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Theories of Selling:

Theories of Selling:

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Published by: luckyrajeshwari on Feb 14, 2010
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Selling is considered an art by some and a science by others and has produced twocontrasting approaches to the theory of selling. The first approach distilled theexperiences of successful salespeople and to a lesser extent, advertising professionals. Many such persons succeeded because of their grasp of practical, or learned through experience psychology and their ability to apply it in salessituations. These selling theories emphasize the “what to do” and “how to do”rather than the “why”. These theories, based on experiential knowledgeaccumulated from years of “living in the market” rather than on a systematic,fundamental body of knowledge.The second approach borrowed findings from the behavioral sciences. JohnA. Howard of Columbia Graduate School of Business was in the forefront of thosewho adapted the findings of behavioral science to analysis of buying behavior; his“behavioral equation” attempts to develop a unified theory of buying and selling.There are four theories, the first two, the “AIDAS” theory and the “right setof circumstances” theory, are seller oriented. The third, the “buying – formula”theory of selling, is buyer oriented. The fourth, the behavioral equation,emphasizes the buyer’s decision process but also takes the salesperson’s influence process into account.
(1)AIDAS Theory of Selling
The theory- popularly known as the AIDAS theory, after initials of the five wordsexpress it (attention, interest, desire, action and satisfaction) is the basis for manysales training programs are organized. According to the theory, the prospect’s mind passes through five successive mental states: attention, interest, desire, action, andsatisfaction so the sales presentation must lead the prospect through them in theright sequence if a sale is to result.The psychological writings of William James support this theory. Its construct is based upon experimental knowledge. It was in existence as early as 1898.
According to this theory during the successful selling interview the prospect's
mind consciously passes through five successive mental states : attention,interest, desire, action and satisfaction. The sales presentation must lead theprospect through steps in the right sequence if a sale is to result.(i) Securing attention:
 In order to put the prospect into a receptive state of mind, the first few minutes of the interview are crucial. The sales person has to have a reason, or an excuse for conducting the interview.If he has previously made an appointment, this phase presents no problem, thoughexperienced sales personnel say that even with an appointment, a sales person must possess considerable mental alertness; and be a skilled conversationalist, to survivethe start of the interview. As the prospect realizes the caller is bent on sellingsomething, the sales person must establish good support at once. He needs anample supply of "Conversation Openness". Among other things, favorable firstimpressions are assured proper attire, neatness, friendliness, amid a genuine smile just before the interview. Skill sales personnel often decide up on conversationopenness so that those remarks are about the prospects if they are favorablecomments about the prospect's business. A good conversation opens causes the prospect to relax and sets the stage for total presentation.
(ii) Gaining Interest:
Many techniques are used to intensify the prospect's attention so that it evolvesinto strong interest. Some sales people develop contagious enthusiasm for the product or a sample.
Sales portfolios, flip charts, or other visual aids serve thesame purpose when the product is bulky or technical.
One should search out the selling appeal that is most likely to be effective.Sometimes the prospect drops hints, which the sales person then uses in selectingthe best approach. Some sales person stratagems to elicit revealing questions toencourage hints by the prospects. Others are the prospect question designed toclarify attitudes and feelings towards the product. Bug before identifying thestrongest appeal even experienced sale person do considerable probing, usually of 
the question - and - answer variety.
The prospect's interests are affected bybasic motivations, closeness of the interview subject to the current problems,its timeliness, and their receptive, skeptical or hostile mood. In selecting theappeal to emphasize the sales person must take all these into account
(iii) Kindling Desire:
The sales person must keep the conversation running along the main line towardthe sale to kindle the prospect's desire to ready - to - buy point. The development of sales obstacles the prospects objections, external interruptions, and digressiveremarks may sidetrack the presentation during this phase. Obstacles must be facedand ways found to get around them. Objections need answering to the prospectssatisfaction. Time is saved, and the chance of making a sale improved if objectionsare anticipated and answered before the prospects raises them. Good sales peoplesummarize what has been said earlier before continuing. Digressive should bedisposed of fact fully, with finesse, but sometimes distractingdepression is best handled bluntly for example " well: that's all very interesting but to get back to thesubject...".
(iv) Inducting Action:
 If the presentation has been perfect, the prospect is ready to buy. However, buyingmust be induced. Experienced sales personnel do not close until the prospect isfully convinced of the merits of the proposition. The trial close, the close on aminor point, and the trick close are used to test the prospect's free action. For fear of getting "No" from which they think there is no retreat some sales personnelnever ask for definite "yes" or "No”. But it is better to ask for the order straightforwardly.
(v) Building Satisfaction:
The sales person should reassure the customer that his buying decision is correctand that sales person merely helped in deciding. The order is the climax of theselling situation. Building satisfaction means thanking the customer for the order,

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