Issue link: https://www.mheducation.com/highered/ideas/i/1308940

Contents of this Issue


Page 38 of 86

NEW TASKS When a customer purchases a product or service for the first time, a new-task situation occurs. Most purchase decisions involving capital equipment or the initial purchase of OEM products are new tasks. Because the customer has not made the purchase decision recently, the company's knowledge of what may be available, how best to evaluate offerings, and so forth is limited, and it goes through all eight steps of the buying process. In these situations customers face considerable risk. Thus, they typically seek information from salespeople and welcome their knowledge. However, research shows that the number of people involved in these decisions has increased over the years as a way of mitigating risk and that salespeople may have difficulty reaching all of them. Many participants in the buy- ing process may only see the written proposal and gather information off the Web. From the salesperson's perspective, the initial buying process steps are critical in new-task situations. During these steps, the alert salesperson can help the customer define the characteristics of the needed product and develop the purchase specifications. 11 By working with the customer in these initial steps, the salesperson can take advantage of creeping commitment and gain a significant advantage over the competition. The final step, postpurchase evaluation, is also vital. Buyers making a new purchase decision are especially interested in evaluating results and will use this infor- mation in making similar purchase decisions in the future. STRAIGHT REBUYS In a straight rebuy situation, the customer buys the same product from the same source it used when the need arose previously. Because customers have purchased the product or service a number of times, they have considerable knowl- edge about their requirements and the potential vendors. MRO supplies and services and reorders of OEM components often are straight rebuy situations. Typically, a straight rebuy is triggered by an internal event, such as a low inventory level. Because needs are easily rec- ognized, specifications have been developed, and potential suppliers have been identified, the latter steps of the buying process assume greater importance. Some straight rebuys are computerized. For example, many hospitals use an automatic reorder system developed by Baxter, a manufacturer and distributor of medical supplies. As supplies are used, the use is noted with a barcode reader and recorded in the inventory control system. When the inventory control system recognizes that levels of supplies such as tape, surgical sponges, or IV kits have dropped to prespecified levels, a purchase order is automatically generated and transmitted electronically to the nearest Baxter distribution center. The Internet of Things (IOT), which is a term for how machines now automatically connect to the Internet, makes reordering easy by connecting equipment through the Internet to the vendor. For example, beer kegs in bars are now put on a system that weighs each keg. As beer is sold, the keg weighs less until it reaches a point where the system notifies the beer distributor that the keg is running low and an order is placed for a replacement. Similar IOT systems order toner for copiers and printers and other machines that consumer supplies with each use. When a company is satisfied and has developed a long-term supplier relationship, it continues to order from the same company it has used in the past. Salespeople at in-companies want to maintain the strong relationship; they do not want the customer to consider new suppliers. Thus, these salespeople must make sure that orders are delivered on time and that the products continue to get favorable evaluations. Salespeople trying to break into a straight rebuy situation—those representing an out-supplier—face a tough sales prob- lem. Often they need to persuade a customer to change suppliers, even though the present supplier is performing sat- isfactorily. In such situations the salesperson hopes the present supplier will make a significant mistake, causing the customer to reevaluate suppliers. To break into a straight rebuy situation, salespeople need to provide compelling infor- mation to motivate the customer to treat the purchase as a modified rebuy. CHAPTER 3: Buying Behavior and the Buying Process 69

Articles in this issue

view archives of 2020_BEC_FlipBooks - F20_Castleberry_Selling11eFlipbook_11-6-20