Everything you need to know about the importance of personal selling. Personal selling plays a vital role in promotion of goods and services of an organization.
The importance of the personal selling is three fold i.e., the benefits which it provides to business; customer and society.
Personal selling is an important element of promotion mix and an effective promotional tool. The ultimate objective of producing goods and services is to sell them to the consumers. Sales are the major source of revenues to a business.
A salesman introduces the goods to the customers, arouses their interest and persuades them to purchase the goods and finalizes the deal. Personal selling is important not only for businesses but also for customers and society.
The importance of the personal selling is three fold i.e., the benefits which it provides to business; customer and society. They are:-
A. Importance to Business –
1. Effective Promotional Tool 2. Flexible Tool 3. Minimises Wastage of Efforts 4. Consumer Attention 5. Lasting Relationship 6. Personal Rapport 7. Role in Introduction Stage 8. Link with Customers
B. Importance to Customers –
1. Helps in Identifying Needs 2. Latest Market Information 3. Expert Advice 4. Induces Customers C. Importance to Society – 1. Converts Latest Demand 2. Employment Opportunities 3. Career Opportunities 4. Mobility of Sales People 5. Product Standardisation.
Importance of Personal Selling
Importance of Personal Selling – Explained!
Personal selling plays a vital role in promotion of goods and services of an organization. The importance of the personal selling is three fold i.e., the benefits which it provides to business; customer and society.
All these are explained below:
Personal selling is a powerful tool in the hand of businessman for creating demand for their products and increasing sales.
The importance of personal selling to a business organization are:
i. Effective Promotional Tool – Personal selling is the most effective tool, which helps in influencing the prospects about the merits of the product and thereby increasing its sales.
ii. Flexible Tool – Personal selling is more flexible than other promotional tools such as advertising and sales promotion. It helps a business personal to change their offer technique in varying purchase situation.
iii. Minimizes Wastage of Efforts – Compared to tools of promotion, the possibilities of wastage of resources in personal selling is minimum, as sales personal are focused on single or small group of prospects. This helps the business persons in bringing economy in their efforts.
iv. Consumer Attention – In case of personal selling, there is an opportunity to detect the loss of consumer attention and interest during sales. This helps a business person in successfully completing the sales.
v. Personal Rapport – Sales through personal selling develops a rapport between organization and customer. Development of personal rapport with customer increases the competitive strength of a business organization.
Personal selling is equally important to the customer as it is for organization. However, the role of personal selling becomes more important for the illiterate and rural customers, who do not have many other means of getting product information.
The customers are benefited by personal selling in the following ways:
i. Helps in identification of needs – Personal selling helps the customers in identifying their needs and wants and knowing how these can be satisfied.
ii. Latest Market Information – Through personal selling customers get latest market information regarding price changes; product availability and new product introduction etc. which helps them in taking their purchase decisions in a better way.
iii. Expert Advise – Consumers get expert advice and guidance in purchasing various goods and services, which helps them in making better purchase.
iv. Better Standard of Living – It induces the customers to purchase a new product which is capable of satisfying their needs and wants in better way and thus, helps in improving their standard of living.
Personal selling plays a very vital role in the economic progress and development of the society.
Some of the specific benefits which it offers to the society are:
i. Employment – It provides greater income and employment opportunities to the unemployed youth of the society.
ii. Product Standardization – It increases product standardization and uniformity in consumption pattern in the diverse society.
iii. Generates latent Demand – It converts latent demand into effective demand. It is due to this cycle that the economic activities in the society is fostered, leading to more jobs, more income and more products and services to satisfy particular needs and wants.
Importance of Personal Selling
India is a diversified country. Its population is heterogeneous in nature. There is a vast difference among the people in terms of culture, behaviour, psychology, income etc. Thus the needs and buying habits of people are different, hence, it is not possible to have a mass marketing approach and have a universal mode of promotion like advertising.
Personal selling, being flexible in nature, involves individual and personal communication where a salesman can tailor his sales presentations to fit needs, motives and attitudes of prospective customers. Also the Indian population majorly resides in rural areas where largely people do not have access to electricity, TV, radio, internet and newspapers, hence personal selling is the best method available to market the products.
Researches have shown that Indians do not believe in reading and’ following instructions of any kind. People prefer to understand the usage of the product by demonstration. They want to “touch and feel” the product also. Thus personal selling is generally adopted in India.
Other benefits of personal selling, due to which it is a famous promotion activity are:
i. Helps in introducing new products to the customers.
ii. Acts as a source of information in terms of feedback of the product and for identifying the needs of the customers.
iii. Helps in creating employment opportunities.
iv. It is the only promotional tool which results in actual sale there and then.
