Question 1: Going in to this situation, what were Thaldorf’s major strengths and weaknesses as a representative of Mediquip?
Kurt Thaldorf enjoyed a strong set of strengths over weaknesses going into the tendering process with Lohmann University Hospital (LUH).
1) Mediquip had successfully positioned their brand as Kotler et al. point out (2012 P 396) as it enjoyed a reputation for technology and after sales service. This reputation also gave Mediquip some corporate credibility in the market.
2) Kurt believed strongly in the Mediquip scanners superiority, therefore giving him confidence and positive selling intentions towards the product. These attributes have been identified to positively impact on sales of new product lines (Fu F.Q. et al (2010) and also helped motivate him.
3) The CT technology was new to the market; therefore Thaldorf would be addressing “New Task” (Ozanne & Churchill Jr.1971 p.325) purchasing situations. Ozanne & Churchill Jr.(1971) identified that in these circumstances the salesperson has the ability to have significant impact on the sale process, due to the ability influence potential buyer at a number of stages in the five stage adoption process. Thaldorf was in a position to”frame” (Kotler el al. (2012) P 303) Mediquip’s offering positively. See figure 1
4) Mediquip had product specialists available and had also developed forms and procedures supporting engineers to analyse and formulate strategy when entering these buying situations, therefore giving Thaldorf structure and guidance.
1) The main competitors for Mediquip were already established in the market, therefore likely to have established relationships with key decision makers.
2) Mediquip’s CT scanner was a more expensive product than the competition. Kotler et al., (2012 p. 310) point out that in order to charge a premium price for your product firms must develop a strong customer value proposition. Although Mediquip had conducted market research and were aware of the major influences in the purchase of CT scanners they had not developed a customer value proposition.
3) LUH was not existing customer of Mediquip, therefore would have a low “trust dimension” (Kotler et al. (2012) p 319) for the company. The trust factor is key in business to business relationships.
4) LUH had not been identified by Mediquip or approached before the process was initiated by them.
Question 2: What were the needs, concerns and motivations of each DMU member at Lohmann Hospital?
Each member of the decision making unit had a different set of factors impacting on there decision making. Primary to this was the position each held in the DMU:
Professor Steinborn was the initiator, an influencer, and the only user on the DMU. His needs included involving Mediquip in the process and gaining a CT scanner. This would increase the professional standing among colleagues. This satisfies the professors “esteem needs” (Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs).
Steinborn’s concerns included the functionality, price, timeline for delivery and product specification. His exclusion from the information regarding pricing initially caused him great concern.
The Professors motivations included wanting the CT scanner for his department’s usage in diagnostics and training. The Mediquip scanner was the radiologist’s choice. Steinborn wanted the best and most advanced scanner available.
Carl Hartmann was a key influencer, gatekeeper, decider, approver and buyer and as a result the most important member of the DMU.
His needs included buying the scanner for the hospital within budget and on time. Being gatekeeper also reveals that he has strong “esteem needs” (Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs).
Mr Hartmann’s concern was primarily price. He perceived “financial risk”...
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