketing expert, a prospector, a time manager, an application expert and a consultant. No matter what products or services you services or products you sell, you are a company in the eyes of a customer. Similarly your customer represents his or her company to you.

But most important, both you and your customers can have needs that can be satisfied by a successful sales interaction. In other words, for a sale to be totally effective, both the buyer and the seller must have their needs satisfied.

But there is no formula for good solid need satisfaction. Perhaps the only rule is ‘flexibility’. Step-by-Step, techniques of selling fail to deal with customers as a human being with constantly changing needs, ideas and attitudes. Problem change daily as do schedules, finances and priorities. Therefore the successful salesperson must be flexible in using his or her Professional Selling Skills.

What are these professional selling skills? Generally during a sale interview the salesperson must,

Set a direction for the call at the beginning.

Ask questions to uncover customer needs.

Provide products benefits that satisfy these needs.

Handle ever-changing customer attitudes of acceptance, skepticism, indifference and objections as they occur.

Finally the close of sale by obtaining Customer Commitment

Here I will endeavor to cover all these areas in my posts and also briefly and clearly mentioned the essential and additional engineering requirements to salespeople at Engineers Portal in developing the skills in these areas to improve your sales effectiveness.

Moreover, all the posts written over here are based on field experience, coaching and training taught by my employer during my service. This is to provide grounding in to this Sales process, which would be followed up by field visits, and coaching on the field. Any process of change or transition requires a large amount of consistent effort to ensure that it takes place and change most often takes place by design rather than chance.

Aug 10, 2017

WHAT NEED TO SATISFY YOUR CONSUMERS?


Consumer goods are required for final consumption. The problems of marketing consumer goods are of the greatest variety and they are further the most difficult also. This is because of the special characteristics of the market for consumer goods. Consumer goods are sold to the people for direct consumption. In the case of domestic trade, all people in the country are consumers. But manufacturers do not know these consumers. The consumers make their purchases whenever they need the goods, but they purchase only in small quantities. Basically they are:

Large number of buyers and widespread market

Small unit of purchase

Unskilled and poorly informed buyers and

Personal consideration of the purchasers


LARGE NUMBER OF BUYERS AND WIDESPREAD MARKET

The consumers are spread over a very wide market. In fact, all the people living in the country become consumers. The manufacturer sells his products wherever there is a demand for his products. But demand is generally widespread. Some manufacturers may limit the area of their operations but potential buyers will rush in to the market in large numbers. In order to serve such a large numbers of consumers, the manufacturer has to select carefully different marketing channels. Many times, he utilizes the most important services of Wholesalers, Distributors and retailers.

UNIT OF PURCHASE IS SMALL

The consumers who are spread over a wide market make their purchase frequently in very small quantities. In order to satisfy the consumer’s requirements, it becomes necessary for the manufacturer to set that his products are stored throughout the market. Further, mass method of selling is necessary to reach a large numbers of consumers. Therefore, the manufacturer has to undertake effective advertising and publicity through various media such as Broadcast Media, Print Media, social Medias, Digital marketing, E marketing etc.

UNSKILLED AND POORLY INFORMED BUYERS

Generally consumers buy a variety of goods in small quantities but they depend upon the sellers for the supply of information about the products they purchase. The consumers usually do not try to compare the important characteristics of competing goods available in the market because they do not possess the necessary skill. Moreover, they have also no time to do so. That is why they depend upon the statement of the sellers. Further, the tastes, fashions, desires and needs of the consumers differ from time to time. The physical attributes of the products appeal differently to different consumers. Manufactures also introduce many new products in the market and these new products may satisfy the wants of consumers so far remaining unsatisfied. The manufacturer may also improve the quality of his products so as to confirm to the needs of the consumers. Therefore, the consumers are required to be informed about all these things by the manufacturer. In order to inform the consumers about the availability of new products or improved products, the manufacturer has to adopt new techniques of marketing.

PERSONAL CONSIDERATIONS OF THE PURCHASERS

Since consumer goods are purchased for final consumption, the purchasers are influenced by personal consideration. In other words, the consumers are always guided by their personal consideration which is subjective. Service rendered by the sellers at the time of sale and services to be rendered by him after the sale is very important elements influencing the consumer’s purchases. Consumers always prefer credit facilities, free home delivery of goods purchased, taking back of unwanted goods; repairs etc. price is also another important factor influencing their purchases. Price plays an important part in respect of staple goods like sugar, food grains, oil etc, but price is not important in respect of goods like clothes, furniture, luxury goods etc in the marketing of which style, suitability and quality play an important part. The importance of price also depends upon the income level of consumers. The price affects the purchases of consumers with different incomes differently.