Importance of Personal Selling – To Introduce a Product to the Customers, to Create New Wants and to Maintain the Demand and a Few Others
Some of the important functions of personal selling are:
i. To introduce a product to the customers;
ii. To enable a customer to decide what to buy and what not to buy;
iii. To create a demand in such a way that it precedes supply;
iv. To create new wants and to maintain the demand;
v. To conduct effective selling at a minimum cost;
vi. To collect information about markets and pass it on to the manufacturers.
As a method of promotion, personal selling is much more flexible and effective than advertising and sales promotion. The message and sales presentation can be adjusted on the spot to suit individual needs, motives and expectations of customers.
A salesman can more effectively convince buyers and procure sales. A salesman is like a hunter who shoots the particular prey. Salesmanship is essential to convert the effect of advertising into sale. Many useful products might not have seen the light of the day but for the untiring efforts of salesmen.
For example – King Gillette took five years to sell his first seven safety razors.
Importance of Personal Selling – For a Business Firm, Customers and Society
1. For a Business Firm:
For a business firm, personal selling is important because of the following advantages:
(i) Effective Promotional Tool:
Personal selling is an effective tool to increase the sale of a product. The salesperson can explain the merits of the product to the customers.
(ii) Flexible Tool:
Personal selling efforts can be changed according to the type of customer the salesperson is attending. He may change the offer under different situations.
(iii) Minimum Wastage of Efforts:
As compared to other methods of promotion, the wastage of efforts is minimum in case of personal selling.
(iv) Customer Attention:
Personal selling helps to draw the attention of the customers quickly to the product design, features, quality, uses, price, etc.
(v) Personal Rapport:
Through their communication skills, the salespersons can create personal rapport with the customers. This will improve the competitive strength of the organisation.
Salesperson functions as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the producer. He helps in improving the product and sale policies by providing feedback obtained from the customers.
(vii) Introduction of New Product:
Personal selling is very effective to introduce a new product as the salesperson can explain the product features and price, give demonstration and clarify the doubts of the customers.
2. For Customers and Society:
Customers and society are benefited by personal selling in the following ways:
(i) Identifying Needs:
Salespersons help the customers to discover their needs and wants. They also help the customers to know how these needs and wants could be satisfied.
(ii) Latest Market Information:
In personal selling, salespersons provide the latest information regarding the new products available in the market, uses of those products, etc.
(iii) Expert Advice:
Customers get expert advice and guidance in purchasing various goods and services, which help them in making better purchases.
(iv) Satisfaction of Needs:
Personal selling induces customers to purchase new products that satisfy their needs better and thereby help in improving their standards of living.
(v) Economic Progress:
Personal selling converts latent demand into effective demand which leads to economic activity in the society, leading to more jobs, more income and more products and services. This cycle leads to economic progress of the society.
(vi) Career Opportunities:
Dynamic youth can take personal selling as a career. There are huge opportunities for growth and advancement in this career. Those who advance in this career enjoy job satisfaction and also feel a sense of security.
Importance of Personal Selling – Benefits to the Business, Customers and Society
Personal selling is an important element of promotion mix and an effective promotional tool. The ultimate objective of producing goods and services is to sell them to the consumers. Sales are the major source of revenues to a business. A salesman introduces the goods to the customers, arouses their interest and persuades them to purchase the goods and finalizes the deal. He plays a very significant role in selling the products. Indeed, salesmanship is the major factor underlying the success of most business houses.
Personal Selling offers the following benefits which show its significance:
Benefits to the Business:
Personal Selling increases the sales and expand, the market by identifying new customers and persuading them to buy the products. Where the product is for selected buyers, like mixer or vacuum cleaner, the salesman identifies the potential customers. He will explain to them using literature the composition of the product, how it is operated and so on. Here person to person contact will help in selling the product and not advertising.
He creates more and more regular demand thus makes planned and regular mass production possible. He understands the needs, tastes and preferences of the consumers as well as the nature of products that will match the market demand. A salesman finalises the deal. He settles terms and conditions such as payment, delivery etc.
Benefits to the Customers:
A Salesman explains to his customers how well the product he is selling can satisfy their needs. He gives them opportunity to make more enquiries about his product. This helps then to match their needs and the product. He informs them of new products and explains to them how best they can use these products.
He may also give a demonstration of use and also explains to them the precautions they should take while using the products. He educates the consumers and guides them so that they can make informed choice of the products which will best satisfy their needs. He provides their after-sales service also.
