Sales professionalism 15

By:  Dr. M. Shehab

All rights reserved to the writer

Personal selling approaches

Everyone can ask himself how sales person or medical rep influences customer’s decision, what are the ways to do this? In this article we will explain how and what by go through personal selling approaches.

We also hear many statements like; Medical rep is a need satisfier, Medical rep is a problem solver, Medical rep must aware his customer about company’s products.

What these statements mean. This will be described in personal selling approaches.

These approaches describe how personal selling process takes place between the sales person and customer. Sales person or medical rep can use one of these approaches. Some salespeople use no conscious approach.

Successful sales people or medical reps use their knowledge and professionalism to use more than one approach.

There approaches are:

  1. A.    Stimulus-Response Selling
  2. B.    Mental – Response selling (AIDA)
  3. C.     Need Satisfaction Selling
  4. D.    Problem Solving Selling

A- Stimulus – response selling

The salesperson attempts to gain favorable response from customer by providing stimuli or cues to influence customer action. After customer has been properly conditioned, the salesperson tries to secure a positive purchase decision. This method implied effectively in telemarketing. If this method joined with canned presentation it will be more effective.

This approach has some advantages; that message can be structured in logical way. Questions and objections from the buyer can be anticipated and addressed. This method becomes ineffective when it is not suitable for professional buyer who wants to participate in dialogue and also Interruption may neutralize or damage this stimulus.

New Picture

New Picture (2)

B – Mental – response selling (AIDA)

Sales person, customer response takes place through certain mental sates. These mental states referred to AIDA: (Awareness- interest – Desire – Action). According to AIDA, medical rep or sales person should begin by winning customer attention or gaining awareness, creating interest, inspiring desire and precipitating the action for purchase.

This method provides logical, structured presentation and less communication between buyer& seller. This method is difficult to determine which state the buyer in. Is he in awareness or interest or desire and so on?  . Customer may be in intermediate stage between awareness and interest.

The action of sales person in sales call can describe these stages as shown in the table:

Sales step

Mental state

Approach the customer


Probe the customer

Present the product’ benefits


Handling customer’ objection





C – Need satisfaction selling

Salesperson attempts to uncover the customer needs that related to the sales person’s product or service. Salesperson asks customer questions to discover his needs (probe). Sales person proceeds in sales presentation to match (tailor) product benefits with customer’s need. This method is flexible, customer participates in dialogue. It provides low pressure friendly conversation. Sales person gets a lot of information from customer but he needs more skills and capabilities.

New Picture (1)

New Picture (3)

C – Problem solving selling

New Picture (4)

Salesperson defines customer problems that may be solved by various alternatives .Salesperson represents an offer at least one of these alternatives. All alternatives are carefully evaluated before a purchase decision is made. This method is suitable for technical industrial salesperson and key account sales.

New Picture (5)

As we see the more complication of the product the more effective approach can be used and also the more skills, knowledge and capabilities required from sales person to influence the customer.

Sales person play a major role in aware customers about Company’s product, uncover the needs of customers, tailor products’ benefits according to those needs and influence purchasing decision. So sales person is the most effective way in marketing communication.

I will be happy with your comments.