CLASSIFICATION OF CONSUMER GOODS

Consumer goods which are required for final consumption can be classified on the basis of ways in which they are purchased made the services to be rendered by the sellers at the time of sale and after sale. Services include free home delivery, credit, instructions of using, installation etc. the consumer goods can be, therefore, classified on the following criteria:

The extent to which the consumer is aware of the exact nature of the products before he goes out for shopping and

The satisfaction derived from searching and comparing products as compared with the time and efforts on doing so. The general classification of consumer goods is:

Convenience goods

Shopping goods and

Specialty goods

Aug 5, 2017

HOW TO MAINTAIN THE STABLE PRICE LEVEL AND AVOID ANY GREAT FLUCTUATION IN THE PRICES?



Manufactured goods are the finished products which are meant for either consumption or production. Therefore, manufactured goods may be further divided into two kinds:

Goods which are destined for the use by the final consumers are called manufactured Consumer Goods.

Goods which are first purchased by the businessmen who use them in the process of production and then place them in the hands of final consumers are called Manufactured Industrial Goods.

MANUFACTURED CONSUMER GOODS

NATURAL RAW MATERIALS

They consist of those natural products which are mainly for industrial purposes. They are, therefore, the industrial goods supplied by mines, forests and sea. They undergo processing operations prior to final consumption.

AGRICULTURAL GOODS

They are the products supplied by agriculture which are divided into two groups:

Raw Materials: Such as cotton, jute, wool, grain et., which are used in industries, and….

Consumer Goods: Such as food-grains, fruits, vegetables etc., which are used in final consumption.

These three types of goods have got different characteristics and the method of marketing of each kind of goods also differs to some extent.

MAIN FEATURES OF MANUFACTURED CONSUMER AND INDUSTRIAL GOODS

There are three processes of marketing namely, Concentration, Equalization and Dispersion. In the case of marketing of manufactured goods, the first process of concentration is not important. Because the manufacturer exercises much more control over the marketing of his products. Therefore, the number of middlemen in the distribution of these manufactured goods is less. This makes the marketing structure of manufactured goods less complex, compared with the process of marketing agricultural goods. This is mainly due to two main characteristics of manufactured goods which are:

The manufacturer has a large degree of control over the quality and quantity of his products, and

The production is generally carried on a large scale.

CONTROL OF QUALITY AND QUANTITY

As I have mentioned above, the manufacturer enjoys control over the quality and quantity of his products. He can manufacture that quality and in that quantity as desired by the market. He is, therefore, able to plan in advance his production planning, marketing and financial operations.

By studying that market demand for his products, he can control the quantity to be produced. This advantage of controlling the quantity of production is not available to agriculturalists that have to demand upon the nature for the production. Therefore, a manufacturer can greatly influences the price of his products by adjusting the supply of his products with the demand. If the demand for the products increases, he can increase the supply and conversely if the demand for his products declines, he can reduce the supply. Thus he can maintain the stable price level and avoid any great fluctuations in the prices of his products. Though, it is not always possible for the manufacturer to maintain the price stability, yet it is true that the prices of manufactured goods tend to change less rapidly than those of agricultural goods. This is so because, in the case of agricultural goods, it is not possible for the farmers, to adjust their supply with the changing demand.

The quality of the manufactured goods is subject to close control and therefore, the manufactured goods are usually standardized. Marketing of standardized goods is easy since consumers have great belief in the standardized goods. Therefore the expenses of marketing of the standardized goods will be less. Consumers believe in the integrity of the manufacturers. The manufacturers also control the market by branding their products. Branded products can be readily identified and consumers will a custom themselves with the particular brand with which they are satisfied. Therefore, the manufacturer always attempts to produce goods of uniform quality and maintaining the constituent performance so as to maintain the demand of his products in the market.

LARGE SCALE PRODUCTION

Large scale production is another characteristic feature of the manufactured goods. Now days, most of the manufacturing activities are carried on a large scale in spite of the fact that the number of small units is also increasing. The large scale production helps the manufacturer to exercise control over the marketing methods and market their products efficiently prior to the beginning of dispersion process without a combining them with the products of other firms. Since production is carried on a large scale, concentration process does not take place. Therefore, the marketing of manufactured is concerned more with the dispersion process than with the concentration process.

