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Article
Publication date: 27 January 2012

Terrence H. Witkowski

This article seeks to bring two hitherto neglected Polish language texts on selling and salesmanship to the attention of marketing historians. In contrast to Bartels'…

Abstract

Purpose

This article seeks to bring two hitherto neglected Polish language texts on selling and salesmanship to the attention of marketing historians. In contrast to Bartels' seminal work, this research aims to show that early marketing writing was not just in the English language and that early marketing thought was disseminated via instruction outside institutions of higher education. The research also intends to explore how marketing education served to acculturate one group of immigrants to American business norms.

Design/methodology/approach

The primary sources are Sprzedawca czyli: Sztuka Prowadzenia Handlu Podług Systemów Amerykańskich (Salesman: The Art of Commerce According to American Norms) by Józef Mierzyński and Sprzedawnictwo Sklepowe (Store Salesmanship), third edition, by Bolesław Z. Urbanski. Both were published in Chicago. Their tables of contents were translated and compared to selected English language texts on selling and salesmanship written about the same time. Additional information on the authors, publishers, and potential audience was also gathered to give context to these texts.

Findings

These Polish language books contained much of the same information as the English language literature on sales from the period, but with more information on personal comportment and more illustrative material. These books provide evidence of sophisticated business thinking among some Polish immigrants. Commercial correspondence courses and self‐instruction brought early marketing thought to this market and thus helped Poles enter the American economic mainstream.

Originality/value

The article shows that these are the first books on selling and salesmanship – or on any other marketing topic – known to be written in the USA prior to 1920 in a language other than English. They are worthy of close scrutiny because they reveal a new dimension to the early creation and dissemination of marketing thought.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Ramendra Singh, Rakesh Kumar Singh and Diptiman Banerji

In the context of an emerging market, this paper empirically investigates the direct as well as the indirect impact of natural reward strategies (NRS) on the sales…

1148

Abstract

Purpose

In the context of an emerging market, this paper empirically investigates the direct as well as the indirect impact of natural reward strategies (NRS) on the sales performance of B2B sales force. It also investigates the mediating impact of salesmanship skills on the NRS–sales performance linkage.

Design/methodology/approach

Structural equation modeling (using AMOS 18 software) is used to analyze the data collected, using a survey questionnaire from a sample of 317 B2B salespersons of a single media firm in India.

Findings

Results indicate that NRS are influenced primarily by a salesperson’s emotion regulation abilities, while salesmanship skills partially mediate in the NRS–performance relationship.

Research limitations/implications

The study results are based on convenience sampling, which may limit the theoretical generalization of the results across all emerging markets.

Originality/value

It is one of the earliest studies in the B2B sales literature that integrates multiple theoretical perspectives from job-demands-resources theory, self-regulation theory, motivation and skills theory and social cognitive theory. These theories have been synthesized; then they have been used to develop and test the impact of emotional regulation on NRS components of self-leadership among salespersons, and its subsequent direct impact on sales performance, as well as mediating impact via salesmanship skills.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2015

Rakesh Singh and Pingali Venugopal

This study aims to address the need to study salesperson’s customer orientation and its effectiveness to explain the efficacy of predispositions and skills at individual…

2387

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to address the need to study salesperson’s customer orientation and its effectiveness to explain the efficacy of predispositions and skills at individual level. This study is set in the Indian context and, therefore, offers a detailed insight from an Indian sales force perspective. Also, this study introduces self-leadership into sales literature.

Design/methodology/approach

A model was tested using survey data collected from salespeople within a print media company located in India. A structural equation model was used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The results suggest an interesting interplay between salesperson’s customer orientation and his/her sales performance. The relationship between customer orientation is fully mediated by salesperson’s emotion regulation ability and his/her salesmanship skills. Results support the role of natural rewards strategies as driver of individual level customer orientation which will be of great interest in future research in this area.

Research limitations/implications

The research suggests that a salesperson’s customer orientation relates positively with sales performance through two process variables – emotion regulation and salesmanship skills. Within an Indian sales force, individual salesperson’s customer orientation is significantly influenced by his/her natural rewards strategies which have important implication for sales force recruitment. Moreover, sales training and other interventions targeted toward building salesmanship skills and emotion regulation abilities may actually enhance effectiveness of customer-oriented sales force. Theoretical and managerial applications are also discussed.

