The paper “ Structural Steel Industry - Elements of Personal Selling Process" is a brilliant example of a case study on marketing. The sales process is essential in ensuring that a client is satisfied with the services and products offered by a seller. In this case, Structural Steel Industry (SSL) has supplied steel to Laredo construction which does not conform to Laredo’ s specification. Instead of supplying purely domestic steel, SSL shipped partially Mexican steel. Since Laredo has already installed the steel SSI are required to take it out. This paper analyzes the SSI sales operation and management with the aim of finding out what caused the Laredo mistake. Analysis of the ProblemStructural Steel industry is an organization that uses a Personal selling approach as opposed to advertising, publicity or Sales promotions preferred by other organizations.
Personal selling is characterized by a number of pertinent factors. First, Angela, the sales executive is allowed to adjust the message to be given to Laredo Construction in order to suit the Informational needs of the client. From the case study, it can be gathered that SSL does not normally deal with domestic steel supply only.
For Angela to convince Laredo to buy from them she must have adopted her sales message to fit Laredo’ s informational needs. Secondly, Personal selling is more precise and focuses on the most promising lead in the market. According to Rust, Lemon, and Zeithaml (2001), the precise nature of Personal selling comes from the recognition that all the customers do not bring about the same level of profitability to the organizations. According to Zeithaml, Rust, and Lemon (2001), some groups of customers are just too costly to do business with and have no prospect of ever becoming profitable.
In their views, it’ s neither practical nor profitable for Sales organizations to treat all customers equally. The personal selling philosophy recognizes that it is important to treat the top 20 percent of your customers in a special way and aim to exceed their customer requirements (Zeithaml, Rust and Lemon, 2001). In this case study, Laredo Construction is noted to be among Angela’ s and SSL’ s largest customers and therefore satisfying their customer requirements should be the largest focus for SSL and Angela. Thirdly, personal selling requires the sales executive to give more information to the client (Thomas, Mitchell S and Del Rossa 2007).
In this case, Angela should have provided information about the possibility of a mix-up of domestic and Mexican steel, which would have meant Laredo construction would have undertaken more thorough Checks before installing the Steel in the San Diego site. Personal selling is also characterized by two-way information flow, a characteristic noted of SSL’ s business operations. In the case, it was found that most of the organization's staff are in constant contact with clients so they can know the specifications of the order and how to customize it immediately.
However, in this case, this two-way communication seems to have failed as the production team was not aware that Laredo’ s steel order had been specified as domestic only. Angela as the Sales executive also failed to obtain, follow-up and meet Laredo’ s requirement for Domestic Steel.