The development of the large scale production has important effects upon marketing. It has led to mass marketing or selling, so that the whole output of the factories can be disposed of. The desire and efforts of the manufacturers to carry on their production as well as marketing on a large scale have brought important effects of which following three important like:

Effects upon Integration and Combination

Effects upon competition and product differentiation

Effects upon direct marketing

INTEGRATION AND CONCENTRATION

In order to carry on large scale production, the individual firms have tended to integrate and combine their operations. Such integration and combination may be vertical or horizontal in character.

VERTICAL INTEGRATION AND COMBINATION

Under vertical integration and combination, operations in successive stages of production or marketing or even both are undertaken under a single ownership. In the case of marketing, vertical integration means, a manufacturer open his own sales depot to sell his products directly to the retailers or even consumers. Multiple shops are the best examples of such integration. The multiple shops open a large number of selling or purchasing centers.

For example, an automobile manufacturing company may establish or acquire a type manufacturing concern. A steel company may acquire iron ore and coal mines. Multiple shops open a large number of selling points or purchasing or processing centers.

The integration of production and marketing leads to the economies, technical economies, economies in buying and selling, storage and warehousing, research and experiments, transportations etc. This helps the manufacturers to bring down the cost of marketing and strengthen his position by eliminating the marketing risks.

HORIZONTAL INTEGRATION AND COMBINATION

It refers to the combination of firms manufacturing and marketing similar products. The products may be identical or directly competing or complementary. For example, a single automobile company may manufacture different makes of cars which are competitive in price with one another, as well as other makes of cars which are complementary as to price line. Further, it may also manufacture spare parts so that they may also be offered along with cars. Recently, specialized manufacturers have tended to combine horizontally in order to offer a full line of products to distributors. This is found in the case of goods like toilet accessories, stationery articles, garments etc.

But horizontal combination does not offer all kind of economies. Economies in buying, research etc., in case of production are available only if the plant capacity utilized it fully. But, economies in marketing are available on a large scale due to horizontal combination. Costa of transport, storage, warehousing, finance, advertising, sales promotional activities etc will be spread over a large number of articles and therefore, the cost per unit will be very low. But specialized salesmanship is very difficult to obtain.

Thus, the main aims of integration and combination are to remove competition; to obtain economies of scale of production and marketing and to make more profits.

COMPETITION AND PRODUCT DIFFERENTIATION

Competition always exists in the market in one form or the other. It may be directed towards the improvement of production and marketing methods, reduction of costs and lowering of prices. Further, competition is as directed towards the improvement of the products, and the use of selling methods to have a greater control over the market. These 2 types of competition are important for manufactured goods.

Due to the existence of competition in the market, attempts are always being made by the manufacturers to improve their products. Product differentiation is made by the manufacturers by branding their goods. This is so because competition makes more in respect of quality than in price.

DIRECT MARKETING

As there is always a competition to capture more and more market and market share, manufacturers always prefer to control their marketing activities and keep in close touch with the conditions affecting the demand for their products. Therefore, nowadays, there is a tendency for direct marketing of products and for elimination of the middle men in the channel of distribution. But the success of direct marketing depends upon several factors such as size of production, efficiency of personnel, nature of product etc. therefore only a large manufacturer can undertake efficiently direct marketing of his products. But even then, complete elimination of middle men is not feasible. Therefore, many large producers usually combine their marketing activities with those of a few indispensable middlemen. Thus, a big manufacturer may create a demand for his products trough advertisements, and publicity and other sales promotional activities either directly or with the help of a few middle men.

Jul 22, 2017

DISTRIBUTORS CHANNEL (INDUSTRIAL GOODS)


This is very simple to understand about the distributors channel for manufactured industrial goods for salespeople. Few important of them are:

Manufacturer to Industrial user

Manufacturer to Merchant Wholesales to Industrial user

Manufacturer through Agent-Middlemen to Industrial user

Manufacturer through Agent-Middlemen to Merchant Wholesaler to Industrial user

MANUFACTURER TO INDUSTRIAL USER CHANNEL: This is the most direct channel of distribution, industrial goods like locomotives, generators, boilers and turbines, heavy machineries, blast furnaces etc., are usually sold directly by the sellers to the industrial users. There are certain reasons for such a direct sale or supply. Firstly, the volume and value of individual purchases are large enough. Secondly, the buyers are limited and are located in concentrated areas. Thirdly, provision of technical service makes it quite essential for the seller to sell or supply his goods directly to industrial users. Fourthly, the seller usually establishes certain service and repairs centers at different places. To get these service facilities, the industrial user has to purchase them directly from the producers of industrial goods. Fifthly, in case of reciprocal trading, direct selling becomes beneficial. Finally, industrial users prefer to purchase these goods directly from the producers, because they are able to keep constant touch and communication with them and able provide technical and commercial service frequently.

