The selling concept


The selling concept (or sales concept) is another common approach many firms take to the market. The selling concept holds that consumers, if left, alone, will ordinarily not enough of the organization’s products. The organization must therefore undertake an aggressive selling and promotion effort.

This concept assumes that consumers typically show buying inertia or resistance to buy a product so, they try to promote the product by hard-selling. The selling concept is practiced in the non profit area by fund raisers, political parties, insurances agents etc. The aim of this concept is to sell what they make rather than make what the market wants.

Peter Drucker, one of the leading management theorists, puts it this way:

There will always (one can assume), be need for some selling. Your aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself. Ideally, marketing should result in a customer who is ready to buy. All that should be needed then is to make the product or service available.

Thus, selling to be effective must be preceded by several marketing activities such as need assessment, marketing research, product development, pricing, and distribution.

A major chemical company invented a new substance that hardened into a marble like material. Looking for an application, the marketing department decided to target the bathtub market. The company created a few model bathtubs and exhibited them at a bathroom tradeshow. They hoped to convince bathtub manufacturers to produce bathtubs with the new material. Although bathtub manufacturers who though the new tubs were attractive, none signed up. The reason became obvious. The bath tub would have to be priced at $2000 for this price, consumers could buy bathtubs made of real marble. In addition, the bathtubs were so heavy that home owners would have to reinforce their floors. Furthermore, most bathtubs sold in the $500 range, and few people would spend $2,000. The chemical company chose a target market but failed to understand the customers.

Here the company has assumed selling concept which proved to be not in the interest of the consumers.

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