After our introduction in the first article about introduction of personal selling we want to know about sales, marketing and what is the relationship between personal selling, sales and marketing.
Marketing has many definitions but the most popular one is: Human activity directed as satisfying needs and wants through exchange processes. (Kotler, 1980)
For exchange to occur there must be:
What is selling?
Selling is the personal or impersonal process of assisting and/or persuading a prospective customer to buy a commodity or a service or to act favorably upon an idea that has commercial significance to the seller “
(The American Marketing Association)
What is personal selling?
Personal selling is a person-to-person business activity in which a salesperson uncovers and satisfies the needs of a buyer. The objective is to build a relationship that provides long-term benefits to both parties. (Win – Win situation)
Today there is a new view of communications as an interactive dialogue between the company and its customers. Marketers view communications as the management of the Customer Relationship over Time. So we can see promotion as communication between the company and its customers called it marketing communication.
There are many types of marketing communication like personal selling, Advertising, Public relation, sales promotion and publicity.
From the definition of personal selling we see:
First: One person is seller or sales person and the other person is the buyer or customer, so we will discuss all aspects about sales person, customer & buying process. We also discuss how interaction between buyer and seller take place through sales call.
Second: We will also discuss the needs, buying motives and how sales person can discover customer ‘needs.
Third: We will discuss how the seller can communicate & negotiate with buyer during the sales call.
Fourth: Finally we can discuss how seller and buyer make a long-term relation, types of relation and phases of relation formation
Let’s first talk about sales myths, what do people think about sales people and selling process:
ü “Sales people are born and not made.”
ü “Sales people must be good talkers.”
ü “Selling is a matter of knowing the right techniques or tricks.”
ü “A good salesperson can sell ice to an Eskimo.”
ü “People generally do not want to buy.”
These myth or bad impression about sales person job will be covered during discussion. But let’s take about the role of sales person, importance of this role and differences between sales person and other promotional tools:
Personal selling responsibility
Of course, not all firms treat each of these responsibilities the same, nor are their salespeople limited to only these tasks. Personal selling has evolved to include responsibilities beyond these. Job requirements may include:
(1) Locating prospective customers.
(2) Determining customers’ needs and wants that are not being satisfied
(3) Recommending away to satisfy these needs and wants.
(4) Demonstrating the capabilities of the firm and its products for providing this satisfaction.
(5) Closing the sale and taking the order
(6) Following up and servicing the account.
Let us discuss these job classiﬁcations and some of the responsibilities assigned to each:
1. Locating prospective customers. The process of locating new customers (often referred to as prospecting) involves the search for and qualiﬁcation of prospective customers. Salespeople must follow up on leads (those who may become customers) and prospects (those who need the product or service). They must also determine whether these prospects are qualiﬁed prospects that is able to make the buying decision and pay for the product.
2. Determining customers’ needs and wants. At this stage, the salesperson gathers more information on the prospect and decides the best way to approach him or her. The rep must determine what the customer needs or wants and make certain the person being approached is capable of making the purchase decision. In some instances the salesperson may have to assist the customer in determining what he or she needs.
3. Recommending a way to satisfy the customers’ needs and wants. Here the sales person recommends a possible solution to the problem and needs of the potential customer. This may entail providing information the prospect had not considered or identifying alternative solutions that might work. As noted earlier, the salesperson acts as a systems provider.
4. Demonstrating the capabilities of the ﬁrm and its products. At this stage, the salesperson demonstrates the capabilities of the ﬁrm and shows the prospect why that ﬁrm is the obvious choice. As you might expect, corporate image (created through advertising and other promotional tools) is important to the salesperson.
5. Closing the sale. The key ingredient in any sales presentation is the close getting the prospect’s commitment. For many salespeople, this is the most difficult task. Many reps are adept at prospecting, identifying customer needs, and making presentations, but they are reluctant to ask for the sale.
6. Following up and servicing the account. The responsibilities of the sales force do not end once the sale has been made. It is much easier to keep existing customers than to attract new ones. Maintaining customer loyalty, generating repeat sales, and getting the opportunity to cross sell that is, sell additional products and services to the same customer are some of the advantages of keeping customers satisﬁed through follow up activities. In relationship marketing versus selling orientation, follow up is necessary and expected.
Advantages & disadvantages of personal selling as sales career
Advantage& disadvantage of personal selling as marketing communication tools