Benefits to the Society:
Personal selling paves the way for increasing production, distribution and consumption. It requires lots of salespersons to pursue its objectives. It assists the society, thereby, in increasing employment opportunities. Salespersons put vigorous effort in collecting market information, credit information, delivering goods and collecting payments.
They introduce a new product to the customers. On the feedback given by the salespersons a company brings the desired improvement in the products in order to march the demand and expectations of the customers. In this way it adds more value to the society at large and to business in particular.
Importance of Personal Selling – Eliminates Ignorance, Increases Sales Volume, Assists Customers, Increases Customer Satisfaction and Helps in Finding Prospects
Personal selling is important in the following ways:
i. Eliminates Ignorance:
Many a times, the consumer has certain doubts or emotional objection regarding the features or the usefulness of the product. Sales representatives often show a demo / test run of the product to clear such doubts of the consumer. This helps in removing the ignorance of the consumers.
Sales representatives are important in increasing the sales volume of a product. Since the representatives earn incentives on every sale of the designated product, they ensure that they push the customer for every sale. This increases profitability of the company.
iii. Convincing Power of the Sales Representatives:
Sales representatives have effective communication skills. Whenever a person expresses a desire to know about the product, the representative tries to convey the benefits of the product and impress the prospect. In most cases, such a prospect is converted into a customer. This helps the company increase the sales volume, customer base and earn more profits.
Sales representatives are fully aware of the product features and usage. Thus they are able to provide knowledge and technical assistance to the customer’s related to safe installation and use of the product.
Sales representatives always carry the products with them and offer a free demonstration of the product to the customer. Only when the customer is satisfied with the product, he/she makes a purchase. Hence, this sales function is an indicator of customer satisfaction.
Personal selling is concerned with finding new customers for the products. The sales staff kept for this purpose identifies opportunities to build a fresh customer base. They personally try to reach the customers at their place and convince them into buying the product.
Importance of Personal Selling – Importance to Businessmen, Customers and Society
Personal selling is important not only for businesses but also for customers and society.
Role played by Personal Selling may be discussed as follows:
1. Importance to Businessmen:
Personal Selling develops personal relationship with customers to increase demand for company’s products.
The importance of personal selling for businessmen may be discussed as follows:
(i) Effective Promotional Tool – It helps businessmen to explain the target customers about the product quality and its features and thus influence his/her decision to buy the product.
(ii) Flexible Tool – Personal Selling is considered to be flexible as it helps businessmen to adapt to the changes required by customers and offer products accordingly.
(iii) Minimises Wastage of Efforts – Direct contact with customers facilitates quick feedback. This minimises the wastage of efforts and cost.
(iv) Consumer Attention – Interaction at personal level gives salesperson an opportunity to detect the loss of consumer’s attention and interest. This helps salesperson to find remedy to gain his/her attention and complete the sale.
(v) Lasting Relationship – Personal interaction helps salesperson to develop lasting relationship with customers. This helps to have repeated sales and achieve objectives of business.
(vi) Personal Rapport – Personal interactions develop personal rapport with customers and increase the competitive strength of a business organisation.
(vii) Role in Introduction Stage – Personal contact with customers help business to introduce new product and its comparative advantages more effectively and thus persuade them to buy the product.
(viii) Link with Customers – Salespersons play various roles viz. persuasive role, service role and informative role. The salesperson thus acts as a link between a business firm and its customers.
2. Importance to Customers:
Personal Selling is an important means of selling product to customers viz. illiterate or rural customers who may not have access to other means to get product information.
Personal Selling benefits customers in following ways:
(i) Helps in Identifying Needs – Personal selling helps customers to identify their needs and wants and to understand how the product may satisfy their needs. Thus they are able to make informed decisions.
(ii) Latest Market Information – It helps customers to get latest market information regarding price changes, product availability, new products and competitor’s products and their comparisons. All this information helps them to take effective decisions.
(iii) Expert Advice – Salespersons provide customers expert advice and guidance in purchasing goods and services.
(iv) Induces Customers – Personal selling induces customers to buy new products which satisfy their needs in a better manner thus helps them to improve their standard of living.
3. Importance to Society:
Personal selling plays a very productive role in the economic progress of a society.
It provides following specific benefits to a society:
(i) Converts Latest Demand – Personal selling converts the latest demand into effective demand. This results in increased production, more job opportunities, higher incomes and improved standard of living leading to economic growth.
(ii) Employment Opportunities – Increased production creates more employment opportunities.
(iii) Career opportunities – Direct dealing with customers makes personal selling an interesting and satisfying job. Salesperson gain experience while dealing with different types of customers. Thus, it gives opportunities in career advancement, provides security, respect, variety and independence in working.
