An unsought good is a new product that the purchaser is not yet aware of or he is aware of the product but does not want it at the moment or does not normally think about buying it. An example of unsought goods can be a new product that is being launched in the market which does not have a ready demand. Sales personnel have a very important role to play in case of unsought goods. An aggressive sales policy has to be implied. There may be several rejections, and hence the motivation level of the sales force should be of the highest importance to sales management. Many companies offering unsought goods, as in case of personal selling, appoint independent agents to take care of sales. The role of sales managers, in this case, is to train the sales agents, to supervise their work and to motivate them to achieve the sale targets. However, relatively few goods fall into this category. Most consumers have a good understanding of their own needs when consumer purchases are considered and often seek them. Customer buying behaviour variations are key distinguishing the category of the good. Classic examples of unsought goods are home security systems, pre-planned funeral services and blood donations.
Converting unsought goods into sought goods
Customers are highly unlikely to think about buying life insurance unless prompted to do so by marketers or recommended by other people. It is highly important in such case to have strong marketing of the unsought product that your company might be selling. It usually takes an aggressive marketing campaign and a lot of effort from the marketing team with the task of personal selling and sales promotions. The mission for marketers is to transform customers perceptions of unsought goods into sought which is usually rather difficult. This can also be done by educating customers of the importance of the good or bundling the product with other complementary services, such as travel or health insurance to sell the good.
The selling concept
Many companies make use of the selling concept, which holds that consumers will not buy enough of the company's products unless it undertakes a large-scale selling and promotion effort. The selling concept is typically practised with unsought goods - those that buyers do not normally think of purchasing, such as insurance or blood donations. These industries must track down prospects and sell them on product benefits. This type of aggressive selling, however, carries high risks. It focuses on creating one-off sales transactions rather than building long-term, profitable customer relationships. The aim often is to sell what the company makes, rather than making what the market wants. It assumes that customers who are buying the product will like it. Or, if they do not like it, they will possibly forget their disappointment and buy it again later. These are usually bad assumptions.
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- Kurtz D., Mackenzie H. (2009) p.328
- Strydom J. (2005) p.108
- Pride W., Ferrell O., (2017) p.337
- Armstrong G., Adam S. (2014) p.11
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Author: Jakub Irauth