Distinguish between traditional, personal, and strategic selling.
You are the regional sales manager for International Herb Express (IHE) which is a large, US-based spice & herbs supplier. IHE sells to other businesses that purchase bulk spices and spice blends for use in their end products. The primary customers are baking and soup mix corporations that sell to other businesses, for example, bakeries, restaurants, other food-service, and regional grocery chains. IHE is launching a new spice blend that reflects a more diverse cultural & ethnic flavor profile than IHE’s traditional offerings.
The abridged marketing strategy for this new spice blend is to target both current customers, but also to reach new customers that are target regions with higher ethnic diversity and/or the more adventurous “foodies” market. The marketing efforts will focus on taste testing, sampling, and on-site promotion. IHE is launching this marketing plan to help create a product offering that is not as commodity-driven (as most spices and herbs are the same quality no matter where they are purchased) and can potentially offer higher profit margins.
It is important to note that spices and other ingredients are raw goods and traded as commodities. The raw price for these goods changes on a day-to-day basis. Pricing is based on classic supply and demand, though nature is a key contributor to the supply–extreme weather as well as health of crops have a direct impact on the supply chain and access to the raw goods.
The VP of Sales & Marketing has asked you to prepare a memo that recommends a selling approach to the sales and marketing executive team for the new product spice blend. You will need to evaluate the 3 major selling styles and explain which style would work best for this new product sales plan. Additionally, the recommendation includes the sales approach to meet the goals of the marketing plan. The memo should suggest a statement about ethics as it relates to sampling of product and maintaining integrity of recipes used in taste testing and sampling.
Your recommendation should include:
- A review of each of the three selling styles: traditional, personal, and strategic.
- Recommend a style for taste testing, sampling, & on-site promotion.
- Include ethics statement on integrity and how to spend and verify expenditures.
- Identify ways the sales-customer relationship can add value through this new product line.