Salesman’s Predisposition Towards Buyers – A Retail Perspective
affiliation not provided to SSRN
December 8, 2010
A successful purchasing transaction is a two way process. The customer validates the product’s delivery of his expectations, ably assisted by the manufacturer’s representative, usually a salesperson who understands what is to be fulfilled so as to match the customer’s expectations. While a lot of research has been focusing on what makes a customer define his expectations of a product, lesser effort has been spent on the process a salesman undergoes to make a transaction successful.
Similar to a customer having predispositions about a product based on the characteristics of a product and the brand equity, an organisation also has a view of an ideal customer. This is defined by the process of segmentation while the product is targeted at a market place. The entire strategy adopted in the marketing mix is formed based on the profile of the segment.
Several times the customer who purchases the product may not fit into the segment targeted. Upward mobility aspired by customers and misjudgment of the segmentation criteria. This thus may create a predisposition in the salesman’s minds who are the last mile implementers of a chosen marketing strategy. Based on his own personality and attitudes, each salesman has a mental sketch or profiling of a customer with whom his interaction can be successful and also pleasurable.
Beyond the individual criteria of a particular segment, a customer is also influenced by external factors like group, family and culture in the decision making process of buying a product. The involvement of external factors can be either facilitators or hindrances for making a sale successful. A salesman can also have a predisposition towards what external factors would make a particular transaction successful.
This article tries to evaluate the predisposition a salesman in retail business can have across formats and industries in both the individual characteristics like demographics, attitudes, lifestyle, occupations as well as the external factors like the composition group accompanying a prospective customer
Keywords: Segmentation, Consumer Profile, Salesmen, Predisposition, Demographics, Lifestyle
JEL Classification: M31
Date posted: December 9, 2010 ; Last revised: December 23, 2010