Originality/value

This study extends the literature through its examination of an Indian sales force, the incorporation of self-leadership construct (natural rewards strategies) and its argument for an alternative approach toward salesperson’s customer orientation effectiveness.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 30 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 October 2008

Debra Howcroft and Ben Light

This paper seeks to analyse the process of packaged software selection in a small organization, focussing particularly on the role of IT consultants as intermediaries in…

1648

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to analyse the process of packaged software selection in a small organization, focussing particularly on the role of IT consultants as intermediaries in the process.

Design/methodology/approach

This is based upon a longitudinal, qualitative field study concerning the adoption of a customer relationship management package in an SME management consultancy.

Findings

The authors illustrate how the process of “salesmanship”, an activity directed by the vendor/consultant and focussed on the interests of senior management, marginalises user needs and ultimately secures the procurement of the software package.

Research limitations/implications

Despite the best intentions the authors lose something of the rich detail of the lived experience of technology in presenting the case study as a linear narrative. Specifically, the authors have been unable to do justice to the complexity of the multifarious ways in which individual perceptions of the project were influenced and shaped by the opinions of others.

Practical implications

Practitioners, particularly those from within SMEs, should be made aware of the ways in which external parties may have a vested interest in steering projects in a particular direction, which may not necessarily align with their own interests.

Originality/value

This study highlights in detail the role of consultants and vendors in software selection processes, an area which has received minimal attention to date. Prior work in this area emphasises the necessary conditions for, and positive outcomes of, appointing external parties in an SME context, with only limited attention being paid to the potential problems such engagements may bring.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 June 2020

Mark Tadajewski and D.G. Brian Jones

The purpose of this paper is to provide an historical analysis of an important early contribution to the history of marketing thought literature – the six-book series…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an historical analysis of an important early contribution to the history of marketing thought literature – the six-book series titled The Knack of Selling – which was published in 1913 and intended as an early training course for salesmanship.

Design/methodology/approach

This research utilized a close, systematic reading of The Knack of Selling series and places it in the professional and intellectual context of the early twentieth century. Books published about marketing are primary source materials for any study of the history of marketing thought. In this case, The Knack series constitutes significant primary source material for a study of early thinking about personal selling.

Findings

Echoing A.W. Shaw, Watson offers a more sophisticated interpretation of the “one best way” approach associated with Frederick Taylor. Watson’s advice did not entail the repetition of canned sales talks to each customer. His vision of practice was more complicated. Sales presentations were temporally and locationally relative. They were subject to ongoing evolution. As the marketplace changed, as customer needs and interests shifted, so did organizational and salesperson performances. To keep sales talks relevant to the consumer, personnel were encouraged to undertake rudimentary ethnographic research and interviews. Unusually, there is oscillation in the way power relations between marketer and customer were described. While relational themes are present, so are military metaphors.

Originality/value

This is the first systematic reading of The Knack of Selling that has been produced. It is an important contribution to the literature inasmuch as this book set is not in wide circulation. The material itself was significant as an input into scholarship subsequently hailed as seminal within sales management.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 November 2014

Sidney Plotkin

The purpose of this essay is to argue that, for Veblen, the contribution of advertising to mature business enterprise was crucial. Although Thorstein Veblen’s Theory of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this essay is to argue that, for Veblen, the contribution of advertising to mature business enterprise was crucial. Although Thorstein Veblen’s Theory of the Leisure Class is widely credited with introducing the concept of “conspicuous consumption”, that book is silent on the contribution of the sales effort – or advertising – to such consumption. One must turn to Veblen’s later writings on the business system to find an analysis of advertising within oligopoly capitalism, what Veblen called the system of “absentee ownership”. At the beginning of the twentieth century business faced looming threats of technological progress and democratic discontent. The material prospect of accelerating productivity might soon “end the struggle or lessen the strain” of economic life; democracy might insist that the industrial system serve social needs in efficient ways. To ward off such challenges, business developed a two-prong approach to perpetuate scarcity: carefully managed control of output and an increasingly insistent, rationalized and expensive sales effort. The growth of advertising reflected a systematic expenditure of energy, talent and resources on a misdirection of human effort, one whose chief effect was to prolong “the strain” of everyday life in futile pursuit of waste. Whether such irrationality could be sustained indefinitely, or whether it might finally undermine the society that propels its pursuit, is an issue that Veblen raises, but to which he refuses to give any final answer.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper analyzes the full range of Veblen’s theoretical writings on consumption, technology and the sales effort.

