Developing a customer focused sales strategy

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Changing customers expectations The 1980s were marked by a growth in consumer spending and a housing boom. Easy access to credit made it possible for people to realise their dreams and encouraged them to spend. With the downturn in the economy came fear and uncertainty about unemployment and the harsh realities of recession left many consumers with debts and homes which had been transformed from investments to burdens. In the 1990s these experiences have left their mark on consumers. There have been changes in outlook and attitude towards spending. For many, purchases have to be justified on a need rather than a want basis. Customers primarily seek best value for money. Best value for money, in the customer’s eyes, is not reflected by price alone. It is a combination of quality (product durability, benefits and service) against the best price. Customers are more willing to shop around for goods to get best value and there is greater reluctance to purchase on impulse. Satisfying customer needs has become a major strategy for organisations to compete in the rapidly changing markets of the 1990s and, as price is only part of the “value” equation, organisations realise that they cannot compete on the…

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