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Personal Selling

Personal Selling  Assignment / Homework Help

Personal selling is another form of promotional method most commonly used by salespersons. This form of selling requires personal contact therefore it is usually carried out through face to face meetings, telephone, video conferencing, text messaging etc. Personal selling has a key advantage over other promotional method as it relies on a two-way communication. Here the sales person is getting an immediate feedback from his customer. He is getting the opportunity to clarify his client's doubts or concerns regarding the product.

A promotional offer on radio or T.V may leave many questions unanswered. A sales person's common task is to make his potential customers aware of the new product offerings. They play a major role in trade shows where they educate the attendees regarding various products. As they employ face to face communication the customers also get a chance to experience the product closely. This plays an influencing role in the customer's intentions of buying the product as his interest is now well aroused. Sales persons are also well equipped with brochures, research reports and other materials which help in customers getting more product information. As a sales person's objective is to build long-term relationship with his clients his regular meeting with them helps him in gaining their confidence.

Due to this personal touch the sales person is often successful in creating a strong customer relationship. This form of customer relationship is beneficial for firms selling expensive products or firms which sell product that are low in price but need to be bought in bulk.

One of the biggest disadvantages with personal selling is that it can often be irritating and annoying. Customers even complain of salespersons' being rude and arrogant. This happens when salespersons focus more on their personal gains rather than satisfying the customer needs. Second disadvantage of this method is that it is very expensive. The amount of money spent to maintain a sales force can be huge. In some cases it costs above $300 every time a sales rep contacts a potential customer irrespective of the product being sold or not.

For personal selling to be effective the representative must be well trained. Training a huge sales force can burn a hole in the firm's pocket. Training costs include hotel expenses, meals, training materials, equipment etc.

There are different kinds of roles a sales person might play while indulging in personal selling.

These are:
  • Order Getters
  • Order Takers
  • Order Influencers
  • Sales Support

A sales person may perform one role at a time or he may even be playing all at once. A sales person need not be involved in direct selling to his customers at all times.

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