In the competitive market environment of today, customers are more sophisticated and consumer preferences have shifted to a more demanding scheme, requiring consumer needs to be met immediately and successfully. As a result, the job of the salespeople has become increasingly demanding requiring them, not only to continually building a rapport with their customers, but also to continually expanding their network of contacts. In this context, networking is an effective method for salespeople to increase their credibility, and, most importantly, to boost their sales and profitability.
In today’s competitive marketplace, firms need to spend millions of dollars in advertising campaigns and address in-depth market segmentation to direct customers towards specific purchase decisions. As consumers become more sophisticated and demanding, firms need to focus on a more balanced attention to customer acquisition and retention, which is attainable through the development of suitable relationships with key customer segments.
Understanding customer behavior is a fundamental element of strategic planning for most organizations. The needs of consumers in the different markets differentiate one organization from another and drive a strategic plan to develop a customer base that can be profitable. Sometimes, a gap occurs between what organizations think about their customers and what customers actually expect from an organization.
The retail sector plays a key role in the U.S economy, not only because consumer demand is an indication of a healthy financial system, but also because retailers serve as large employers. Nearly 10 percent of the national workforce in the U.S. is employed in the retail sector, which provides long-term career opportunities both for young people and seniors. Retailing serves also as a side job when people look to switch between career objectives.