Seek First to Understand Customer,
“… world-class sales forces view their action from the customer’s perspective. They design a way of selling that reflective of the way their customer buys, not just the way they want to sell.” Mark W. Johnson (2011: 31)
It reminds us of fifth habits of seven habit of effective people: seek first to understand customer, then to be understood. Without understand customer, we do not know whether our offer relevant or not.
So, to answer how salespeople sell on target, an understanding of consumer behavior is important. That is because, how to sell adjusts to consumer behavior. By understanding consumer behavior, sellers can produce goods and services that are in accordance with consumer needs. Deep understanding of motivation and consumer behavior allows marketers to influence consumer decisions.
If it is a match between consumer behavior and sales and marketing programs, consumers are satisfied and buying and selling transactions run smoothly. The seller provides and prepares something that is really needed by consumers. Whereas if a mismatch occurs between consumer behavior and what marketers offer, then transactions are difficult to occur. This mismatch also results in waste of time and various kinds of costs. Marketing study customer behavior so, make selling can do smoothly. Compare with Peter F Drucker.
Consumer behavior studies are multi-disciplinary studies, involving economic discipline, social psychology, and sociology. These three disciplines contribute to the understanding of market segmentation. This market segmentation will facilitate the formulation of marketing and sales strategies.
According to the dictionary, consumers are people who consume. People who use and spend. But in the study of consumer behavior and marketing, consumers are people who buy.
Consumers include individuals or organizations or groups. The seller needs to understand this difference because the needs and ways of making decisions between the two are different. Consumers can buy for their own needs as individuals. There are also consumers who buy for the benefit of families, business institutions, social institutions, educational institutions, government institutions, and others.
When buying as an individual, he holds the decision, whether he will buy or not. If he acts as a group representative, he buys it for the benefit of the group and decides based on the rules set by the group. Not all group members are authorized to make purchases. Usually, groups assign someone to be appointed as the person in charge of buying an item. Personal salespeople need to know who is authorized to make decisions.
Consumer is Not Only User
Do people who buy always consume. Not. The person who buys it does not necessarily use goods and services. It could also be for resale. The consumers are sellers or businesses.
Such consumers are divided into two terms. First, wholesalers, namely traders who sell goods to other smaller traders. Second, retail traders (retailers), namely traders who sell goods to end consumers. In marketing studies, buyers who use products are directly known by the name of the final consumer.
Businesses that are oriented to selling goods to businesses, be they factories, wholesalers and retailers, are often called B2B (business to business).
While businesses that sell goods to end consumers are called B2C (business to customer). For online markets, Alibaba.com is known as the B2B marketplace. They sell goods for traders or factories. While aliexpress is known as the b2c marketplace. This B2C site sells goods to end consumers.