Personal selling occurs where an individual salesperson sells a product, service or solution to a client. Salespeople match the benefits of their offering to the specific needs of a client. Today, personal selling involves the development of longstanding client relationships. In comparison to other marketing communications tools such as advertising, personal selling tends to: •
Use fewer resources, pricing is often negotiated.
Products tend to be fairly complex (e.g. financial services or new cars). •
There is some contact between buyer and seller after the sale so that an ongoing relationship is built. •
Client/prospects need specific information.
The purchase tends to involve large sums of money.
There are exceptions of course, but most personal selling takes place in this way. Personal selling involves a selling process that is summarised in the following Five Stage Personal Selling Process. The five stages are: 1. Prospecting.
2. Making first contact.
3. The sales call.
4. Objection handling.
5. Closing the sale.
A Five Stage Personal Selling Process.
Stage One - Prospecting.
Prospecting is all about finding prospects, or potential new customers. Prospects should be 'qualified,' which means that they need to be assessed to see if there is business potential, otherwise you could be wasting your time. In order to qualify your prospects, one needs to: •
Plan a sales approach focused upon the needs of the customer. •
Determine which products or services best meet their needs. •
In order to save time, rank the prospects and leave out those that are least likely to buy. Stage Two - Making First Contact.
This is the preparation that a salesperson goes through before they meet with the client, for example via e-mail, telephone or letter. Preparation will make a call more focused. •
Make sure that you are on time.
Before meeting with the client, set some objectives for the sales call. What is the purpose of the call? What outcome is...
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