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Chapter - 1 Introduction to Personal Selling

Oxford University Press 2011

Learning Objectives
Understand the concept of personal selling and its importance Distinguish between personal selling and other means of communication. Identify the role of salesmanship in persuasive communication. Define the objectives of personal selling.

Oxford University Press 2011


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Learning Objectives
Explain the essentials of effective personal selling. Appreciate the specific contribution of personal selling in marketing mix. Get insights into traditional and modern selling approaches. Understand the different types of selling. Understand the nature of sales as a profession. Learn the ethical issues in selling.

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Meaning of Personal Selling

Personal Selling is a process of communication, interaction, persuasion, negotiation and exchange between a seller and a prospective buyer whereby the former delivers something of value to the latter and the latter pays back the former the equivalent value in monetary or related terms.
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Definition of Personal Selling

Kotler and Armstrong (2006) defined personal selling as personal presentation by the firms sales force for the purpose of making sales and building customer relationship. Kerin et al. (2007) defined personal selling as a two-way flow of communication between a buyer and a seller, often in a face-to-face encounter , designed to fulfill the purchase decision of a person or a group.
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Five Types of Flows


Product flow Ownership flow Information flow Money flow Feedback flow

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Importance of Personal Selling


More direct, immediate and personalized form of communication as compared to other element (advertising, sales promotion, publicity) of communication mix. Viable tool for certain customized products where number of potential customers is less.

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Comparison of Promotional Elements

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Salesmanship

American Marketing Association (AMA) defined salesmanship as personal or interpersonal process of assisting/or persuading a prospective customer to buy a commodity or service and to act favorably upon an idea that has commercial significance to the seller.

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Objectives of Personal Selling


Informative objectives Persuasive objectives Relational objectives Image-building objectives

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Objectives of Personal Selling (Cont)

Informative objectives:
Provide information about product or service attributes, features, benefits and values. Answer customer queries. Create and increase awareness, interest and desire of the potential customer towards the firms products/services.

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Objectives of Personal Selling (Cont)

Persuasive objectives:
Stimulate target customers to move in for trial purchase. Motivate potential buyers to seek more information. Support push strategy to encourage intermediaries to buy and sell further. Facilitate pull strategy to induce potential customer to buy companys goods from intermediaries.
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Objectives of Personal Selling (Cont)

Relational objectives:
Catalyze order getting, order taking, order influencing, order delivery and after sales service. Aid in retaining old customers and creating new ones. To reinforce brand image and reputation. Help in business development.

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Objectives of Personal Selling (Cont)

Image-building objectives:
Spreads companys concern for social well being. Consolidates the confidence and trust of stakeholders. Vital promotional tool

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Essentials for Effective Personal Selling


Knowledge of company. Knowledge of competition. Knowledge of selling process. Selling skills. Sales motivation

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Advantages of Personal Selling


High proximity with potential customer. Flexibility of adjusting sales message. Enables demonstration of products. Immediate resolution of queries. Develops collaborative partnering.

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Disadvantages of Personal Selling


Cost per prospect is high. No guarantee of sale. Incompetence of sales force. Turnover of competent sales force.

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Traditional Sales Approach


In vogue before the World War II. Output was limited and producers devoted their efforts to physical distribution. One-sided communication. Few sellers dictated terms of purchase and consumers accepted them.

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Modern Selling Approach


Hinges on serving the customer with the best possible solutions. Focuses on individual transaction approach. Customerization, not customization is the benchmark. Advent of CIM, EDI and CRM

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Types of Selling
Industrial Selling. Service selling. Retail selling.

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Industrial Selling
Termed as business-to-business (B2B) selling. More complex and time consuming. Joint buying decision. Price may not be an important criteria in buying decision. Vendor reliability, quality of product, periods of warranty and after sales services are important buying considerations. Oxford University Press 2011

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Industrial Selling

Morris (1992) illustrates 3 types of buying strategies:


Speculative buying. Forward buying. Hand-to-mouth buying.

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Service Selling
Service creation and selling takes place simultaneously. Issue of variability. Unique selling mechanism. Experience and credentials of service provider are important.

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Retail Selling
Popularly known as retailing. Last stage of distribution. Facilitates adoption process by consumers. Store retailing and non-store retailing.

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Sales as a Profession
Opportunities for advancement. Attractive compensation. Feeling of accomplishment. Control over time and activities.

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Ethics in Selling
Ethics are building blocks of a business that are based on moral principles and values. Buyer seller dyad is governed by ethical principles in addition to economic relationships, social institutions and legal procedures. Sales deal should be free from all sorts of doubts and uncertainties.

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Unethical Practices
Delivering inferior quality product. Variation between promised and actual specification levels of the product. Price discrimination. Promoting false stories of product success to certify product quality. Use of unsafe packaging material.

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Unethical Practices
Providing wrong information on the labels of the product. Condemning competitors harshly before customers willfully and wrongly. Failing to supply the product at the right time and place without any prior intimation. Disregard the complaints received from customers on earlier supply of products.

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Consumer Protection
Right to safety. Right to be informed. Right to choose. Right to be heard.

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