(iv) Mobility of Sales People – Salespersons move from one state to another for business purposes but it indirectly promotes travel and tourism in the country.
(v) Product Standardisation – Personal selling increases product standardisation and uniformity in consumption pattern in a diverse society.
From above discussions you must have realised that success of personal selling as a promotional tool solely depends on the salesperson. Therefore, it is extremely important that a salesman possesses the essential qualities to ensure the effectiveness of personal selling.
Let us discuss the qualities of a Good Salesman:
(i) Physical Qualities:
A good salesman must be healthy and have an attractive personality. Pleasing personality of a salesperson creates a favourable impression on the customers. A healthy and fit salesperson will have stamina to travel to various places to increase company’s market horizon.
(ii) Psychological Qualities:
A salesperson must be sweet natured, must follow code of conduct and show exemplary behaviour. He must be mentally healthy with sharp memory and presence of mind.
(iii) Technical Qualities:
A sales person must possess sound technical knowledge about the product he/she has to sell. He/she must be able to explain not only the special benefits or features of the product but also its advantages over the other similar products offered by their competitors.
(iv) Communication Skills:
A good salesperson must have good command over the language. He/she should be fluent in common spoken languages and also have basic knowledge about the local language of the area where he/she is working. A confident and convincing conversationalist can convert on enquiry into confirmed sale.
A salesperson is valued if he/she is honest and sincere in his conduct. He/she must have sound character and should not ever involve in any activity which may harm the interest of the company or any individual.
A polite and courteous salesperson can very easily win the confidence of his/her customers and convince them to be his/her permanent buyer.
A good salesperson must be tactful, ambitious and enthusiastic. He/she must persuade customers to buy the product.
(viii) Capacity to Inspire Trust:
A good sales person must have passion and ability to inspire trust in his/her customers. He/she should be able to understand the needs of customers and convince them to buy specific products.
Importance of Personal Selling – Personal Interaction, Quick Response, Increases in Sales Volume and Easy Customer Assessment
Personal selling is based on personal interaction between the salesperson and the customer. This helps to establish a strong long term relationship between the sales person and the customer and enables free communication.
Face to face interaction enables quick resolving of queries and problems. The prospective buyer can make inquiries regarding the product and the salesman answers these queries quickly and removes any doubts in the mind of the buyer. It also facilitates prompt feedback from the customers regarding acceptance of the product.
The sales person usually sets a sales target and tries to achieve that target. A sales target serves as a motivation for the sales person and the sales person adopts a persuasive approach to increase sales volume.
The sales person through his skill, intelligence, experience and interaction with the customers easily identifies the needs and wants of the consumer. The sales person can easily assess the level of customer attention and interest and can read the mind of customers. This helps to position the product easily before the customers.
Importance of Personal Selling – Services to Consumers, Services to Producers and Services to the Society
Personal selling plays a pivotal role in the field of distribution of goods and services. A salesman is a guide and a friend of the consumer and a supporter and an aid to the producer.
He helps the consumer, producer and the society alike in the following manner:
(a) Services to Consumers:
A salesman helps the consumers in the following ways:
It is the salesman who introduces the product in the market and informs the customers about the new product and also about the producer. He also suggests them how to use the product and how the product can satisfy their needs. He removes every doubt from the minds of the purchasers and convinces them about the quality of the goods and credibility of the producer. In this way, he helps converting wants into needs. The purchaser thinks himself honourable, in whom the producer is interested.
(b) Services to Producers:
Personal selling also serves the producer in the following ways:
(i) He sells goods to the wholesalers and retailers in the channel of distribution and also to the consumer at company’s terms.
(ii) He makes search for the new customers and convince them’ about the use of the product.
(iii) Salesman induces the customers and new customers to purchase goods.
(iv) He cultivates newer markets and tries to sell more of the company’s product.
(v) He helps in interpreting the sentiments of the market because he serves as a communicating link between producer and the consumer. He diagnoses the market and suggests the prescription to remove the marketing ills.
(c) Service to the Society:
Personal selling also serves the society. The main purpose of personal selling is to increase the volume of sales. The sales go up with the serious efforts of the sales force. It results in large scale production and reduction of costs and prices. In this ways, society may get better quality goods at cheaper rates. Rate of employment also goes high. The standard of living of the society goes up in view of the large scale production.
Thus, Personal selling has made the large scale production and sales possible.
There are two types of Personal Selling Objectives viz.- qualitative and quantitative. The objectives may also be short term and long term objectives. Long term personal selling objectives are broad and general and there is very little change over time. Such objectives are always in conformity with the company’ overall objectives.
