The fundamental success of any company depends on its relationships with the customers. Thus relationship selling model entails the development of good communication and attitude from the automobile manufacturers to their prospective customers. Based on arguments from economists such as Dale Carnegie and others in the early part of this century, relationship selling models were developed from the common premise that people only buy products from people they know well and trust .
From this point of view that this model obtains its base. To get people to know you well as a seller you need to communicate with them and one way of doing so is through the internet. The internet provides an open forum within which companies and the target audience chat, argue and discuss issues. That is why automobile companies utilize this model to reach as many buyers as possible. A case at hand is the invasion of the U. S market by automobile companies from Japan in the late 1990s.
Japan was then gaining its economic empowerment through the development of its manufacturing sector and the advancement in communication technology. Internet technology assisted both countries to improve their relationship which eventually provided room for increased market. The relationship between a company such as General Motors and its customers have been boosted by internet technology in that ? Various advertisements have been placed on the internet in order to promote the sales of the product especially those developed recently
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Costs of different brands and models can be obtained in the internet for customers to make choices The financial position and progress of General Motors can be easily accessed through the internet by all stakeholders and customers who are interested in doing business with the company Elements of relationship selling The elements of relationship selling are; prospecting and sales call planning, providing communication for sales message, negotiations to win solutions, sale and closing follow-up and self-management in terms of time and territory.
The most important factors that should be considered while using this model are; ? Monitoring of the sales person’s performance i. e. motivation, behavior and their role per captions in general. ? Professional recruiting and selecting of persons to be involved in the automobile selling ? Training sales people on the relationship selling techniques ? Compensating sales staff ? Evaluating and rewarding sales persons especially when they do very well.
The only problem this model faces in today’s world is that most executives do not buy products from the people they know instead they look for people who can provide immediate solutions to their problems and needs. For example, the president of the republic of Nigeria may not want to buy Japanese vehicles because they are allies with the Japanese President but he would rather buy a BMW from Germany because it meets his current needs. Finally, this model may tempt an individual to make relation ship with one person, which in marketing considered being risky and costly in terms of the eventual gains.
Sales force organization The most vital asset an organization such as Toyota Japan is a strong and efficient sales force. Such vibrant sales force helps in smooth realization of sales targets and goals while ensuring consistency in annual productivity. In the automobile industry, the sales force is varied depending on the globalization capacity of the company . Currently are only a few companies that actually manufacture the automobiles and the assembly is done in various other countries around the world.
The sales force structure of any automobile organizations differ from the others simply because of the difference in the marketing strategies, the economic status , the management styles, socio-cultural factors and the target customer of the company. The structure of the sales force is therefore unique in that it is built in three stages as in the case in China where the sales force consists of sales representatives, professional representatives and senior marketing representatives. Most of the recruitments are done online so that the most skilled and qualified personnel is obtained.
Internet technology has therefore enabled a quick an efficient method of selecting candidates to the sales team. Training of the sales force online provides them with knowledge for appropriate product categories it also provides them with state of the art databases that technologically suits the location they work in which is to allow them identify potential customers. Armed with well tested and market researched automobiles the sales force is tailored to provide the best to their clients. Management challenges and opportunities in the automobile industry
There are many challenges an opportunities that are associated with selling and marketing of automobiles which require urgent address in order to save the industry from collapsing Challenges a) Technological advancement With significant advances in the communication sector, internet has been widely adopted by almost everybody in the world making it very slow to respond to the quick responses required by the commercial sectors such as the automobile industry. b) Safety concerns More and more customers are demanding better automobiles with profound efficiency and safety.
This is so because it deals directly with human life which is very important in this case. The manufacturers must however do this without making their products very expensive. c) Global warming Use of fossil products increases the production of carbon dioxide which destroys the ozone layer leading to global warming. Environmentalists all over the world have exerted pressure on the engineers in the automobile industry to develop products which does not require the use of petrol instead it can use hydrogen which is safe for the environment. d) High oil prices
Due to the current global changes such as political events in Iraq, religious influences, cultural factors and other conflicts oil products have become unaffordable to most people thus posing a challenge to the industry to consider new designs and technologies that take care of search eventualities including the production of cost efficient products.
Expansion in consumer markets and emerging economies such as India and Africa Conclusion Internet is used in the marketing and selling process of the products in the automobile industry. In addition, the internet (and the marketing and the distribution alternatives it can provide) can be expected in future to potentially provide a level playing field among all the players in the automobile industry and depending on who will be technologically ahead with internet applications, the industry will develop towards certain innovational paths.
Connor, L. and Connor B. (1999): Real-Time internet applications; Linux Journals pp 5-12 Dane, G. A. , Maxwell, W. M and Maxi, T. D. et al. (2005): Selling Models and Marketing Strategies. 307:1769 – 1772 Inderscience Enterprises Limited (2007): Strategic marketing medium for the Automobile industry, Retrieved from http://www.inderscience.com/storage/f694281111235107.pdf
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