Personal Selling

Salesperson Personalities

According to David Jobber, there are three types of personal selling: order-takers, order-creators, and order-getters.

Learning Objectives

Break down personal selling to order-takers, order-creators, and order getters

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • Inside order-takers hold positions such as that of a retail sales assistant. The customer has full freedom to choose products without the presence or influence of a salesperson. The order-taker’s task is solely transactional.
  • In some industries, notably pharmaceuticals, the sales task is not to close the sale, but to persuade the customer to promote the seller’s products: these sales people are order-creators.
  • Order getters attempt to persuade customers to make a direct purchase.

Key Terms

  • Order-takers: Salesperson with responsibility for handling transactions that are initiated by the customer

Salesperson Personalities

Personal selling is one of the five main aspects of the promotional mix within marketing communications. Although other marketing components are dedicated to increasing sales, their impact is often indirect. In contrast, personal selling uses personal contact with target markets to generate new sales. The importance and power of this tool might be seen in the numbers of people employed in the personal selling field.

image

Salesperson: Personal selling, a main tool in marketing communications, is used by retail associates, telemarketers and outside sales managers.

According to David Jobber, co-author of “Selling and Sales Management”, there are three types of personal sellers: order-takers, order-creators, and order-getters. Professionals in the order-takers category respond to already committed customers. Order-creators are outside the ordering process, speaking to specifiers rather than buyers. Order-getters attempt to persuade customers to purchase directly.

Different Roles / Personalities

Order-takers: Inside order-takers hold positions such as that of a retail sales assistant. The customer has full freedom to choose products without the presence or influence of a salesperson. The order-taker’s task is solely transactional. However, personal sellers involved in the order-taking process may also move goods along to other order-takers such as telemarketers. Telemarketers support field sales by conducting transactions over the phone. Unlike inside salespeople, outside order-takers visit the customer, but also primarily respond to customer requests rather than actively make sales.

Order-creaters: In some industries, notably pharmaceuticals, the sales task is not to close the sale, but to persuade the customer to promote the seller’s products. For example, medical representatives that market to the medical industry rely on physicians prescribing their product rather than selling drugs directly to patients.

Order-getters: These salespeople persuade customers to make a direct purchase. These are front line salespeople, who are supported by technical support teams and marketers.

Purpose of Personal Selling

Personal selling can be found in many different positions and in many different sectors, but its primary purpose is to generate revenue (and subsequently profit) for companies. This process involves finding, informing, persuading, and at times servicing customers via personal communication. It can also entail helping customers to articulate their needs, tailoring persuasive messages to answer those needs, and then handling customers’ responses. Some of the primary objectives that fall under personal selling include:

  • Winning new business by identifying and selling to prospects.
  • Maintaining close long-term relationships with organizational customers.
  • Selling physical products and services such as books, cars and financial services.
  • Supporting customers of highly technical and complex products and providing detailed technical information.
  • Providing sales support in retail and wholesale selling. For example, giving advice on displays, implementing sales promotions, checking stock levels, and maintaining contact with store managers.

Managing Personal Selling

Personal selling is one of the main tools used in the promotional mix within marketing communications.

Learning Objectives

Outline how to manage personal selling

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • A sales pitch is essentially designed to be either an introduction of a product or service to an audience who knows nothing about it, or a descriptive expansion of a product or service that an audience has already expressed interest in.
  • Personal selling can be found across many different positions and in many sectors, but its primary purpose is to generate revenue (and subsequent profits) for companies.
  • Some of the primary objectives that fall under personal selling include winning new business and maintaining strong relationships with customers.

Key Terms

  • closing: A sales term which refers to the process of making a sale
  • personal selling: the use of individual interaction with the potential customer to convince them to purchase a product

Managing Personal Selling

A sales pitch is a planned presentation of a product or service designed to initiate and close a sale of the same product or service. A sales pitch is essentially designed to be either an introduction of a product or service to an audience who knows nothing about it, or a descriptive expansion of a product or service that an audience has already expressed interest in. Sales professionals prepare and give a sales pitch, which can be either formal or informal, and might be delivered in any number of ways.

image

Salesperson: Personal selling, a main tool in marketing communications, is used by retail associates, telemarketers and outside sales managers.

Closing in Sales

Closing is a sales term which refers to the process of making a sale. The sales sense springs from real estate, where closing is the final step of a transaction. In sales, it is used more generally to mean achievement of the desired outcome, which may be an exchange of money or acquiring a signature. Salespeople are often taught to think of targets not as strangers, but rather as prospective customers who already want or need what is being sold. Such prospects need only be “closed. ” “Closing” is distinguished from ordinary practices such as explaining a product’s benefits or justifying an expense. It is reserved for more artful means of persuasion, which some compare with confidence tricks. For example, a salesman might mention that his product is popular with a person’s neighbors, knowing that people tend to follow perceived trends. This is known as the Jones Theory. In automobile dealerships, a “closer” is often a senior salesman experienced in closing difficult deals.

Selling technique is the body of methods used in the profession of sales, which is also often called personal selling. Techniques used in selling vary from the highly customer centric consultative selling to the heavily pressured “hard close. ”

All techniques borrow a bit from experience and mix in a bit of guesswork on the psychology of what motivates others to buy something offered to them. Mastery in the techniques of selling can offer very high incomes, while failure in it is nearly proverbial. Coverage of the latter is popularized in works such as Death of a Salesman and Glengarry Glen Ross.

