Buying Decision Process
Problem or Need Recognition
Evaluation of Alternatives
Post Buyer Behaviour
The buying is either
- Routine Decision Making
- Limited Decision Making
- Extensive Decision Making
A definition of personal selling
“ The process of persuasion leading to a continuing
trade arrangement, initiated and perpetuated at
either a personal or impersonal level but commonly
confined to oral representation supported by visual
aids” (Institute of Marketing).
Selling and the promotional mix
Personal selling is one element of the
In business to consumer markets (B2C) personal
selling and advertising are the main elements of
Personal selling becomes more important when
The product is more complex
The product is more expensive
The product is bought infrequently
The customers is another business i.e. B2B markets
Types of Communication
Personal Selling AdvertisingPublic Relations
Product Place Price
Sales Promotion Direct Marketing
Personal selling v advertising
Complex / Expensive GoodsSimple / Inexpensive Goods
Relative importance of the two main elements in
the promotional mix
B2C transactions where
personal selling is….
Shopping and speciality
i.e. Convenience goods
The essence of personal selling
The presentation of products and associated
persuasive communication to potential clients
Involves two way, persuasive communication
The aim is to match customer needs with the
goods/services on offer
Ultimate objective: to make a sale
Creating positive attitudes towards a product or
Motivating people to want to purchase a product or
Convincing people that they will be acting wisely if
Closing/clinching a sale
Reassuring people that they have acted wisely in
making a purchase
The objectives of personal selling
To increase the volume of sales
To increase sales revenue
To reduce the costs of sales
To increase the number of distribution outlets
To prospect for new customers
To increase sales per customer
To reduce the number of customers with minimum
The role of the sales
To gather information about customer wants
To communicate information especially on the
advantages of the product to the customer
To prospect-look for new opportunities. Prospecting is
concerned with locating potential customers
To display and demonstrate the product
To advise customers
To advise on stock levels
To progress orders
To build goodwill
To deal with complaints
To close the sale - i.e. to secure a sale
To provide after -sales service
To collect orders from customers
In some cases, to make deliveries
Types of salespeople
Order takers - primary responsibility to respond to
Customer service providers - provide personal
assistance to existing customers
Missionaries - primary task is to increase business with
information and advice
New business salespeople - aim to win new business
Organisation sellers - build up and maintain
relationships with major customers
Sales reps require information
Techniques of selling
His/her own organisation
Five Ps of personal selling
Preparation- preparation of material for use
Prospecting - locating potential customers
Pre-approach - tailoring material for the “prospect”
(the potential buyer)
Presentation - delivering the presentation
Post sale support - re-enforcing and confirming the
Steps in the sales process (1)
Prospecting - locate potential customers.
Pre-approach - gather information on the product
and the prospect (the potential buyer).
The approach - face to face meeting
to create favourable impression
to verify the facts
to set the stage for the rest of the meeting
Steps in the sales process (2)
transmit the promotional message.
describe the product.
highlight the advantages.
cite examples of customer satisfaction.
demonstrate to reinforce the message.
Steps in the sales process (3)
Handling objections - this is an opportunity to
present additional points.
Closing - the critical stage in which the salesperson
seeks to gain the buyer’s commitment to purchase.
The follow-up: to make sure the buyer is satisfied.
The Sales Process
Closing the Sale
Personal selling process (1)
Identify the potential customers
Making warm contacts rather than cold calling
• Leads - prospective customers.
• Prospects – before a contact, find they with
• Qualified prospects – after a contact, find they with
Personal selling process (2)
Preparation and planning
It is to look for:
• Customer’s buying criteria and needs
• Customer organisation’s purchasing structures
• The application of the product and the features and
Personal selling process (3) Initial
It is to build up mutual rapport, respect and trust
between the buyer and seller before the formal and
serious business discussion.
• Initial phone call for a meeting appointment
• Could calling/visiting for a lucky meeting
Personal selling process (4) -Sales
It is to show how the product offering and the
customer’s needs match.
• Stimulus response.
• Formula selling.
• Need satisfaction.
Sales Presentation Methods/Strategies
Firms have developed different methods / styles / strategies of sales
Stimulus response method / canned approach.
• It is a memorised sales talk or a prepared sales presentation.
• The sales person talks without knowing the prospect’s needs.
E.G. Used by tele-marketing people
Formula method / formulated approach.