But there are certain difficulties in the direct sale method. For example, the producer of industrial goods has to open service and repair stations at different places convenient to users. For this purpose, he has employed large personnel, which may become expensive. Moreover, he has to control and supervise various salespeople working under him. This involves a great managerial capacity. Thus, direct selling requires huge amount of capital and high degree of managerial ability. Therefore direct selling is possible only for big manufacturers/producers with huge financial resources and managerial staff.

MANUFACTURER TO MERCHANT WHOLESALER TO INDUSTRIAL USER:

Marketing of industrial goods like operating supplies and small equipment such as building materials, labor saving devices, tools, small motors, stationary articles etc., is usually done through the middlemen. The most common middlemen are the wholesalers who are available to the industrial users quickly. Click here for more Why we need Distributors?

MANUFACTURER TO AGENT TO INDUSTRIAL USERS:

Sometime the manufacturer of industrial goods appoints his own agent to act as middlemen for marketing his products. This is the case the manufacturer feels his inability to undertake marketing activities or open branches or sales offices. An agent middleman is usually appointed by a manufacturer who has newly entered the market and who does not the marketing methods. The agent sells the goods on behalf of the manufacturer to the industrial users.

MANUFACTURER TO AGENT TO WHOLESALER TO INDUSTRIAL USER:

In this case, the agent sells the goods of his principal to the wholesalers and not to the industrial users directly. The wholesalers sell them directly to the industrial users. In this case, the wholesalers make provision for the storage of the goods so as to provide a regular supply.

It should be noted that the agent who will be appointed by the manufacturer may be a commission agent, selling agent or a broker. They differ in differ in dealings from one another.

In the marketing of the most of the manufacturer industrial goods, direct sale method is very common. In the case of some manufactured industrial goods, their sale is affected through the middlemen or distributors. This is the case when the industrial users are small businessmen and their purchases are usually in small quantities. Sometimes even large industrial users also prefer to purchase through the middlemen only those goods which they require in small quantities. Finally the producers of industrial goods use both the methods of sale viz., direct sale and sale through the middlemen. They tend to sell/supply directly when the order is sufficiently large or when the buyers are concentrated in a certain regions. They tend to sell through the middlemen when the orders are small and when the buyers are scattered over a wide region.













Jul 20, 2017

CLASSIFICATION OF INDUSTRIAL GOODS




Industrial goods may be divided as, fabricating materials and past, equipments, operating supplies and raw materials. The first three are manufactured industrial goods while the last one refers to natural and agricultural goods.

FABRICATING MATERIALS AND PARTS:
They are the industrial goods which have undergone some processes but which require further processing or which require to be combined with other materials or other parts to become consumer goods. Fabricating materials are further processed and they lose their identity to become part of the finished product while the fabricating parts have gone through complete processes and are directly used in the finished products for the ultimate consumer. For e.g., pig iron which becomes steel, yarn which becomes cloth, metal sheets, bars, etc are all fabricating materials while tires, tubes, batteries bearings, spark plugs, electric motors etc are fabricating parts.
CHARACTERISTICS:

They are uniform in size and standardized in quality.

Purchases are made on the basis of size and quality.

Supply of these goods must adequate and regular.

Buyers knew what exactly they want in respect of these goods.

MARKETING FEATURES:

They are purchased rationally on large.

Contracts for the purchase of these goods are made sufficiently in advance.

Sales are made directly to their users.

Branding is not important.

Decisions to buy are made by considering not only the prices but also after sales service.

Middlemen may enter when the buyers want to purchase a small scale and at a quick delivery.

EQUIPMENT

Equipment consists of both mechanical installations such as boilers, heavy machines, blast furnaces etc and accessory equipment such as transportation vehicles accounting machines and office instruments, computers etc.

