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  • 1. Marketing Management Unit 4 Delivering Marketing Programs Chapter 14 - Promotion-Decisions and Strategies Lesson 46 - Personal selling - concept and processIn previous chapter we have discussed about Direct marketing and its growth ,importance and chan-nels of direct Marketing.Let us move on to another component of promotion mix- Personal selling. You all have prob-ably experienced personal selling efforts. Have you ever bought something from the doorsalesman ? Do you find personal selling efforts worth appreciating or have you found themiritatating? Personal selling is somewhat different from other promotion components . Do you agree ? Lets getstarted and know it better………Students you would agree that personal selling is the most adaptable of all promotion methodsbecause the person who is presenting the message can modify it to suit the individual buyer.However, personal selling is also the most expensive promotion method.Lets define personal selling now…Personal selling is paid personal communication that attempts to inform customers and persuadethem to purchase products or services.You would agree that it is the personal selling process that allows marketers the greatest freedom toadjust a message to satisfy customers’ information needs. Personal selling allows the marketer orseller to communicate directly with the prospect or customer and listen to his or her concerns, an-swer specific questions, provide additional information, inform, persuade, and possibly even recom-mend other products or services.It would be interesting for you to know that personal selling is one of the oldest forms of promotion.It involves the use of a sales force to support a push strategy (encouraging intermediaries to buythe product) or a pull strategy (where the role of the sales force may be limited to supportingretailers and providing after-sales service).Let us look at how personal selling facilitates marketers :- The greatest freedom to adjust a message to satisfy customers informational needs, dynamic. Most precision, enabling marketers to focus on most promising leads. vs. advertising, publicity and sales promotion Give more information Two way flow of information, interactivity.16.101G © Copy Right : Rai University 463
  • 2. Marketing Management Discover the strengths and weaknesses of new products and pass this information on to the marketing department. Highest cost. Businesses spend more on personal selling than on any other form of promotional mix. Goals range from finding prospects convincing prospects to buy keeping customers satisfied—help them pass the word along.KINDS OF SALESMENLet us know about kinds of salesmen . Can you give some examples ? Have you met different kindof sales people ? Following are some categories of sales personA. Salespersons may be order getters, order takers, and support personnel. A single individual can, and often does, perform all three functions.1. Order Getters. An order getter is responsible for what is sometimes called creative selling: selling the firm’s products to new customers and increasing sales to present customers.a. An order getter must perceive buyers’ needs supply customers with information about the firm’s product, and persuade them to buy the product.b. Order-getting activities fall into two groups.1. In current-customer sales, salespeople concentrate on obtaining additional sales.2. In new-business sales, sales personnel seek out new prospects and convince them to make an initial purchase.2. Order Takers. An order taker handles repeat sales in ways that maintain positive relationships with customers.a. Inside order takers receive incoming mail and telephone orders; they also include salespersons in retail stores.b. Outside (or field) order takers travel to customers.3. Support Personnel. Sales support personnel aid in selling but are more involved in locating prospects, educating customers, building goodwill for the firm, and providing follow-up service.a. A missionary salesperson usually works for a manufacturer and visits retailers to persuade them to buy the manufacturer’s products.b. A trade salesperson generally works for a food producer or processor and assists its customers in promoting products, especially in retail stores.A technical salesperson assists the company’s current customers in technical matters.PROS AND CONS OF PERSONAL SELLINGWhat are the advantages of using personal selling as a means of promotion? Personal selling is a face-to-face activity; customers therefore obtain a relatively high degree of personal attention The sales message can be customised to meet the needs of the customer The two-way nature of the sales process allows the sales team to respond directly and promptly to customer questions and concerns Personal selling is a good way of getting across large amounts of technical or other complex product information The face-to-face sales meeting gives the sales force chance to demonstrate the product Frequent meetings between sales force and customer provide an opportunity to build good long- term relationshipsGiven that there are many advantages to personal selling, why do more businesses not maintain a464 © Copy Right : Rai University 16.101G
  • 3. Marketing Managementdirect sales force?Main disadvantages of using personal sellingThe main disadvantage of personal selling is the cost of employing a sales force. Sales people areexpensive. In addition to the basic pay package, a business needs to provide incentives to achievesales (typically this is based on commission and/or bonus arrangements) and the equipment to makesales calls (car, travel and subsistence costs, mobile phone etc).In addition, a sales person can only call on one customer at a time. This is not a cost-effective way ofreaching a large audienceKNOWING PERSONAL SELLING PROCESSLet us know how the salesperson proceeds with personal selling efforts .Very commonly known arethe following seven steps of personal selling process :-1. PROSPECTING2. PRE-APPROACH3. APPROACH4. SALES PRESENTATION5. HANDLING OBJECTIONS6. CLOSING SALE7. FOLLOW UP1. PROSPECTING - Prospecting refers to identifying and developing a list of potential clients.Salespeople can seek the names of prospects from a variety of sources including trade shows,commercially-available databases or mail lists, company sales records and in-house databases, publicrecords, referrals, directories, and