This study presents detailed sales actions through continuous unstructured interviews of practitioners. The results of the study demonstrate that there are five steps in sales: 1) preparation; 2) approaching customers; 3) interview; 4) presentation; and 5) closing. In addition, a questionnaire comprising 142 items for measuring these sales actions was developed based on these five steps, and the questionnaire was given to 107 individuals in eight companies. The results of the questionnaire revealed variances between top and bottom performers, with these variances in the steps prior to the interview, particularly in the preparation stage. This suggests the importance of preparation in sales. The sales skills scale of Rentz, Shepherd, Tashchian, Dabholkar, and Ladd (2002) measured aspects that have no direct relationship with sales and is problematic considering that it may fall into a tautology. The research approach taken herein, where the focus is on these sales actions and the five steps, may resolve the problems inherent to Rentz et al. (2002).
The two most important approaches toward the diversification strategy for suppliers are extending “product scope” (product range) and “customers scope” (customer reach) within the same industry. This study analyzes the diversification strategies of Japanese automobile component suppliers by focusing on business in each component with each customer and dividing it broadly into existing business and new business. Subsequently, this study further classifies new business along the dimensions of both product scope and customer scope into existing and new, resulting in a total of five categories, which were then analyzed to explore the relationship with the duration of the business. Findings revealed that relationships endure the longest and have the highest probability of continuing for the new customer/existing product category, that is, providing existing products to new customers.
Discussions regarding managers in overseas subsidiaries often center around only two options: (a) sending someone from the parent country (a parent-country national expatriate, or P-CONE), or (b) using a local resource (a host-country national). The conventional wisdom is for a parent company to send a P-CONE when an overseas subsidiary is in the initial start-up phase, and to eventually promote a local host-country national. However, this paper introduces a case where headquarters (c) hired a local resource (a host-country national expatriate, or H-CONE) and sent that person to the host country, and this was a superior solution to the other two options for externalizing local issues and developing a business based on a relationship with the parent country. Exchange students from other parts of Asia are currently increasing in Japan, as are exchange students being hired by Japanese companies. For Japanese companies expanding in Asia, this third option is becoming more of a reality. A new human resource strategy needs to be developed that breaks away from only the dual options of (a) and (b) and includes (c).
A survey of 70 companies that had entered Japan’s online securities industry in its early stages showed that the number of these companies had shrunk dramatically to 56 companies by September 2003, following a series of market withdrawals that began in 2001. At first glance, this may appear to be a weeding out through a severe competition for survival. However, the reason for these withdrawals was not distress; in actuality troubles for these companies grew after they withdrew from the market. It is true that four out of the six (67%) foreign firms ceased operations and withdrew, but, in contrast, none of the 22 domestic financial firms halted operations, however, their numbers shrunk by nine (41%) due to mergers. In other words, at the very least Japan’s online securities industry in its early stages did not experience a culling due to distress as is implicitly assumed, but rather numbers were reduced due to other mechanisms such as financial restructuring in a very short period of time before the companies experienced distress.