CHARACTERISTICS OF INSTALLATIONS:

As stated above installations include, boilers, turbines, engines, cranes, lathes, locomotives, grinding machines, looms, generators, heavy machineries etc

They have the following charactestics:

They are very costly but long durable.

It’s not possible to test their suitability accurately.

They are likely to become obsolete or out of date due to the invention of new ones.

They are highly technical.

MARKETING FEATURES

Highly technical experts are required to effect sales.

The marketing of installations requires a great deal of selling efforts.

Service before and after sales is very important and it influences the sales

The price of the installation is very high.

The installation is made to certain specifications. Therefore, much time is spent in buying it.

Sellers usually sell them directly to the industrial users. Middlemen are used when the sales quantity are small and are made to several buyers scattered over a wide area.

ACCESSORY-EQUIPMENT

Accessories facilitate the manufacturing processes. They do not influence either the scale of production not do they become part of the finished products. They are less durable than installations. They include accounting machines, franking machines, calculating machines, office furniture, computers and other related consumables small tools etc.

CHARCTERSTICS

They are mostly standardized and branded goods.

Their prices are relatively less than those of installations.

They require extensive sales efforts since the market for them is wide.

They are purchased frequently.

Goodwill of the sellers plays an important role in their sales.

The buyers require assistance from the sellers in making selection of suitable type.

MARKETING FEATURES

They are sold through the manufacturer’s agent or other independent distributors.

Prompt and timely delivery is important.

Direct sale is possible where the order is sufficiently large or where the product is costly.

Sales promotional activities are very effective because the accessories usually standardized and branded.

OPERATING SUPPLIES

They are the material which are used in the operation of the plant or business which do not enter into the finished products. Their life is very short. Fuel, lubricating oil, and other office consumables and necessary tools and accessories with operating supplies etc comes under this category.

CHARACETERISTICS

They do not enter into finished products but they facilitate the operations of the business or the manufacturing processes.

They are short lived.

They are generally low priced.

They are purchased without efforts.

They are purchased frequently but in small quantities.

MARKETING FEATURES

Marketing features differs from products to products. Purchases are made mostly directly on the basis of uniformity, quality, low prices and adequate supply.

Since they are required by a large number of industrial users, the market for them is wide. Therefore, they are generally marketed through the middlemen.

There is keen competition in the marketing of goods because there are competitive products which are standardized and branded. Therefore, price competition plays an important part in the marketing of these goods.

Purchases of these goods are usually made on contract basis.

RAW MATERIALS

Raw materials are industrial goods which have not undergone manufacturing processes. They are to be processed before they become ready for use. They enter into the final products. They may be natural raw materials such as minerals forests products and products of the seas or agricultural raw materials such as jute, cotton, tobacco, fruits etc.

CHARACTERISTICS OF NATURAL RAW MATERIALS

They are limited in their supply.

Their production is specialized and concentrated.

The production is carried out throughout the year.

It is possible to control the production.

They are bulky bur perishable.

They differ in quality and uniformity.

MARKETING FEATURES

Marketing problems: the marketing of natural raw materials is faced with certain problems like:

It becomes necessary to shorten the channel of distribution. May times the producer sells directly to the industrial users.

Cost of transportation them from the centers of production to the places where they are required for use becomes costly because of the bulky nature of these goods.

Natural raw materials are bulky but their price is low. Therefore, cost of transportation is large when compared to the price of these goods. Therefore, transportation cost determines whether these materials should be transported in their natural form or they should be processed nearly before such transportations.

Since the quality and uniformity of these raw materials differ, standardization and grading becomes quite essential so as to enable the manufacturer to get the materials of required quality by referring to the standards and grades. Standardization and grading will benefit both the seller and the manufacturer. The seller gets better price for the standardized and graded goods while the manufacturer ids assured of the required quality of the raw materials for his finished products.

Finally, adequate and regular supply will have to be made to the industrial users. Because of the limited supply, the manufacturers prefer to get these goods in adequate quantities and regularly so that their production is interrupted due to shortage in the supply of these goods. If production is interrupted due to non supply of these goods the manufacturer will be put to a great loss. In order to avoid this manufacturer may adopt the following measures:

He may enter into long term contracts with the suppliers of natural raw materials.

He may purchase when the supply is more in the market and keep a large stock.

He may establish a control over the supplier by affecting vertical integration. In this case, the manufacturer takes the ownership of the supplying concern, so that the entire production of the supplying concern will be at his disposal.