a wide variety of other sources. Prospecting activities should beclearly structured so that they identify only potential clients who fit the profile and are able, willing,and authorized to buy the product or service. Once prospecting is underway, it then is up to the salesprofessional to qualify those prospects to further identify likely customers and screen out poor leadsLet us look at the prospecting methods in brief : Referrals from customers Trading leads with other sales representatives (non-competitive) Internal Lists Purchased lists (some interest) Cold calling (no prior indication of interest)2. PRE-APPROACH - Before engaging in the actual personal selling process, sales professionalsfirst analyze all the information they have available to them about a prospect to understand as muchabout the prospect as possible. During the pre approach phase of the personal selling process, salesprofessionals try to understand the prospect’s current needs, current use of brands and feelings aboutall available brands, as well as identify key decision makers, review account histories (if any), assessproduct needs, plan/create a sales presentation to address the identified and likely concerns of theprospect, and set call objectives. The sales professional also develops a preliminary overall strategyfor the sales process during this phase, keeping in mind that the strategy may have to be refined as heor she learns more about the prospect.In brief pre-approach would involve the following :- Does the customer have a need that would be filled by the product/service? Is it financially possible for the customer to buy? Can the person make or influence the decision?16.101G © Copy Right : Rai University 465
  • 4. Marketing Management3. APPROACH - The approach is the actual contact the sales professional has with the prospect.This is the point of the selling process where the sales professional meets and greets the prospect,provides an introduction, establishes rapport that sets the foundation of the relationship, and asksopen-ended questions to learn more about the prospect and his or her needs.4. SALES PRESENTATION - During the presentation portion of the selling process, the salesprofessional tells that product “story” in a way that speaks directly to the identified needs and wantsof the prospect. A highly customized presentation is the key component of this step. At this point inthe process, prospects are often allowed to hold and/or inspect the product and the sales professionalmay also actually demonstrate the product. Audio visual presentations may be incorporated such asslide presentations or product videos and this is usually when sales brochures or booklets are pre-sented to the prospect. Sales professionals should strive to let the prospect do most of the talkingduring the presentation and address the needs of the prospect as fully as possible by showing that heor she truly understands and cares about the needs of the prospect.5. HANDLING OBJECTIONS - Professional salespeople seek out prospect objections in orderto try to address and overcome them. When prospects offers objections, it often signals that theyneed and want to hear more in order to make a fully-informed decision. If objections are not uncov-ered and identified, then sales professionals cannot effectively manage them. Uncovering objections,asking clarifying questions, and overcoming objections is a critical part of training for professionalsellers and is a skill area that must be continually developed because there will always be objections.Trust me when I tell you that as soon as a sales professional finds a way to successfully handle “all”his or her prospects’ objections, some prospect will find a new, unanticipated objection— if for noother reason than to test the mettle of the salesperson.6. CLOSING SALE - Although technically “closing” a sale happens when products or services aredelivered to the customer’s satisfaction and payment is received, for the purposes of our discussionI will define closing as “asking for the order”. There are many closing techniques as well as manyways to ask trial closing questions. A trail question might take the form of, “Now that I’ve addressedyour concerns, what other questions do you have that might impact your decision to purchase?”Closing does not always mean that the sales professional literally asks for the order, it could be askingthe prospect how many they would like, what color they would prefer, when they would like to takedelivery, etc. Too many sales professions are either weak or too aggressive when it comes to closing.If you are closing a sale, be sure to ask for the order. If the prospect gives an answer other than“yes”, it may be a good opportunity to identify new objections and continue selling.7. FOLLOW UP - Followup is an often overlooked but important part of the selling process. Afteran order is received, it is in the best interest of everyone involved for the salesperson to followup withthe prospect to make sure the product was received in the proper condition, at the right time, installedproperly, proper training delivered, and that the entire process was acceptable to the customer. Thisis a critical step in creating customer satisfaction and building long-term relationships with customers.If the customer experienced any problems whatsoever, the sales professional can intervene andbecome a customer advocate to ensure 100% satisfaction. Diligent followup can also lead to uncov-ering new needs, additional purchases, and also referrals and testimonials which can be used as salestools.WHAT SHOULD A GOOD SALESPERSON DO ?What do you think ? What are the qualities of a good salesperson ?Let us discuss a few of them…..1) Be sincere with people. Too many salespeople are fake and feign interest in their prospects. People are smart and see right through such insincerity. If you are not sincere and honest with everyone you meet then you should not be in sales.2) It is vitally important to constantly hone your sales and communications skills. Continuous growth466 © Copy Right : Rai University 16.101G
