Meaning of Personal Selling or Salesmanship
Meaning of personal selling or salesmanship
Personal selling or salesmanship is the oldest and the most popular method of selling goods and services. It involves face-to-face communication between the seller and the potential buyer. It may be two types:
(i) Across the Counter Selling: In this case, the customer comes to the shop or store and the salesperson attends him. It primarily involves retail store selling. It also includes 'phone-in-orders'.
(ii) Door-to-Door Selling: In this case the salesperson goes to the residence or office of the customer. This is also known as field selling. These days’ salespersons also approach customers through telephone, fax and internet.
Personal selling is the process of assisting and persuading a prospective buyer to buy a product or service in a face-to-face situation. It involves direct and personal contact between the seller or his representative with the prospective buyer for persuading the latter to buy the seller's product or service.
Personal selling is beneficial to both the seller and the buyer. It increases the sales and profit for the seller and helps to satisfy the wants of consumers. The real purpose of personal selling is not simply to sell the present product or service but to win a regular customer. Aggression selling or selling by pressurizing the customers is unethical and cannot pay in the long run. A good salesman should assist the customers in satisfying their needs by offering products or services that suit their capacity and provide them lasting satisfaction.
The foregoing discussion reveals the following characteristics of personal selling,
(i) Personal selling is informative. It provides information about the availability, features and uses of products or services. It tells customers how best they can satisfy their needs. It is an educative process,
(ii) Personal selling is persuasive. A salesman convinces the people to buy his product should not pressurize the customer but provide a solution to his problem. He can win the buyer's confidence by understanding the buyer's point of view; a salesman should not only provide knowledge but advice and assistance too. He is supposed to act as the friend, philosopher and guide of customers.
(iii) Personal selling involves direct and personal contact between the buyer and the seller or his representative.
(iv) Personal selling is creative. It creates wants by showing to prospective buyers how the new product or service will benefit them. For example, everybody needs education but everybody does not want education. Personal selling is the ability to convert human needs into human wants.
(v) Personal selling is pervasive. It is used not only in business but in all walks of life. A politician seeking votes, a professor putting his ideas across to the class, traffic police creating safety consciousness among drivers and a social service agency requesting people to donate blood, all make use of salesmanship.
(vi) Personal selling is both an art as well as a science. It involves application of knowledge and skills to persuade people (art). It also contains a systematized body of knowledge (science) in the form of basic principles and techniques which one can learn in a course on marketing.
(i) Personal selling aims at mutual benefit of both the buyer and the seller. It provides customer satisfaction which ensures profitable sales volume for the seller.
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