A Five Stage Personal Selling Process Marketing Essay

Personal selling involves person to person interaction during the sales process. Interactions may take the form of face to face dicussion, personal correspondence ect. Personal selling is specifically targeted to given potential customers or set of customers, and there fore is easy altered if the desired effect does not occur. In general, if a product has a high unit value and requires a demonstration of its benefits, it is well suited for personal sales. For example, an bench-press machine is a high-priced item and most people do not feel they need one. After a demonstration, however, most people agree it would be a useful item to have. Therefore, bench-press machine’s are well suited to a promotion mix that emphasizes personal selling. Highly technical products, such as computers and copiers, are also primarily sold through personal sales methods. Products that involve a trade-in, like automobiles, are usually handled through personal selling to help facilitate the trade-in process. Finally, a company that cannot afford a mass-advertising campaign might consider personal selling as an alternative to advertising. Since sales force compensation is largely based on actual sales, personal selling may require less money up front than other parts of the promotion mix.

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 desirable before you leave?

Make sure that you’ve done some homework before meeting your prospect. This will show that you are committed in the eyes of your customer.

To save time, send some information before you visit. This will wet the prospect’s appetite.

Keep a set of samples at hand, and make sure that they are in very good condition.

Within the first minute or two, state the purpose of your call so that time with the client is maximised, and also to demonstrate to the client that your are not wasting his or her time.

Humour is fine, but try to be sincere and friendly.

Stage Three – The Sales Call (or Sales Presentation).

It is best to be enthusiastic about your product or service. If you are not excited about it, don’t expect your prospect to be excited.

Focus on the real benefits of the product or service to the specific needs of your client, rather than listing endless lists of features.

Try to be relaxed during the call, and put your client at ease.

Let the client do at least 80% of the talking. This will give you invaluable information on your client’s needs.

Remember to ask plenty of questions. Use open questions, e.g. TED’s, and closed questions i.e. questions that will only give the answer ‘yes’ or the answer ‘no.’ This way you can dictate the direction of the conversation.

Never be too afraid to ask for the business straight off.

Stage Four – Objection Handling.

Objection handling is the way in which salespeople tackle obstacles put in their way by clients. Some objections may prove too difficult to handle, and sometimes the client may just take a dislike to you (aka the hidden objection). Here are some approaches for overcoming objections:

Firstly, try to anticipate them before they arise.

‘Yes but’ technique allows you to accept the objection and then to divert it. For example, a client may say that they do not like a particular colour, to which the salesperson counters ‘Yes but X is also available in many other colours.’

Ask ‘why’ the client feels the way that they do.

‘Restate’ the objection, and put it back into the client’s lap. For example, the client may say, ‘I don’t like the taste of X,’ to which the salesperson responds, ‘You don’t like the taste of X,’ generating the response ‘since I do not like garlic’ from the client. The salesperson could suggest that X is no longer made with garlic to meet the client’s needs.

The sales person could also tactfully and respectfully contradict the client.

Stage Five – Closing the Sale.

This is a very important stage. Often salespeople will leave without ever successfully closing a deal. Therefore it is vital to learn the skills of closing.

Just ask for the business! – ‘Please may I take an order?’ This really works well.

Look for buying signals (i.e. body language or comments made by the client that they want to place an order). For example, asking about availability, asking for details such as discounts, or asking for you to go over something again to clarify.

Just stop talking, and let the client say ‘yes.’ Again, this really works.

The ‘summary close’ allows the salesperson to summarise everything that the client needs, based upon the discussions during the call. For example, ‘You need product X in blue, by Friday, packaged accordingly, and delivered to your wife’s office.’ Then ask for the order.

The ‘alternative close’ does not give the client the opportunity to say no, but forces them towards a yes. For example ‘Do you want product X in blue or red?’ Cheeky, but effective.


Task Two

There are many ways that personal selling can increase sales:

Make sure there is enough staff to deal with customers at all times

Make sure all staff are trained and have a good product knowledge

Make sure staff are polite and nice to all customers

Have good policies for customer feedback

What are the advantages of using personal selling as a means of promotion?

• Personal selling is a face-to-face activity; customers therefore obtain a relatively high degree of personal attention

• The sales message can be customised to meet the needs of the customer

• The two-way nature of the sales process allows the sales team to respond directly and promptly to customer questions and concerns

• Personal selling is a good way of getting across large amounts of technical or other complex product information

• The face-to-face sales meeting gives the sales force chance to demonstrate the product

• Frequent meetings between sales force and customer provide an opportunity to build good long-term relationships

Given that there are many advantages to personal selling, why do more businesses not maintain a direct sales force?

Main disadvantages of using personal selling

The main disadvantage of personal selling is the cost of employing a sales force. Sales people are expensive. In addition to the basic pay package, a business needs to provide incentives to achieve sales (typically this is based on commission and/or bonus arrangements) and the equipment to make sales calls (car, travel and subsistence costs, mobile phone etc).

Task Three.

Operational design addresses how inputs are transformed into the organization’s products.  In other words, operation design focuses upon value added transformations.  

