In todayâ€™s world marked by complex technologies and multiple choices, both product & sales and service outlets, the customer is increasingly becoming dependent on the salesperson. The customer is wanting an answer to the question, â€Why you?â€ and â€œWhy not your competitors product â€. The customer wants to be sure that he or she is getting value for his or her money. And finally wants to be reassured that whenever service is required, the sales person will be there. In other words, it is the salesperson who provides competitive product information to the customer, helps the latter to apply the product to his or her situation and also reassure the customer on prices and service. It is through these activities that the salesperson provides a competitive advantage to the firm or enterprise.
Personal selling is the personal communication of information to persuade prospective customer to buy something â€“ a product, service idea, or something else. This is in contrast to the mass, impersonal communication of advertising, sales promotion and other promotional tools.
Personal selling may involve personally contacting, for promotion, the prospective final consumers and/or the members of the channels of distribution.
Importance and Advantages of personal Selling:
Personal selling is one of the most effective methods of marketing of marketing communication. The goal of all marketing efforts is to increase profitable sales by offering want satisfaction to the market over the long-run. Personal selling is by far the major promotional method or tool used to reach this goal. More than ever, sales people today are a dynamic power in the business world.
In some situations, personal selling can be an effective method to overcome certain marketing barriers.
Personal selling has contributed to export success of some Indian products. For example, one of the most important factors which contributed to the sales success of the Super max shaving blades in London was the door-to-door sales.
The efforts of sales people have a direct impact on such diverse activities as:
1. The success of new products.
2. Keeping existing products in strong market positions.
3. Constructing manufacturing facilities
4. Opening new business and keeping them open
5. Generating sales orders that result in shipping products to consumers all over the world
Besides the five points mentioned above by, personal selling has several other merits, viz:
6. As personal selling involves direct dialogue with the customers it is the most effective promotional method.
7. Personal selling also helps in getting feedback about the product and companyâ€™s marketing efforts.
8. Personal selling also helps in the marketing intelligence.
9. Personal selling makes customer grievance handling easy.
10. For firms which cannot compete in advertising with mega-budget advertisers, personal selling is an effective alternative.
11. Personal selling can be an effective supplement or follow up to the lead provided by advertising or other communication methods.
12. One great advantage of personal selling is its flexibility â€“ it could be made suitable to each customer or situation.
13. Another merit of personal selling is its personal touch.
14. Unlike mass media advertising or some other promotion methods, personal selling has a specific focus.
15. Personal selling is the most effective method in explaining product features and clarifying customer doubts.
16. Another very important feature of personal selling is that it results in the actual sale. Advertisements can attract attention and arouse desire, but usually they do not arouse buying of complete the sale.
(i) A major limitation of personal selling is its high costing advanced countries.
(ii) The success depends to a large extent on the ability and sincerity of the sales personnel.
(iii) If a sales person quits suddenly it may cause dislocations and related problems.