Who Is the Customer?

In most cases, the “customer” is the end-use buyer of the product or service, and generally when we speak of customers this is to whom we refer. But, in other situations, the channel member (rep, agent, dealer, distributor, and so forth) is the customer when it takes “possession and control” of the product until it is sold to the end-user, such as with dealers and distributors.

The first step in answering, “Who is the customer?” must consider the following possibilities. The customer could be the end-user that the SMM sells directly to through its own sales personnel, or through reps, dealers, or distributors that own or manage the customer. Growth ­strategy in the first case should be straightforward—simply have the sales ...

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