Communicating Customer Value:
Personal Selling and Direct Marketing
Previewing the Concepts: Chapter Objectives
1. Discuss the role of a company’s salespeople in creating value for customers and building customer relationships.
2. Identify and explain the six major sales force management steps.
3. Discuss the personal selling process, distinguishing between transaction-oriented marketing and relationship marketing.
4. Define direct marketing and discuss its benefits to customers and companies.
5. Identify and discuss the major forms of direct marketing.
Just the Basics
This chapter continues the discussion of communication methods begun in Chapter 12. It focuses on personal selling and direct marketing. Personal selling is the interpersonal arm of marketing communications in which the sales force interacts with customers and prospects to make sales and build relationships. Direct marketing consists of direct connections with carefully targeted consumers to both obtain an immediate response and cultivate lasting customer relationships.
Selling is one of the oldest professions in the world. Today, most salespeople are well-educated, well-trained professionals who work to build and maintain longer-term customer relationships. They listen to their customers, assess customer needs, and organize the company’s efforts to solve customer problems. The sales force serves as a critical link between a company and its customers.
A sales force can be organized such that it has a territorial structure. In this structure, each salesperson is assigned to an exclusive geographic area and sells the company’s full line of products or services to all customers in that territory. A product sales force structure is one in which the sales force sells along product lines. In a customer sales force structure, the sales force is organized along customer or industry lines. Many companies, particularly those that sell a...