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JUNE 2008

Certain individuals may believe that there is no such thing as service marketing in which the service element is greater than the product element. In its broadest term. it may be true that product But there are marketing and service marketing are the same.0 INTRODUCTION: Marketing has been defined as a business system designed to plan. there is marketing of products as well as marketing of services. often substantial similarities as well as significant differences in the Moreso.THE ROLE OF PERSONAL SELLING IN A SERVICE DELIVERY ORGANISATION 1. two concepts. Personal selling has however been adjudged the best method to achieve this marketing objective. price. sales promotion and the other promotional tools. hence it has the advantage of being more flexible in operation. It consists of individuals and personal communication in contrast to the mass. Personal selling creates more job opportunities than any other promotional tool. promote and distribute want-satisfying goods and services to present and potential customers. the aim of every marketing effort is to increase profitable sales by offering want satisfaction to the target market at both short and long run time frame. 2 . impersonal communication of advertising. In other words.

The sales person or sales force can probe customers to learn more about their problems. This could be done face to face. presentation is the step in selling process in which the sales person/sales force tells the product story to the buyer. personal selling is the presentation of goods or services to the target market by a sales person or sales force for the purpose of making sales and building customer relationships. personal selling is always preferable because the sales force can adjust the marketing offer to suit the special needs of the situation and renegotiate the sales terms. through video conferencing or by another means. However. That is the sales force identifies customer’s needs and gives solution to them. the modern sales person believes that customer needs 3 . showing how the product will make or save money for the buyer.1 PERSONAL SELLING: Personal selling is the interpersonal arm of the promotion mix. the modern sales persons or service rendering organizations adopt a certain approach to achieve their marketing objectives. It is the only promotional mix element that involves two-way personal communication between the seller (sales force) and the buyer (target audience). In some difficult or complex selling environment. On the other hand. In other words.1. Whereas there is no one best way to personal selling. In other words. most organizations adopt a customer oriented approach. by telephone conversation.

the names of prospects) or search for names through newspapers or directories or often join clubs or organisations to which prospects belong etc. These steps are. Presale preparation 3. Approach 4. Handling objections 6.1 STEPS IN PERSONAL SELLING: In other to achieve the goals of personal selling in either service delivery organisations or elsewhere.provide sales opportunities because customers usually remain loyal to those organisations or marketers who they believe have their long term interest at heart. 1. Presentation and demonstration 5. the sales person has the challenge or task of identifying good ones. 2. 4 . Follow up. the sales person must first of all identify qualified potential customers. there are certain fundamental steps which the salesperson must follow in his/her selling process. Prospecting and qualifying 2. of all the qualified leads. While the company can provide some leads in this direction. the sales person can still ask the existing customers for leads (that is. PROSPECTING AND QUALIFYING: For effective personal selling efforts. However. Suffice to say that the problemsolver sales person fits better with the philosophy of marketing concept.

the right approach might be to start out with a reference to the referee before stating what one is selling. several approaches are recommended to attract attention. The sales person should also learn as much as possible about the organization. hold interest and arouse desire such as. what it needs. made to acquaint himself/herself with the market situation as well as tutored on the techniques of selling. It is actually intended to attract the prospect’s attention. It involves the sales force appearance. it’s buying characteristics and buying styles. the business conditions prevalent in their territories.PRESALE PREPARATION: This is the build up or chain of events that lead to a sale. This is also known as “Joe 5 . introduce oneself and state what you are Selling. APPROACH: This is the step in which the sales force meets and greets the potential customers to get the relationship off to a good start. Suffice to say that presale approach is the step in the selling process in which the sales force learns as much as possible about a prospective customer before making a sales call. hold his or her interest while building a desire for the product and consequently an action is taken. that is. However. The sales force must be informed on the nature of competition. That is closing the sale. (i) Greet the prospect. In other words the sales force is given product training. (ii) If the sales force was referred to the prospect by a customer. opening remarks and follow up remarks.

Sent” me approach. The salesperson 6 . that is. (iii) (iv)A The other approach might be by making a startling statement. the sales force must first of all know the potential customer needs. the sales force tries to close the sale and write up an order. showing how the product will make or save money for the buyer. flip charts. CLOSE-UP: After explaining the product and its benefits. sales person can now start the sales presentation. the sales person should use positive approach to proffer solutions to the objections. The objections raised by the potential customer could be logical or psychological but it affords the sales person the opportunity to provide more information on the products and to turn the objection to more reasons why the buyer should patronise him or her. HANDLING OBJECTION: Presentation and demonstration session in selling process always provoke certain questions which desire thoughtful answers. PRESENTATION AND DEMONSTRATION: A situation whereby the sales force tells the story of the product to the potential buyer . Notwithstanding. video tapes and discs as well as product samples. The sales presentation can be improved with demonstration aids such as booklets. while the sales force describes the product features more concentration is placed on customer benefits. sales person to walk in and handover the product to the prospect and while the prospect looks over the product. Here again.