Handling Rejections and Objections in Sales

Because selling faces a high level of rejection, it is often difficult for the practitioner to handle emotionally, and is usually cited as the most common reason for leaving the profession. Because of this many selling and sales training techniques involve a lot of motivational material.

A selling interview based on counseling needs to be done in several steps, in a consistent order, from the identification of the needs to a close in which the prospect accepts the seller’s proposal. For example, the Sandler rules takes a relatively unusual stance when it comes to objections. While many sales techniques offer specific advice on how to handle objections and stalls, David H. Sandler suggests that only the objecting client is able to remove the objection.

Good Selling

Good selling involves asking questions to elicit the prospect’s needs and desires and finding the appropriate product or service that meets those needs and that the prospect is willing to pay for. If good prospecting (qualifying) is done, the prospect may already be well suited to the product or service. In this case, the salesperson simply needs to lead the prospect to act on the desires and needs he has. A good salesperson is much more knowledgeable about his product or service than the prospect could ever likely be and can offer valuable information and insight to the decision-making process.

The Sales Process

A sales process is a systematic approach to selling a product or service.

Learning Objectives

Explain the importance of a formalized sales process

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • Reasons for having a well thought-out sales process include seller and buyer risk management, standardized customer interaction in sales, and scalable revenue generation.
  • A major advantage of approaching the subject of sales from a “process point of view” is that it offers a host of well-tested design and improvement tools from other successful disciplines and process-oriented industries.
  • Specific steps or stages in a sales process vary from company to company.

Key Terms

  • Proposal: A business proposal is a written offer from a seller to a prospective buyer. Business proposals are often a key step in the complex sales process—i.e., whenever a buyer considers more than price in a purchase.
  • sales promotion: when media and non-media marketing communication are employed for a pre-determined, limited time to increase consumer demand, stimulate market demand or improve product availability

The Sales Process

A sales process is a systematic approach to selling a product or service. A growing body of published literature approaches the sales process from the point of view of an engineering discipline.

Reasons for having a well thought-out sales process include seller and buyer risk management, standardized customer interaction in sales, and scalable revenue generation. A major advantage of approaching the subject of sales from a “process point of view” is that it offers a host of well-tested design and improvement tools from other successful disciplines and process-oriented industries. In turn, this offers potential for quicker progress. Quality expert Joseph Juran observed, “There should be no reason our familiar principles of quality and process engineering would not work in the sales process. ” A sales team ‘s fundamental job is to move a greater number of larger deals through the sales process in less time. Selling effectively enables sales teams to meet their sales goals, which are often illustrated as in.

image

Information Flows for Sales Planning: Sales Planning

Specific steps or stages in a sales process vary from company to company but generally include the following elements:

  • Initial contact
  • Application of Initial Fit Criteria
  • Sales lead
  • Need identification
  • Qualified prospect
  • Proposal
  • Negotiation
  • Closing
  • After sales service

An alternate but similar series of steps is as follows:

  • Prospecting/Initial contact
  • Preapproach—planning the sale
  • Approach
  • Need assessment
  • Presentation
  • Meeting objections
  • Gaining commitment
  • Follow-up

These eight steps of the sales process are more current and accurate than traditional sales. These are the typical steps taken, which are usually performed in the same order—however, this can vary depending on the current situation. These steps of the sales process are given (pg. 66) and explained in one of the most influential sales textbooks written by Gregory A. Rich, Rosann L. Spiro, and William J Stanton, entitled “Management of a Sales Force” Twelfth Edition.

Mapping a process provides a starting point for further careful analysis and continuous improvement. Diagramming a process flow is considered to be one of the seven basic quality improvement tools. Elements in the list above (among many others) have been described and flow-charted in the published literature. Some examples have primarily focused on functions performed by a sales “department”. At least one cross-functional approach depicts and integrates a variety of interdependent areas, such as sales, marketing, customer service, and information systems.

From a seller’s point of view, a sales process mitigates risk by stage-gating deals based on collection of information or execution of procedures that gate movement to the next step. Of the large number of initially interested persons on the narrow end of orders, only a fraction of the initially interested people remain and actually place an order. This controls seller resource expenditure on non-performing deals. Ideally this also prevents buyers from purchasing products they don’t need, though such a benefit requires ethical intentions by the seller. Because of the uncertainty of this assurance, buyers often have a buying or purchasing process. The interface between the selling and buying processes has also been diagrammed.

A formalized sales process is generally more common for companies that either have complex sales cycles, large revenue risks that require systematic assurance of revenue generation, and/or those that choose to use a more consultative sales approach (e.g. Saturn, IBM, Hewlett-Packard).

An effective sales process can be described through steps that walk a salesperson from meeting the prospect all the way through closing the sale. Often a bad sales experience can be analyzed and shown to have skipped key steps. This is where a good sales process mitigates risk for both buyer and seller. A solid sales process also has the dramatic impact of forecasting accuracy and predictability in revenue results.

Many companies develop their own sales process; however, off-the-shelf versions are available from a number of companies in the sales performance improvement industry. A large number of these methods have been described by their promoters in books available to the public, primarily addressing tactics employed by an individual sales representative. These provide a customizable process and a set of electronic tools that can be freestanding or integrated with the company’s SFA, CRM, or other opportunity management system.