Findings

The paper insists that Veblen is the first radical political economist to provide a systematic critical analysis of advertising as an essential element of mature capitalism.

Originality/value

The paper connects Veblen’s earliest thinking on “conspicuous consumption” to his mature analysis of advertising in the functioning of business enterprise. It will enrich understanding among academics and students, scholars of marketing and economic and social theorists, of Veblen’s critical analysis of the evolution of consumption, production and business enterprise.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 March 2015

Dae-Hee Kim, Lisa Spiller and Matt Hettche

This study aims to examine current practices of social media marketing among major global brands across five product categories (namely, convenience, shopping, specialty…

6883

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine current practices of social media marketing among major global brands across five product categories (namely, convenience, shopping, specialty, industrial and service). Assessing the frequency, media type and content orientations of corporate Facebook pages, this study aims to isolate the qualitative factors of a brand’s social media message that are most likely to facilitate a consumer response.

Design/methodology/approach

A content analysis of 1,086 social media posts was conducted from the corporate Facebook pages of 92 global brands during a one-month (snapshot) time horizon in July 2013. The data collected from each individual post include its media type (i.e. text, photo or video), its content orientation (i.e. task, interaction and self-oriented) and the number and type of consumer response it generated (i.e. likes, comments and shares).

Findings

Research findings reveal that global brands actively utilize social media, posting on average three messages per week and generally use photos (as a media type) and interaction-focused content (as a content orientation) to secure consumer responses. However, differences in consumer responses exist along various product categories, message media type and message content orientation.

Practical implications

Findings imply that marketers should not only carefully consider the media type they use to message consumers on social media but should also try to consider the individual consumer’s motive for interaction.

Originality/value

This article suggests a new way to study social media content by applying pre-existing communication frameworks from salesmanship literature as a way to define message content orientation.

Details

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7122

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 November 2015

Thomas L. Powers

– The purpose of this paper is to provide a retrospective review of an early marketing text, Marketing Methods (1918) by Ralph Starr Butler.

320

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a retrospective review of an early marketing text, Marketing Methods (1918) by Ralph Starr Butler.

Design/methodology/approach

Marketing Methods is summarized, and perspectives of scholars that have occurred since its publication are provided.

Findings

Marketing Methods represents the first college textbook to use the term “marketing” and, thus, represents a major and important early work in the field.

Originality/value

This review of Marketing Methods provides a retrospective on the development, structure, critical reviews and influence of this text.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1974

David Knights

Some twenty years ago Ray C. Brewster made a strong plea to revitalise the concept of salesmanship by incorporating the most up‐to‐date psychological knowledge then…

Abstract

Some twenty years ago Ray C. Brewster made a strong plea to revitalise the concept of salesmanship by incorporating the most up‐to‐date psychological knowledge then available. Five years later in the same journal Edward C. Bursk pointed to the danger of relying upon ''scientific' techniques and forgetting to go out and sell. The major intention of this paper is to provide some theoretical legitimation for this latter view and in the process to present a sociological critique of psychological theory as applied to the practical field of personal selling. A final section will concern itself with the practical implications of the critique.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Article
Publication date: 26 June 2007

Matthew Barekat

Reviews the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoints practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.

469

Abstract

Purpose

Reviews the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoints practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

The managing partner of a consultancy gives a personal overview of the current backlash against questionable ethics employed by some consultancies

Practical implications

Provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world's leading organizations.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy‐to‐digest format.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 23 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

Keywords

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