The short term objectives are more specific and mainly in conformity with the role assigned to the Personal selling as a part of the Promotional mix. These objectives change very frequently as soon as there is a change in the Promotional mix. Like Promotional mix short term Personal selling objectives may differ from market to market and from product to product.
Importance of Personal Selling – From the Consumer and Businessman Perspective
Modern salesmanship plays an important part in the present day world. At every step from the collection of raw material to the finished product, a salesman is needed to bring the buyers and sellers in close contact. Every part involved makes a profit in the transaction but probably a consumer is best benefited of all because he can purchase products of diverse makes and qualities at cheaper rates than he usually would have got by buying from a single manufacturer.
Personal selling is directly or indirectly related to all phases of business world. As a matter of fact, volume of sales and goodwill largely depend upon the character of salesmanship offered. The act of personal selling is deemed necessary for the smooth working of industries without mass production in anticipation of sale cannot take place.
It is essentially for the accomplishment of the selling function which is at once the most difficult and the most important of the marketing functions and the smooth working of the economic order depends upon a continuous flow of commodities from producer to consumer, a flow which could not and would not be maintained under modern industrial conditions, without the exercise of selling efforts.
Although personal selling is useful for almost every product or service, it is particularly important when:
1. The market is concentrated either geographically or in a few industries, or in a few large customers;
2. The product has a high unit value, is quite technical in nature, or requires a demonstration;
3. The product requires to be customized for each individual, as in the case of securities or insurance;
4. The product is in the introductory stage of its life cycle;
5. The organization does not have enough money for an adequate advertising campaign;
6. Personal selling can usually be focused or pinpointed on prospective customers, thus, minimizing wasted effort;
7. The goal of personal selling is to actually make a sale. Other forms of promotion are designed to move a prospect closer to a sale.
Personal selling is one of the important functions needed for survival and growth of the business concern. Personal selling is an important method of demonstrating the product to the consumers and giving them full information about the product. The society also stands to gain through the personal selling activities.
The importance of personal selling can be judged from its benefits, which are as follows:
(a) Increase in sales – With the help of effective and skillful personal selling sales are increased to many fold. A salesman increases the sales by identifying new customers and persuading them to buy the product.
(b) Price stabilization – Personal selling play an important role in maintaining equilibrium between the demand and supply of products and thus, reduce the fluctuations in price.
(c) Educates customers – Personal selling being an educative process educates the consumers and tells them the ways by which they can satisfy their needs. An effective sales person educates and guides the consumers about the product and its specifications.
(d) Communication service – Personal selling makes the two-way communication between the company and its customers effective in a Way that salesman provides information about product and policies of the business to the customers and in return provides information regarding the customer’s needs, choices, tastes and preferences etc., to the manufacturer or seller.
(e) Contribution to profits – The personal selling process helps in increasing the volume of sales by making regular and permanent customers, which ultimately lead to increase in profits to the procedures.
(f) Employment opportunities – Personal selling process is carried on by the various sales persons employed by the company. Thus, it provides many employment opportunities to young and energetic people.
(g) Market information – As salesperson are in direct link or contact with the customers, they can very well understand the needs, tastes, habits etc., of the customers as well as the nature of products that match the market demand. Thus, they supply the vital information to the manufacturer which helps them to make strategic marketing decisions.
(h) Effective tool – Personal selling is the most effective method of selling as the efforts under this method are focused on the actual and potential buyers.
Personal Selling benefits can be categorized from the consumer and businessman perspective in the following manner:
1. Benefits from the Consumers Point of View:
(i) A salesman explains to his customers how well the product he is selling can satisfy their needs. He gives them opportunity to make more enquiries about his product. This helps then to match their needs and the product.
(ii) He informs them of new products and explains to them how best they can use these products. He may also give a demonstration of use and also explains to them the precautions they should take while using the products.
(iii) He educates the consumers and guides them so that they can make informed choice of the products which will best satisfy their needs. He provides them after-sales service also.
2. Benefits to Businessmen:
(i) A salesman increases the sales and expand the market by identifying new customers and persuading them to buy the products.
(ii) Where the product is for selected buyers, like mixer or vacuum cleaner, the salesman identifies the potential customers. He will explain to them using literature the composition of the product, how it is operated and so on. Here person to person contact will help in selling the product and not advertising.
(iii) He creates more and more regular demand thus makes planned and regular mass production possible.
(iv) He understands the needs, tastes and preferences of the consumers as well as the nature of products that will match the market demand.
(v) A salesman finalises the deal. He settles terms and conditions such as – payment, delivery etc.