• It is also based on stimulus response thinking that all prospects
• The salesperson uses a standard formula – AIDA (attention,
interest, desire, and action).
• It is used if time is short and prospects are similar.
• Shortcomings are: prospects’ needs are not uncovered and uses
same standard formula for different prospects.
Sales Presentation Methods contd..
Need – satisfaction method
• Interactive sales presentation
• First find prospect’s needs, by asking questions and
• Use FAB approach: Features, Advantages, Benefits
• Effective method, as it focuses on customers
Sales presentation can be improved by
Demonstration is one of the important selling
tools EGs: Test drive of cars; demonstration of
industrial products in use
Benefits of using demonstration for selling are:
• Buyers’ objections are cleared
• Improves the buyer’s purchasing interest
• Helps to find specific benefits of the prospect
• The prospect can experience the benefit
Personal selling process (5)
Handling typical objections
Your: company, product, service,
You; you are not competitive enough
I can’t afford it; I don’t need it
• Ask the objection back.
• Agree and counter.
• Feel, felt, found.
Personal selling process (6) Types
• Co-operative or win-win - trading concessions
results in a better deal for both parties.
• Competitive negotiation - hard bargain focused on
short term gain.
Personal selling process (7) Types
of sales closure
It has reached the point where the customer agrees
• Alternative close.
• Assumptive close.
• Time pressure close.
Personal selling process (8) Follow-up and
account management The role of personal
Excel Books2– 33
Block I : Basics of Sales Management
Dr. S L Gupta
•Personal Selling and Distribution
• Sales force has a significant role to play role in coordinating, liaisoning
and advocating the product’s utility to the end user. The end result of any
distribution effort is the ready availability of the product to the customer,
in the right quantity and at the right place.
•If the product is not available when it is actually required by the
customer, then the whole business activity and all related efforts are
Personal Selling and Product Promotion
•The sales force actually stimulates and generates enough interest in the
customer and helps him make the final decision to buy the product.
• Without this effort the whole exercise of advertising and public
relations would be futile.
• Advertising and public relations actually support the efforts of the sales
Excel Books2– 34
Block I : Basics of Sales Management
Dr. S L Gupta
Presentation and Demonstration
•A good presentation is as important as a good product.
•The significance of a good presentation of the product can be gauged from the
fact that many a time an attractively packed presentation is sufficient to sell the
•A good presentation can be in the form of attractive packaging and display,
conspicuous placement of the product in the display window, etc. A good
presentation also includes the interior decoration of the shop and appearance of
Close the Sale ( Get the sales order )
This is the last stage of any sales presentation. The whole exercise becomes useless
if the sale does not take place. Therefore, it is the most crucial stage for a
salesman. The main aim of the close is to convince the prospect to sign the order
form or to place an order immediately rather than in the future.
Salespeople, particularly in business to business selling, need
When to negotiate?
(a)When the buyer puts certain conditions for buying to the seller
(b)When agreement between the buyer and the seller is needed
on several factors
(c)When the product is customised
(d)When the final price is to be decided
How to prepare for negotiation?
(a) planning, (b) building relationship,
Styles of negotiation
(a) I win, you lose, (b) Both of us win (or win-win style), (c) You
win, I lose, and (d) Both of us lose
For understanding psychology in selling, study consumer
or buyer behaviour, buying process and situations
Salespeople are given knowledge of sales and relevant
marketing policies in order to increase their self-
confidence and sales, and meet customers’ expectations
Typical steps in the sales process include prospecting and
qualifying, pre-approach, approach, presentation and
demonstration, overcoming objections, trial close /
closing the sale, follow-up and service
Salespeople should know when to negotiate, how to
prepare for negotiation and which style of negotiation to
Excel Books2– 37
Block I : Basics of Sales Management
Dr. S L Gupta
Changing Face of Personal Selling
1. Value Sharing: The salespeople share the same values as their
customers and perceive the customer’s needs with the sole view to
serve them better.
2. Relation Building: A value-based relationship helps the
salespeople to constantly mobilize resources and modify the end
product by catering to the specifics of the buyer. This culminates in
building long-term relationships.
3. Role Playing: The salespeople, in personal selling, go far beyond
realizing sales volume. They act as consultants to their prospective
customers constantly advising them of new products.
4. Changing Approach: personal selling comes in a package
containing the inputs of the experts from different areas such as
maintenance, installation, trouble shooting, delivery staff, sales
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