  • 5. Marketing Management and training in formal professional selling techniques is also very important. Take training classes, listen to audio cassette professional development tapes, read all the professional development material you can get your hands on, and start a program of self-study and development in sales today if you haven’t already.3) First listen to your customer, understand his or her wants and needs, and only then try to deter- mine whether or not you can deliver the product or services to meet those wants and needs. If you approach a prospect with a solution before understanding the problem you are likely to be wrong about the solution.4) The best salespeople ask a lot of questions and genuinely listen to the answers before speaking again.5) Your prospects and customers are all different so you should treat them differently.6) The best sales people listen much more than they talk.7) Find out what your prospects want and then give it to them.8) If you think you cannot make sales then you probably should not even try.Here is something interesting for you…….APPLICATION EXERCISE :Review the following article. Share Your views.Shorn close personal - VARSHA GUPTA & MALIKARODRIGUESTIMES NEWS NETWORK[ WEDNESDAY,AUGUST 11, 1999 12:32:29 AM ]Marketing in the year 2005: Virtually all products are available without going to a store. The customercan access pictures on the Internet, shop among online vendors for the best terms, and click orderand payment. Most companies have built proprietary databases containing information on individualcustomer preferences, and use them to “mass-customise” their offerings. Businesses are doing abetter job of retaining customers by finding imaginative ways to exceed customer expectations.Companies are focusing on building customer share rather than market share. An increasing amountof personal selling is occurring over electronic media, mass TV advertising has greatly diminished.Companies are unable to sustain competitive advantages, and believe that their only sustainableadvantage lies in an ability to learn faster and change faster. * Philip Kotler, Kotler on MarketingTHROW away those stilettos and clogs. Barefoot days are here. Feel the earth, scream marketersas they wait for the new millennium to unfold. Trying to be heard above the din of the big M, Indianmarketers say, “Let’s go back to the basics”. Making consumers want - but more essentially, buy -products is what marketing is about. And this what it will always be about, Y2K or not. As SergioZyman, former head of marketing at The Coca-Cola Company, has put it, “It’s the consumer, stupid.”That’s what marketers will focus on in the new age. Only, the many ways of getting to the consumerare evolving at the speed of thought. So it seems only fitting that technology will take over marketing,and move it from being a science to sounding like science fiction. On the cutting edge of the century,terms from the lexicons of finance, economics and technologyhave found their way onto marketers’tongues. Here’s what they’re chanting: E-commerce. Data mining. EVA. Customer value creation.Decommoditisation and dimensionalisation. All these are now considered by various battle-scarredmarketing warriors to be essential for survival in the brave new world. But again, while the tools maybe getting increasingly complicated, it’s all being put to a very simple, single-minded purpose - under-standing consumers and selling better to them. It’s a goal that most marketers are shooting for, as thesun sinks lower on this millennium. Ashok Jain, managing director, Cadbury Schweppes feels that“Marketing made itself so complex that it got lost in its own maze of complexity.” Sunil Alagh,managing director of Britannia Industries, elaborates on the need for consumer-study: “New market-16.101G © Copy Right : Rai University 467
  • 6. Marketing Managementing research will have to focus on understanding in greater depth the moments of consumption fortheir products.” More familiarity won’t breed contempt, it will break common ground. Jain adds,“The consumer will actually become a customer now.” Millennium marketers will be using a differ-ent box of tools to get more people to buy more products, more often. In The End of Marketing as WeKnow It, Sergio Zyman suggests what he calls ‘dimensionalising’. Simply, if more customers are tobuy more of a product, they will need more reasons to do so. One needs to add newer dimensions tothe image of the product in consumers’ minds.This means looking at consumers in new and more creative ways, to come up with different appealsfor the same old selling proposition. This will be imperative, as in the absence of a powerful appeal tothe emotions, or the rationale, a consumer will pick on the only differentiator he truly understands:Price. Technology will make things cheaper, and many will be able to afford the things that only a fewhave so far. Says Subroto Sengupta, professor of marketing at IIM Calcutta, “Barefoot marketingwill ride again. There will be a great need for no-frills products and services.” Walter Viera, presi-dent, Marketing Advisory Services Group, warns that it won’t be only the mass-market playerswho’ll have to think value. “Top-end marketers such as Cartier will have to address the fact that theircustomers want value even at that price.” It’s specially important for marketers in this country, feelsRajeev Bakshi, managing director, Cadbury India, as he believes “India will be a VFM (value formoney) products market.” The marketer of tomorrow will cut his teeth selling to the customer oftoday. A customer who is smarter, savvier, and needs more and better reasons to buy. That’s be-cause customers are being spoilt with increasing choice, they’re becoming more price-sensitive andquality-conscious.They’ll be more focused on self-satisfaction. Helping them achieve the nirvana of ‘customer self-empowerment’, will be newer and easier ways to buy - teleshopping, online malls and door-to-doornetwork marketers all offer a reason to choose their products. The key lies in the capacity to excitethe consumer. Says Abraham Koshy, professor of marketing, IIM-Ahmedabad: “Newer methodsand technologies to understand consumers will evolve. These in turn automatically take into accountthe drive towards providing better value to customers. The concept of relationship marketing willtranscend personal relationships to encompass brand relationships.” So, come 2000, the customer’skingdom will finally come. And then, one will see how successful his most faithful courtier’s effortsto keep him satisfied have been. Point to remember468 © Copy Right : Rai University 16.101G
  • 7. Marketing Management16.101G © Copy Right : Rai University 469