Evolution of Selling

Topics: Sales, Marketing, Customer service Pages: 6 (2052 words) Published: November 22, 2012
The Evolution of selling
The essay titled “Evolution of Selling “is based upon how selling has developed with the various key changes back into the industrial revolution era that has had an huge impact upon and led to the ways and approaches of selling today and looks into the ancient and modern methods, techniques and attitudes of selling which altogether has contributed to its modernization. The age of selling has brought about many advancements and developments in the world of Marketing through the encouragement of improving technology and people’s hard working attitude towards it, although, the question that remains is how personal selling even started at the first place? For which, Williams et al. (2001) has said in one of his books, Sales Management, that a street peddler was the first person ever who made a door-to-door sale by collecting the produce from the local farmers and selling it to the townspeople. Selling today would never have been so convincing if door-to-door selling was never introduced in the market because without understanding the customer’s needs and wants in detail by discussing with them, the company wouldn’t know what satisfies a customer, what products for whom and how they should be made according to their needs. Salespeople who earned a living only by selling products did not happen to be many in numbers until the Industrial Revolution(mid 1700s) hit England as traders, merchants, and artisans used to fill in the selling function before this era and were treated with disrespect due to frequent use of deception in the sale of goods (Williams et al.,2001). The need for more salespeople was increasing since the local economies were no longer self-reliant and intercity and international trade began to embellish and therefore by the Post-Industrial Revolution Era (Early 1800s), personal selling was well recognized in England, whereas in the United States, it had just begun although eventually after the 1850s became a well-established part of the United States business practice. For example, sending out of 400 traveling salespeople in the 1880s was being reported by one wholesaler in the Detroit area (Williams et al., 2001).Furthermore, Charles W.Hoyt, 1912 cited in Williams et al. ( 2001;p19) as author of one of the first textbooks on sales management, records two types of salespeople “The old kind of salesman is the ‘big me’ species….He works for himself and, so far as possible, according to his own ideas….There is another type of salesman. He is the new kind. At present he is in the minority, but he works for the fastest growing and most successful houses of the day. He works for the house and the house works for him. He welcomes and uses every bit of help the house sends to him.” Hoyt’s observations about the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ salesperson had woken up the managements of firms in the United States who were beginning to realize the incredible potential of personal selling. The two World Wars and the Great Depression Era had affected the United States badly during the 30 year span from 1915-1945. New sales methods did not develop quickly then as the economic activity had to concentrate on the war efforts and due to this depression, Business firms had to employee aggressive salespeople to produce badly needed sales revenue (Williams et al., 2001). This in turn may have led upon the corrosion of the customers because a salesperson without the personal code of ethics and being aggressive can erode customers by pushing them into the product forcefully even if they are not willing to buy it. During the post- World War II era, Salespeople as employees were given more importance since many more firms were beginning to understand the benefits of research- based integrated marketing programs (Williams et al., 2001). Professionalism and the Marketing era begins in the late 1940s where Buyers became more intolerant of high-pressure putting sellers and instead preferred a well-informed, customer-oriented...
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