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1.4 Review and Practice
Now that you have read this chapter, you should be able to understand the role of selling in everyday life, in the economy, and in companies.
- You can identify examples of selling in your everyday life.
- You can describe the characteristics of a brand.
- You can compare and contrast the difference between sales and marketing.
- You can understand how to define your personal brand.
Test Your Power Knowledge (answers are below)
- Name three situations in your life in which you use selling.
- Name the four key characteristics of a brand.
- Describe what this sentence means: “Each salesperson supports an average of 12.9 other jobs within the company.”
- Is sales considered a line or a support function? Why?
- What is the impact of Sales 2.0 on the selling function?
- Which of the four characteristics of a brand is most important when you are selling your personal brand?
- What is a customer-centric organization?
Power (Role) Play
Now it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice. The following are two roles that are involved in the same selling situation—one role is the customer, and the other is the salesperson. This will give you the opportunity to think about this selling situation from the point of view of both the customer and the salesperson.
Read each role carefully along with the discussion questions. Then, be prepared to play either of the roles in class using the concepts covered in this chapter. You may be asked to discuss the roles and do a role-play in groups or individually.
College Admissions: Who Is Selling Whom?
Role: College admissions director
You are the director of admissions at your school. You want to choose only the best candidates for admission for next year’s class. The focus of the school is to attract and accept students that demonstrate diversity, academic achievement, life experience, community service, passion for learning, and potential to grow.
You personally meet with each one of the final candidates to determine how they will fit into the culture of the school and help the school meet its objectives. It’s something you enjoy doing because it’s a chance to put a name with a face and see exactly what makes each student special. You and the other management at the school consider it to be a customer-centric organization.
You are about to meet with a prospective student. You are under some pressure to increase enrollment (after all, the admissions department is really like the sales department in a lot of organizations). You are not sure he’s a perfect fit for the school, but you are one of the school’s customer contact points so you want to make him feel at ease while you are learning more about him.
- How will you greet this prospective student to make him feel welcome?
- What questions will you ask to learn about his personal brand and determine if he will be a good fit for the school?
- If he is not exactly the right fit for the school, will you admit him anyway because you want to increase admissions? Why or why not?
Role: Prospective student
You are a prospective student at your school. Your grades are good (not outstanding), but you have been involved in the drama club and Spanish club in high school. You don’t know what you want to do in life, but you know you want to go to college and get a good job. You are nervous about your interview with the director of admissions because it’s your first interview and you don’t really know what to expect.
- How will you “sell” yourself to the director of admissions?
- How will you make an emotional connection with the director of admissions?
- What are your three brand positioning points, and how will you use them in this situation?
Put Your Power to Work: Selling U Activities
- Visit your campus career center in person. (If you don’t have a campus career center, visit your library and meet with a librarian.) Meet with one of the staff members to learn about activities, resources, and people that are available to help you with your career search. Learn about the campus career Web site and how to view job postings. Sign up for one of the upcoming workshops on career searching.
- Write your personal mission statement. Meet with a professor or advisor to review it and get feedback.
- Identify your three brand points. Write them down and determine at least two examples of experience that demonstrates each point. (Hint: This will become the basis for your résumé and cover letter in the Selling U section in Chapter 2 "The Power to Choose Your Path: Careers in Sales".)
Test Your Power Knowledge Answers
- Getting into the school of your choice, convincing your parents of something, getting the job you want (as well as other situations you may name).
- The four characteristics of a brand are the fact that it is unique, consistent, and relevant and has an emotional connection with its customers.
- “Each salesperson supports an average of 12.9 other jobs within the company” means that the level of sales that is generated by each salesperson is enough to fund the salaries and benefits of almost thirteen people in the organization in departments such as human resources, marketing, operations, finance, and others. Without the sales, the company would not be able to pay for the other jobs.
- Sales is considered a line function because salespeople are part of the daily operations of the company.
- Sales 2.0 is a term that applies to the ever-changing world of technology, communication, and relationships in selling. The evolution of the Internet has led to a change in the balance of power in the selling process. Now, customers may have more information than a salesperson due to the research they are able to do on Web sites, through communities, and user-generated content. (In other words, both good and bad news travel fast.) Salespeople have to focus on collaboration inside their companies and with their customers to deliver the best solution to meet their customers’ needs.
- All of the characteristics are important when you are selling your personal brand. It’s important to define your brand by developing the three most important brand points that best describe you.
- The organizational chart in a customer-centric organization has the customer at the center so that all functions focus on meeting the needs of the customer rather than working in silos.