After reading this article you will learn about Personal Selling:- 1. Meaning Personal Selling 2. Advantages of Personal Selling 3. Limitations.
Meaning Personal Selling:
Selling is personal or impersonal process of assisting and/or persuading a prospective customer to buy a commodity or service or to act favourably upon an idea that has commercial significance to the seller.
1. Each tool of promotion is a vehicle or medium of communication in the field of marketing management.
2. The marketer as an artist creates the most favourable blend of all promotion elements to influence buyer behaviour and the process of decision making in purchases. Thus, sales can be promoted through a promotion campaign.
Personal selling refers to oral presentation in conversation (by a salesperson) with one or more prospective customers for the purpose of marketing sales. Hence, in personal selling we have direct face-to-face communication (Two-way communication) between two parties.
Advantages of Personal Selling:
Personal selling is the most important ingredient in the promotion mix. It is the largest single operating cost accounting for 10 to 15% of net sales in many enterprises.
The following are the relative advantages of personal selling:
1. A salesman can pinpoint prospect, whereas advertising cannot distinguish precisely a prospect from a suspect as it is a means of mass communication and not an individual communication. Hence, there is minimum waste of effort and expenditure in personal selling or communication.
2. Personal interview in salesmanship assures attention and interest of a prospect. Personal selling has flexibility. Sales talk and sales presentation can be fitted to the individual needs and motives of a prospect. This is not possible in advertising. Even the best advertisements may attract attention and interest of hardly 60% of viewers or listeners or readers.
3. Advertisement has a broad sales message. It cannot be adjusted to reactions and objections of any one prospect. Salesman can adjust sales presentation on the spot to meet objections and reactions of his prospect in order to gain action.
4. Advertising can attract attention and arouse interest but usually it is left to the salesman to close the sale and effect transfer of title.
5. Actual demonstration of the product or its use is recognised as the most powerful means of convincing. Advertising cannot use demonstration, but salesman can use it easily.
6. Personal selling is the best means of two-way communication continuously between the company and its customers. Top management can be fully informed about many vital matters such as competition, customer reaction and comment, market trend, dealer demands, etc.
This feedback of information cannot be adequately achieved through other means of promotion. Hence, personal salesmanship has a permanent place in promotion and distribution. In retail trade we need personalized services and relations with customers and these can be offered only by salespersons.
Limitations on Personal Selling:
1. The greatest limitation is the high cost of personal selling particularly in inflationary conditions. The cost of developing and maintaining efficient sales force is quite high.
2. Good and competent salespersons are scarce. When compared with other occupations, sales profession is becoming less attractive. General shortages of sales force in the West has compelled retailers to depend more and more on self-service principle.
That is why self-service stores are popular in many Western countries. However, many big companies select and train their sales force and systematically develop their salespersons, as personal selling, though costly, is very effective and indispensable.