Sales people contacting potential industrial buyers are selling more than just a physical product or a service, they are selling the total benefits offered to the buying firm-the "augmented" product. (P. Kotler, Marketing Management. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1976). In today's market, the product benefits that are critical in making a sale are those that a firm adds "to their factory output in the form of packaging, services, advertising, customer advice, financing, delivery arrangements, warehousing, and other things that people value" (T. Levitt, The Marketing Mode. McGraw-Hill, New York, 1969). The salesperson, however, may often err in the presentation of the "augmented" product to the customer due to lack of information on the buyer's needs. These errors are compounded by lack of knowledge about which dimensions of the "augmented" product give the competitive advantage to the firm. This article proposes a new role for supplier performance evaluation that can contribute greatly to the effectiveness of the industrial marketer.
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