Chapter 09 - Personal Selling, Relationship Building, and Sales Management
For many companies, the salesperson represents the customer’s main link to the firm. In
fact, to some, the salesperson is the company.
It is the salesperson who serves as the conduit through which information regarding
product flaws, improvements, applications, or new uses can pass from the customer to the
Along with other sales techniques, personal selling provides the push needed to get
middlemen to carry new products, increase their amount of goods purchased, and devote
more effort in merchandising a product or brand.
In summary, personal selling fulfills two vital duties:
oThe salesperson dispenses knowledge to buyers.
oSalespeople act as a source of marketing intelligence for management.
II. The Sales Process
Personal selling is as much an art as it is a science.
The term sales process refers to two basic factors:
oThe objectives the salesperson is trying to achieve while engaged in selling activities
oThe sequence of stages or steps the salesperson should follow in trying to achieve the
specific objectives (the relationship-building process)
A. Objectives of the Sales Force
Personal selling can be viewed as a strategic means to gain competitive advantage in
Marketing management understands that while, ultimately, personal selling must be
justified on the basis of the revenue and profits it produces, other categories of
objectives are generally assigned to the personal selling function as part of the overall
promotion mix. These objectives are:
oInformation provision: Especially in the case of new products or customers, the
salesperson needs to fully explain all attributes of the product or service, answer
any questions, and probe for additional questions.
oPersuasion: Once the initial product or service information is provided, the
salesperson needs to focus on the following objectives:
Clearly distinguish attributes of the firm’s products or services from those
Maximize the number of sales as a percent of presentation
Convert undecided customers into first-time buyers
Convert first-time customers into repeat purchasers
Sell additional or complimentary items to repeat customers
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