THE SELLING TASK AND THE REPRESENTATIVE
DOI link for THE SELLING TASK AND THE REPRESENTATIVE
THE SELLING TASK AND THE REPRESENTATIVE book
The human relationship within the task system may be friendly or unfriendly, collusive or conflicting, trusting or distrusting, but, because of the nature of the task performed within it, it must always contain some elements of manipulation. At one extreme this key relationship may be conducted through telephone conversations between clerks; at the other, through long protracted negotiations between principals. Usually, in the consumer-goods and many other industries, it is conducted on behalf of the manufacturing enterprise by a specialist-a 'representative'. His specialist skill is the 'management' of the relationship, and hence of the boundary within which the task is performed. (It is one of the paradoxes of competitive marketing that the selling task, without which no business can be accomplished, appears to be most denigrated when it is performed by a 'representative' whose expertise this is. Only when it is performed by a director, or manager of high rank, for whom selling is, at most, a very part-time occupation, does it appear to achieve dignity and status. We shall be examining this phenomenon from the organizational point of view in the next chapter.)
In the consumer-goods industry the pair relationship is 'managed' on behalf of customers by a wide variety of people in a wide variety of roles - owner, manager, buyer, assistant - and in a wide variety of retail and wholesale oudets. These oudets can be classified as:
(a)Multiples:whichmaybechainsofsmall,large,ormedium-sized shopsofvariouskinds,inwhichbuyingisdoneeitherbylocal branchanddepartmentalmanagersorbycentral,headquarters buyers.