Some salespeople are not engaged in direct selling activities at all. That is, they do not sell directly to the person who is the ultimate customer for their product. Instead these salespeople concentrate on selling activity that targets those who influence purchases made by the final customer and include:
- Missionary – These salespeople are used in industries where customers make purchases based on the advice or requirements of others. In this role, the salesperson concentrates on selling activities that target those who influence purchases made by the final customer. Two industries in which missionary selling is commonly found are pharmaceuticals, where salespeople, known as product detailers, discuss products with doctors (influencers) who then write prescriptions for their patients (final customer), and higher education, where salespeople discuss textbooks with college professors (influencers) who then assign these to their students (final customer).
- Controlled Word-of-Mouth Promotion – As we noted in the Types of Promotion Tutorial, another type of order supporter specializes in word-of-mouth promotion. This type of promotion, which also is known by such terms as buzz marketing and advocacy marketing, is similar to missionary selling as salespeople do not actively look to make a sale. However, it differs from missionary selling in that salespeople will talk to the eventual purchaser of the product. While still a fairly new approach to personal selling, marketers may one day view this as a standard personal selling option.