Personal selling is seen as a more impactful way of selling because the salesperson actually makes a deliberate attempt to use his selling ideas and dexterity to convince the prospective buyer to buy the product or service. If the salesperson is crafty enough, the buyer actually buys the product before he completes his presentation. This is the magical aspect of personal selling.
‘Smart Learning Way’defines personal selling as a “two-way flow of communication between a buyer and seller, often in a face-to-to-face encounter, designed to influence a person’s or group’s purchase decision”.
Why is personal selling seen to be more impactful? The definition paints a vivid picture. Any conversation between two people obviously receives more attention. Why because there is less distraction.
You could actually call your partner’s attention if he or she is drifting focus. The conversation is just between two persons so both are forced to concentrate. Now a salesperson may never get an opportunity to discuss his product or service with his client unless the former makes a sales proposal that interests the latter based on which a date, time and a venue is arranged for the meeting.
The salesperson must keep contact and communication with his client to confirm the appointment details until the time is due or make relevant changes where necessary. A serious sales person must follow this process very well, secure the appointment and makes sure that he honors his first appointment with his client.
If he is able to achieve this target, he will earn an instant respect before his client and trust and confidence is built and developed from there. This largely contributes to the engrossed attention that the salesperson is likely to get from his client in their first meeting. The salesperson must therefore be very accurate and be on top of his game.
Now, a salesperson must be reminded that, particular clients first go for the products or services they need. Notwithstanding, the salesperson’s craft of selling can compel a client to go for a product or service he already has but of course with added value. The salesperson must not forget however that, he is selling and the customer is buying and therefore must present all the elements that will make him an impeccably good seller within the short time he spends with his customer.
This will certainly make his client display the good qualities of a buyer as well. Maintaining a lively and constant eye-contact throughout the conversation with a client increases the salesperson chances of making that important sale he so desires. He must actually be looking into the eye of his client for the latter to be convinced that the former has confident in his language and what he is selling to him. Whiles the salesperson is maintaining his body contact well, he should also be articulating and driving his point home so much so that the client cannot resist him. The salesperson can keep his client spellbound with his highly informative content and with the most appropriate expression if he carries a good personality. Now the salesperson’s experience with the client is an encounter because whiles he is speaking, the client will ask questions that will test the foundation of what he is selling to him.
This is bound to clear doubts in the mind of the prospective customer and give him a firm assurance to buy the product or service. The salesperson must be ready for some tough bullying questions from a difficult client. The selling elements exhibited by the salesperson must be an orchestration to influence his client and if he follows all these processes and also does his homework well, he should be able to achieve this aim. It is the same qualities the salesperson must exhibit when he is making presentation to a larger group of people. The confidence he has developed in his one-on-one selling actually helps him in a bigger presentation.
Where then does positional or locational selling falls in personal selling? Both have their own advantages. Usually when a product is new, management of an organization can opt to penetrate or push the product into the market not by blind or false means but by intentional or deliberate introduction by salespersons to drive home the qualities of the product by means of personal selling as we have already discussed into details. Issues of cost may cause another organization to resort to other means such mass media communication in the form of radio or television advertisement, newspaper or billboard advertising.
When management of an organization is convinced about the popularity of the product amongst the public or prospective buyers, it makes sense or is now ideal to create selling or sales points in strategic areas in town for customers to go for them. In their radio or television adverts, the organization usually states where customers can get the product if they want. Better still, sales departments of organizations can launch sales campaigns or sales promotion campaigns in town to introduce the product to the public and eventually create selling points at these advertised locations.
In other instances, there are organizations that are permanently touted or identified as sales companies who either outsource or recruit salespersons for organizations that only believe in personal selling. These are usually organizations that sell intangible products such as insurance companies and internet service organizations. Since services are intangible, they need experienced salespeople to take the service to customers, explain and answer bothering questions. But for physical products that need no further introduction, selling locations are most appropriate. Other organizations can also permanently choose to market through sales shops. These are usually marketing organizations who believe that the building that houses the products, the interior décor of the building, the shelves they are arranged on and the way they are packaged is part of marketing that actually promotes physical sales. Marketing and sales are therefore integrated.
A smart marketer can employ both to be entirely successful in his trade. However, strong marketers who operate on conviction can study a particular location and can just tell that if he sends his product or service there, it will sell. They take the initiative by their strong conviction and it works. You may therefore see a unique shop built at a particular location without sales outlets yet, succeeding and doing so well as a unique brand for so many years.
The writer is a marketing specialist with a degree in international marketing