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Case 6.2: The Overhead Door Company

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Mary's current method of initiating contact with her customers is by adopting the "introductory approach". This approach focuses on Mary introducing herself as the name of the company, followed by a short remark and then she moves straight into her selling presentation (Ingram et al, p.176). This approach is one of the most common approaches used by personal sellers, however, it can also be the vulnerable approach. This style often fails to attract the attention and interest of the prospective buyer. Additionally, this style omits the opportunity for Mary to interact with the prospective buyer to enable them to be involved in the conversation/ sales call. Without the buyer being actively involved in the call from the beginning, they can quickly lose interest, which can lead to an unsuccessful sale. It is important for Mary to recognise that she only gets one chance to make a good impression on the buyer.

To strengthen the introduction of Mary's sales calls she needs to implement additional approaches to supplement her Introductory Approach. The introductory approach is a good method to professionally greet the prospect with her name and company, however, she needs to extend beyond this approach to gain attention and involvement. After the introduction, Mary could either implement the Question, Referral or Compliment approach.

The Question approach helps the prospect to get involved by asking an appropriate question. This approach can be successful in uncovering a need of the prospect's, for which Mary's product may provide a solution (Ingram et al, p. 177). For example, Mary could ask the prospect about their satisfaction in their current garage roller door, to which the prospect could possibly reply with their objections with their current roller door. Eg "sometimes the door get stuck when it is rolling down-it can be temperamental at times, which is frustrating." This response to Mary's question is ideal as it provides Mary with a problem/ need of the prospect's so that she can tailor the rest of her sales presentation to provide a solution to this need. The prospect's response also provides the opportunity for Mary to further probe into the issue of the current roller door to uncover other potential and/or specific needs.

Another supplemental approach Mary could use to the introductory approach is the Referral approach. This approach may be effective if Mary conducts her business based on referrals as well as door-to-door opportunities. In this approach Mary could mention one of the prospects mutual friend that referred Mary to the prospect.



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