Describe some of the differences in the selling process that

Describe some of the differences in the selling process that an HP sales rep might face in selling to a long-term established customer versus a prospective customer.

Imagine this scenario: You need a new digital camera. You’re not sure which one to buy or even what features you need. So you visit your nearest electronics superstore to talk with a salesperson. You walk through the camera section but can’t find anyone to help you. When you finally find a salesperson, he yawns and tells you that he’s responsible for selling all the products in the store, so he doesn’t really know all that much about cameras. Then he reads some information from the box of one of the models that you ask about, as if he is telling something that you can’t figure out for yourself. He then suggests that you should talk to someone else. You finally find a camera-savvy salesperson. However, after answering a few questions, she disappears to handle some other task, handing you off to someone new. And the new salesperson seems to contradict what the first salesperson said, even quoting different prices on a couple of models you like.

That imaginary situation may actually have happened to you. If so, then you can understand what many business buyers face when attempting to buy from a large corporate supplier. This was the case with business customers of technology giant Hewlett- Packard before Mark Hurd took over as HP’s CEO a few years ago. Prior to Hurd assuming command, HP’s revenues and profits had flattened, and its stock price had plummeted. To find out why, Hurd first talked directly with 400 corporate customers. Mostly what he heard were gripes about HP’s corporate sales force.


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