15 Apr Adaptive selling
In 1981, Weitz developed the Contingency Model as a guide for research aimed at uncovering ideal selling behaviors that yield effective customer interactions. The Contingency Model was designed around two levels of contingencies: one level focused on characteristics of the salesperson, and the second level focused on the characteristics of sales situation. Weitz et al. (1986) added to our understanding of the Contingency Model by extending and clarifying the first level of contingencies—characteristics of the salesperson—by developing the Adaptive Selling framework. Adaptive selling is conceptualized as the process a salesperson goes through to gather information about the selling situation and use this information to develop unique sales presentations designed to meet the needs of the customer (Spiro and Weitz, 1990). The Adaptive Selling framework proposed that the proper use of adaptive selling strategy can be critical to a salesperson’s effectiveness (see Weitz et al., 1986 for a more detailed discussion).
‘‘The practice of adaptive selling is defined as the altering of sales behaviors during a customer interaction or across interactions based on perceived information about the nature of the selling situation’’ (Weitz et al., 1986, p. 175). To practice adaptive selling then, salespeople must be able to sense buyers’ personalities, moods, information needs, risk aversion, etc. They must then change (adapt) their selling strategies to match the needs of each individual buyer. The salespeople will increase performance by adapting their selling behavior to meet the needs of each buyer.
- Weitz BA. Effectiveness in sales interactions: a contingency framework. J Mark 1981; 45 (Winter): 85-103.
- Weitz BA, Sujan H, Sujan M. Knowledge, motivation, and adaptive behavior: a framework for improving selling effectiveness. J Mark 1986; 50 (October):174 – 91.