Role of Personal Selling in IMC19th February 2021
Personal selling is oral communication with potential buyers of a product with the intention of making a sale. The personal selling may focus initially on developing a relationship with the potential buyer, but will always ultimately end with an attempt to “close the sale”
Personal selling is the interpersonal tool of the promotion mix. Unlike advertising, personal selling is two-way personal communication between salespeople and individual customers.
This communication may take place face-to-face, by telephone, through video conferences, or by other means. This implies that personal selling may be more trustworthy than advertising in more complicated selling situations.
Salespeople can be very effective in exploring the problems of the customers. They can compose the marketing offer to suit each customer’s special needs and negotiate terms of sale.
The role of the sales force varies from company to company. Companies that sell through mail-order catalogs, brokers, and agents do not maintain salespeople.
However, the sales force plays a critical role in companies selling business products. They work directly with customers and represent the company.
Salespeople employed in consumer goods-producing companies do not come into direct contact with the customers.
Nonetheless, their role is valuable because they work with wholesalers and retailers and help them be more effective in selling the company’s products.
Very often, salesforce works for both the seller and the buyer. They locate and develop new customers and communicate information about the company, its products, and services.
They perform selling task by approaching customers, presenting their products, answering objections, negotiating prices and terms, and closing sales.
Furthermore, salespeople provide services to customers, conduct market research, gather market information, and fill out sales call reports.
Simultaneously, salespeople represent customers to the company.
Personal Selling in the IMC
- Surveying: Educating themselves more about their customers’ businesses and regularly assessing these businesses and their customers to achieve a position of knowledgeable authority.
- Communicating: With existing and potential customers about the product range
- Mapmaking: Outlining both an account strategy and a solutions strategy (for the customer). This means laying out a plan, discussing it with a customer, and revising it as changes require.
- Selling: Contact with the customer, answering questions and trying to close the sale
- Guiding: Bringing incremental value to the customer by identifying problems and opportunities, offering alternative options and solutions, and providing solution with tangible value
- Fire starting: Engaging customers and driving them to commit to a solution
- Servicing: Providing support and service to the customer in the period up to delivery and also post-sale
- Information gathering: Obtaining information about the market to feedback into the marketing planning process
Conditions that favor personal selling:
- Product situation: Personal selling is relatively more effective and economical when a product is of a high unit value, when it is in the introductory stage of its life cycle, when it requires personal attention to match consumer needs, or when it requires product demonstration or after-sales services.
- Market situation: Personal selling is effective when a firm serves a small number of large-size buyers or a small/local market. Also, it can be used effectively when an indirect channel of distribution is used for selling to agents or middlemen.
- Company situation: Personal selling is best utilized when a firm is not in a good position to use impersonal communication media, or it cannot afford to have a large and regular advertising outlay.
- Consumer behavior situation: Personal selling should be adopted by a company when purchases are valuable but infrequent, or when competition is at such a level that consumers require persuasion and follow-up.