Airwide International, a company that specializes in the production and selling of air conditioning units in Europe and Asia, experienced some tough times in the China division. To keep things simple, the China division was losing customers to competitiors and experienced a dismal 2% growth in one quarter. The divisions main problem was that they were not in tune with the wants and needs of their customers. Airwide had been relying on their old methods of selling and their relationships with their clients in order to sell their product. The downside to this, which the China division experienced first hand, is that when the buyers change their methods or values, the sellers are forced to compensate if they wish to stay competitive. For example, one of the sales engineers for Airwide had shared a story with Mr. Wei (sales manager of the China division) that a long time customer of Airwide had switched to a competitors product when a new manager of the buyer was in control. The old sale was always made because of the strong relationship between Airwide International and the manager of the buying company. When that manager left, so did the relationship and eventually the contracts. A final lesson that can be taken away from this case is the idea that a customer is no longer just one person, but is moving in the direction of the whole company making a democratic decision. Executives of buying companies are still making decisions on certain products but it is also true that the process is becoming more democratic. The case describes this situation by seeing the customer as a “school of fish”. They are all traveling in the same direction but it is a collective group, not just one individual. Sales people must therefore tailor their selling strategies to persuade a multitude of people and not just one person.
Key Issues/Suggested Solutions * Communication Between Customers- In business, communication is essential if a company is to