Every operation is composed of three design elements:

1. processes or procedures

2.equipment and facilities

3. people.  

People use the equipment following some set of procedures to transform an input into an output.Operational Design is extremely important  in the generation of sales to a leisure centre as it will determine how succesful the centre will be. If a leisure centre has a good Operational Design it has a far better chance of succseeding and attracting more member and retaing old ones, this in turn will increase the revenue of the leisure centre making it more profitable. A leisure centre provides access to fitness equipment, but it also provides a social atmosphere. These are the main things that people look for when joining a leisure centre, so if the the centre is well equipped and supplys the necessary equipment and a good social environment then it is proof that it has a good Operational Design.This includes everything that the leisure centre provides from the way which you sign up and pay membership to the way that you are treated by staff when you are on the premises. If people are happy with this then the Operational Design is success and the centre will have a larger amount of members and therefore more sales and revenue.

Task Four

A good sales team is vital for sucess in any business. They can:

1. A sales team will multiply your business exposure and awareness. When you have a team of people representing your products or services they have their own audience and website traffic. Whether they’re an affiliate or a direct sales team member, a team member can help you multiply your audience.

2. A sales team can bring in sales and profits while you focus on other things. A business owner needs time to plan and grow their business. Your role as the owner is to create strategies and procedures to make your business profitable. If you like to do sales, then by all means continue to do so while you’re also planning your business. However, if you’d rather spend your time on other things – new businesses, new ventures, new products and services for example, then a sales team can be your next best business decision.

3. An effective sales team can drive profits. As a business owner it’s likely that you spend a good chunk of time devoted to profit-generating tasks. If for example you are an information marketer, then chances are you spend a lot of time creating these information products. However, if you have a sales team increasing your profits, you have more in your budget to outsource some of these tasks. You can take time off and still have money coming into your business.

4. A sales team can and will drive more traffic to your website, thus opening up more revenue opportunities. If you have 1000 visitors a day to your website that’s great; if you have an effective sales team each sending hundreds of visitors to your website, then your traffic increases exponentially. Now you can charge more for advertising, make more from PPC campaigns, make more from affiliate commissions and of course sell more products and services.

5. Finally, a sales team can enhance your credibility. A one person sales team is fine but a ten, twenty or one hundred person sales team is a whole new ballgame.

A Successful Sales Person Is

1. Prompt

2. Hard working

3. Ethical

4. Always listening

5. Asking the right questions

6. Sincere

7. Creative

8. Full of empathy

9. Positive

10. Organized

11. Attentive to detail

12. Thoroughly prepared

13. Good humored

14. Focused

15. Resourceful

16. Informed about his products

17. Informed about his industry

18. Informed about his competitors

19. Thick skinned, resilient

20. Aggressive

21. Flexible

22. Quick thinking

23. Tough minded

24. Skilled in writing

25. Skilled in marketing

26. Skilled in math

27. Skilled in reading

28. Well rounded

29. Emotionally balanced

30. Self confident

31. Passionate about her work

32. Willing to take risks

33. Competitive

34. Patient

35. Practical

36. Persistent

37. A strategist

38. A tactician

39. Curious

40. Generous

All of those quailities can make a very effective sales person, leading to more sales and increased cash flow in the business.

No matter what business you are in, who your customers are, or what the size of your business, the fact is that you need a solid sales training program. Whether your company is in health care, insurance, retail or any other area, without some sort of sales development training in place your business will founder. The sad truth is that it is not always the best company in the industry that captures the largest market share. Often, the company that is able to best get the word out about what the company has to offer is the one that captures the lion’s share of the business. This is what a concentrated and dedicated sales training program makes so much sense, no matter how large or small the company may be. The fact is that sales skill training can make all the difference in the world, and such sales training can often mean the difference between success and failure in today’s competitive business environment. Of course putting together a comprehensive sales training course is not always an easy proposition, and it can be difficult for all but the largest companies to muster the resources needed to put together a sales skill training course on their own. Fortunately, there are a number of excellent options available to allow smaller companies to take advantage of the best professional ales training in the industry, without emptying the company’s coffers or distracting from those important day to day operations.Business sales training and sales management training takes many forms, from printed materials and books to live sales presentations to meetings and sales presentations live on the Internet. The right sales skills training will of course vary from company to company, and it is important for company management to carefully consider their training needs before deciding on the right sales training course.When considering a sales training program, it is also vitally important to think carefully about which employees need to be trained. More and more companies today are extending their sales training beyond their commission salesmen and sales representatives. Indeed, many of the core skills covered in the best professional sales training is applicable to a wide range of occupations, including support staff, customer service representatives and members of management. It is a good idea for the sales training program to include members of company management and administrative support staff in addition to account executives.Learning a new sales training technique can help the customer service representative deal with a difficult customer and turn a negative situation around, just as it can help the newly hired account executive land that lucrative new account.No matter which employees are included in the sales training, however, it is important to provide all employees, both new hires and old hands, with ongoing sales development training. The right sales training can separate the most successful companies from all the rest, and sales training should be a priority in every business, no matter what the industry.

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