Personal Selling: Features, Merits and Role
What is Personal Selling?
The process of informing customers and persuading them to purchase products through personal communication is known as Personal Selling. It is a two-way communication and involves direct face-to-face communication. Salespersons are appointed by companies to create product awareness and preferences with the aim of making sales.
According to Philip Kotler, “Personal selling is face to face interaction with one or more prospective purchasers for the purpose of making presentation, answering questions, and procuring orders”.
According to Prof. William J. Stanton, “Personal selling is the personal communication of information to persuade a prospective customer to buy a service or idea”.
According to the American Marketing Association, “Personal selling is an oral presentation in a conservative with one or more prospective customers for the purpose of making sales”.
Features of Personal Selling
- Personal Form: There is direct and face-to-face communication between the seller and the buyer, which develops personal contact between them.
- Development of Relationship: Friendly and personal relationships are developed between the salesperson and customers with the help of personal selling. Such relations help in achieving sales targets.
- Oral Conversation: Oral messages are used in personal selling to persuade and inform customers about products.
- Narrow Coverage: Selected customers are approached, as it focuses on target customers. So, it has a narrow coverage.
- Flexibility: Messages can be adjusted by the salesperson as per the need of the situation, so it is a flexible method of promotion.
Merits of Personal Selling
- Flexibility: Personal selling is flexible as the sales person can change the presentation of the product according to the needs of the purchasing situation.
- Direct Feedback: As there is direct and face-to-face contact between salespersons and customers in personal selling, direct and immediate feedback is given by the customers.
- Minimum Wastage: The target customer is pre-decided by the companies, and only targeted customers are approached, which leads to minimum wastage.
Role of Personal Selling
A very important role is played by Personal Selling in marketing goods and services. Its importance to businessmen, customers, and society are discussed below:
Importance of Personal Selling to Businessmen
Sales of a firm are increased with the help of Personal Selling. It is significant for businesses in the following manner:
- Effective Promotional Tool: It increases the sales of the firm by influencing prospective customers about the product, its quality, features, uses, etc., and thus, acts as an effective promotional tool.
- Flexible Tool: Personal selling is more flexible than other promotional tools, like advertising and sales promotion. The message, offer, etc., can be changed in varying purchase situations.
- Minimises Wastage of Efforts: As the target audience is pre-decided, personal selling involves minimum wastage, which leads to bringing economy in the efforts of business person.
- Consumer Attention: Customer attention can be easily achieved in the case of personal selling as there is direct contact between the salesperson and the customer. This helps sales persons and businessmen to achieve their sales targets.
- Lasting Relationship: Long-lasting relationships are maintained with the help of personal selling between the salespersons and customers, and this helps in increasing sales of the product.
- Personal Rapport: Personal rapport is developed with the efforts of the salesperson. Salesperson gains the trust and confidence of the customers, which increases the competitive strength of the business.
- Role in Introduction Stage: Personal Selling plays a very significant role in the introduction stage of a new product. This is possible because sales persons can influence and inform customers about the merits, features, and uniqueness of the product.
- Link with Customers: Salesperson performs three different roles: persuasive role, service role, and informative role, which links business with the customers.
Importance of Personal Selling to Customers
Personal Selling plays a very important role in informing and educating the customers. It benefits the customers in the following manner:
- Helps in Identifying Needs: Customers are able to identify their needs and wants better with the help of Personal Selling. It also helps them to understand how these needs can be satisfied.
- Latest Market Information: Personal Selling helps customers in getting the latest information about a product, its price, uses, etc. It also assists in making purchase decisions.
- Expert Advice: Expert advice and guidance are provided by the salesperson to the customers in purchasing various products and services.
- Induces Customers: Personal Selling induces customers to purchase new products in order to satisfy their needs and improve their standard of living.
Importance of Personal Selling to Society
A very productive role is played by Personal Selling in the economic progress of society. The benefits of personal selling to society are:
- Converts Latest Demand: Latest demand is converted into effective demand with the help of personal selling. Because of this effective demand, production is raised, which results in more jobs, incomes, and products and services. In this way, personal selling brings economic growth.
- Employment Opportunities: It creates employment opportunities for people as it requires a lot of sales persons. A lot of youth get employed because of personal selling.
- Career Opportunities: It creates many attractive opportunities for career advancement and job satisfaction. security, respect, and independence are provided to the youth through personal selling.
- Mobility of Sales People: It also boosts travel and tourism in the country, as the salesperson is required to move from one place to another.
- Product Standardisation: Personal selling brings uniformity in consumption patterns in a diverse society by selling standardised products.
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