For instance. It is also intended to reduce the customers’ post -purchase anxiety. it may be true that product marketing and service marketing are the same but at the same time significant differences do exist between them. organisations offer services through Churches. Banks. Normally.0 SERVICE PROVIDING ORGANISATIONS: In the broadest term. that is. 2.may ask certain questions in this regards such as “Do you prefer the blue colour model or the red type” and when would you want it delivered to you? FOLLOW UP OR POST SALE ACTIVITIES: An effective selling job does not end when the order is written up. not only are there traditional service industries but also new ones keep propping up daily. cognitive dissonance. 2. The post-purchase or post-sale services can build customer goodwill and lay the grand work for many years of profitable business relations. government offer services through Courts. Airlines. sales success depends upon repeat business or purchase and a satisfied customer will always be ready to give lead to other potential customers or prospects.1 WHAT IS SERVICE? 7 . Whereas service industries vary greatly. Hotels. Services are growing even faster in the world economy today. Military. Hospitals. Insurance etc. Fire Service etc while the private and non-profit Mosques. Police.

Therefore. patronage of services is based on trust of the sales force who rather lay more emphasis on the benefits derivable from the services than the service itself. In other words. see.2 CHARACTERISTICS OF SERVICES There are certain characteristics peculiar to services which make them substantially different from those found in products. 2. Such characteristics are intangibility. feel. there is no transfer of the title to these tangible goods. In stead. Stanton (1978) defined services as those separately identifiable. essentially intangible activities which provide want satisfaction and which are not necessarily tied to the sale of a product or another services. To produce a service may or may not require the use of tangible goods. when such use is required. the service provider’s task should be to make the service tangible in one or more ways. hear or smell services before they buy them. Intangibility – Services are essentially not tangible. William J.According to Philip Kotler and Gary Armstrong (1996) a service is any activity or benefit that one party can offer to another that is essentially intangible and does not result in the ownership of anything. It is often said that while product marketers try to add intangibles to 8 . It is also almost impossible for customers or potential customers to taste. However. service organisations are those which do not have as their principal aim the production of tangible products which buyers will possess permanently. heterogeneity. inseparability. perishability and fluctuating demand.

For instance. by days of the week and by hours of the day. it is said that the physical products are first produced then stored. unused electricity power and empty seats in a stadium represent businesses which are lost forever. For instance. This is to say that both provider and customer affect the service outcome. In fact. the quality of a service. Perishability and Fluctuating demand – Services are majorly perishable hence the chances of being stored is very slim. The combination of the above factors offers product planning.their tangible offers. 9 It becomes more problematic when you consider the fact that it is difficult to judge . service marketers try to add tangibles to their intangible offers. later sold and still consumed while services are first sold then produced and consumed at the same time. Furthermore the market for services fluctuates considerably by seasons. an airline cannot give the same quality of service on each trip nor two different airlines give the same quality of service. pricing and promotion challenges to the chief executives of service organisations. Moreso. For example. Inseparability – Service inseparability means that services cannot be separated from their providers whether the providers are people or machines. use of city buses fluctuates greatly during the day. Heterogeneity – It is a difficult task in a service industry to output standardize or result among several sellers of presumably the same service. it is nearly impossible to standardize completely the output of one seller.

They sell their company services by approaching customers. answering and handling objections on the spot. Therefore. sales force or personal selling represent the company to customers. presenting their services and products. In some organisations it plays an important behind the scene role in which case customers rarely know about the company. The sales force or personal selling serves as a critical link between a company and its target audience. Sales persons.0 THE ROLE OF PERSONAL SELLING IN SERVICE DELIVERY ORGANISATIONS: Selling is one of the oldest professions in the world while personal selling is the interpersonal arm of promotion mix and its role in service delivery organisations vary greatly from one company to another. nonpersonal communication with the target audience and in contrast personal selling involves a two-way personal communication between the sales force and individual customer or potential customers. negotiating prices and terms and consequently closing sales. They provide services to customers. by telephone etc. in a service delivery organisation personal selling builds goodwill as well as educating the audience.3. It has been argued that advertising consists of one way. carry out market research and intelligent work as well as fill out sales call reports. 10 . They find and develop new customers and communicate information about the company’s products and services. whether face to face.

Perhaps the most important role of personal selling is its ability to increasing efficiency in service industries by its personal ministration and attendance on others. the burden of intangibility of services mainly falls on the company’s sales force or personal selling who must lay more emphasis on the benefits to be derived from the service rather than emphasising the service itself to customers. they help their organisations to create long term profitable relationships with customers. they also are concerned with producing customer satisfaction and company profit. More importantly sales people can see the customer’s reactions to a particular sales approach and then make the necessary 11 . Personal selling is by far the major promotional method used to achieve long term marketing objectives of profitable sales. motives and behaviour of individual customers. Compared with other promotional tools.On the other hand. because sales persons can tailor their sales presentations to fit the needs. personal selling has the advantage of being more flexible in operation. The sales force is also concerned with more than producing sales. They as well develop marketing strategies and plans. sales persons represent customers to the company. They learn about customer needs and work with others in the company to develop greater customer value. Beyond winning new customers and making sales. They relay customers concern about company services back to those who can handle them. Moreover. The sales force is often regarded as relationship managers between the organisation and customers.

Marketing Principle and Practices 12 . yet sales force can perform for management many other services which are not strictly selling jobs. References: 1. Fundamentals and Marketing Aderemi S. it can be used to make the actual sales. Philip Kotler & Gary Armstrong. Personal selling also allows for a minimum of wasted efforts. Adeleye. (1996). Though personal selling sustains a high cost. (1978). In most cases. Principle of Marketing William J. (2006). Stanton. 3.adjustments right on the spot. 2.