Personal Selling

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Published: 17th August 2015
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Personal Selling

Personal Selling is explained as a one-to-one interaction between the organisation's sales representative and the buyer/ potential buyer to influence and persuade them to make a purchase in a systematic, repetitive and measurable way. According to Jobber 2007, there are three types of personal selling techniques: -
a. Order Takers who only responds to the company's already committed/ loyal buyers.
b. Order Creators who don't directly receive any order from the buyers but they persuade and encourage the channel members to push their products to their prospects.
c. Order Getters are front line sales person who persuades the customers to make direct purchases.

Personal Selling follows a five stage process of selling: -
Stage I: - Prospecting: - Identifying the target market based upon the need, expectations and desires of the buyer.
Stage II: - Making First Contact: - It involves the preparation done by the sales representative before they meet their potential buyer. A good sales person identifies the objective, the expectation, the expected result, purpose of the visit/call, timing of making the visit/ call, information to be conveyed and preparation that they require before meeting the buyer.
Stage III: - Making Sales Call/ Presentation: - While making actual sales visit/ call the sales person must remember that they are focused, enthusiastic, calm, cool, confident, relaxed and have adequate product knowledge to list the benefits of buying the product, encourage queries, feedbacks and allow the customers to participate in the interaction process.
Stage IV: - Objection handling: - It refers to the technique through which sales person handles client's queries, questions and obstacles. The sales person should be tactful, courteous, calm, confident and respectful in handling such objections even if they are difficult to handle and tackle.
Stage V: - Closing the sale: - It is vital for any sales person to successfully close a deal so it is necessary for them to know the art of closing any sales call/ visit like asking when to call next, whether to place their order, encouraging feedback, identifying body language of the buyer, summarising the discussion, encouraging opportunities for future meeting etc.

Following are the definitions of Personal Selling: -
1. The presentation of a persuasive message by a seller to a potential customer or group of customers, generally in a face-to-face meeting. Personal selling can also take place through personal correspondence, telephone conversations, or emails.
2. Personal selling is a promotional method in which one party (e.g., salesperson) uses skills and techniques for building personal relationships with another party (e.g., those involved in a purchase decision) that results in both parties obtaining value.
3. Face to face interaction with one or more perspective purchasers for the purpose of making presentations, answering questions, and procuring orders" - Philip Kotler.
4. Face-to-face selling in which a seller attempts to persuade a buyer to make a purchase.
Role/ Importance of Personal Selling: -
1. It helps to establish personal contacts and relations between the buyers and the organisation's sales representative.

2. There is verbal communication between both the parties and hence product information can be easily exchanged. Various product characteristics like price, colour, shape, design, technique, warranty, and service/delivery / installation issues can be easily demonstrated by the Sales Person to the possible buyer.

3. Doubts, queries of the buyer can be solved immediately and the Sales Person can receive immediate feedback, ideas, solutions, views, know about the likes, dislikes, taste, preferences of their buyer or potential buyer.

4. The objective of Personal Selling is not only to inform, persuade, and intimate the buyer but also to make actual sales of products/ services so the ultimate end objective of increasing sales of any organisation is achieved through Personal Selling.

5. The Sales Person can adopt a unique selling technique for each buyer according to their expectations and situations hence it is dyadic in nature and can analyse to how to sell to the satisfy the needs of the buyer.

6. It fosters two-way communication process where message is conveyed and feedback is received immediately.

7. It is a two way proactive and dynamic process rather than reactive and passive form of communication.

8. Through Personal Selling, the organisation can provide detailed information about their products/ services, advantages, unique features, availability, unique attributes of the product, special instructions about the product/ services.

9. Personal Selling enables the organisation o reach a more defined and concentrated market and approach their target market effectively

10. It educates and builds brand awareness among their potential target market about the new offerings to the organisation.

11. It aids other promotional technique like Advertising, Public Relations and Publicity. Advertising informs the buyers about the company's product/ services but Personal Selling persuades the customers to buy the products.

12. It is considered as an appropriate technique in selling complex items like financial services, automobiles, office equipment's like photocopier etc.

13. The Sales Personal needs the right attitude, appearances, body language and specialised product knowledge.

14. Point-of-Sale-Merchandising is often considered as a specialised form of Personal Selling. It involves face-to-face interaction between Sales Person of the organisation and the retail trader. The purpose is to encourage Retail trader to stock company's product and induce them to sell the products to their buyers/ target market.

15. Personal Selling can be single or one-time relations with the buyer or long term relationship involving multiple interactions and repeat purchases.

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