Wholesalers can be separated based on the importance promotion plays in generating demand for products handled by the wholesaler. Two basic categories exist:
- Extensive Promotion – The main job of some wholesalers is to actively locate buyers. This occurs most often where a wholesaler is hired to find buyers for a supplier’s products or where the wholesaler is very aggressive in finding new customers for their own business. Under these arrangements, the most common promotional activity is personal selling through a sales force, though advertising targeted to business customers may also be used.
- Limited Promotion – Nearly all wholesalers engage in some promotional activities. Even in situations where a wholesaler dominates a channel and clients have little choice but to acquire products from the wholesaler, some promotion will still occur. For instance, at times a wholesaler may need to use their salespeople to persuade buyers to purchase in larger volume than normal or to agree to stock a new product the wholesaler is handling. In other cases, especially for wholesalers selling products for business use, promotional activities may be more extensive and include advertising and other promotional methods.