Steps in Personal Selling Process
Steps in personal Selling process
Personal Selling consists of the following steps.
1. Pre-sale preparation: The first step in personal selling is the selection, training and motivation of salespersons. The salespersons must be fully familiar with the product, the firm, the market and the selling techniques. They should be well-informed about the competitor's products and the degree of competition. They should also be acquainted with the motives and behavior of prospective buyers.
2. Prospecting: It refers to locating or searching out prospective buyers who have the need for the product and the ability to buy it. Potential customers may be spotted through observation, enquiry and analysis of records of existing customers. Social contacts, business associations and dealers can be helpful in the identification of potential buyers.
3. Approaching: Before calling on the prospects, the salesperson should fully learn their number, needs, habits, spending capacity, motives, etc. Such knowledge helps in selecting the right sales appeal. After such learning, the salesperson should approach the customer in a polite and dignified way. He should introduce himself and his product to the customer. He should greet the customer with a smile and make him feel at home. He should introduce himself and his product to the customer. In case he is busy with some other customer, he should assure the new customer that he would be attended very soon. The salesperson has to be very careful in his approach as the first impression is the last impression.
4. Presentation: For this purpose, the salesperson has to present the product and describe its features in brief. The presentation should be matched with the attitude of the prospect so that the salesman can continuously hold his attention and create interest in the product.
5. Demonstration: In order to maintain customer's interest and to arouse his desire, the sales-person must display and demonstrate the product. He has to explain the utility and distinctive qualities of the product so that the prospect realizes the need for the product to satisfy his wants. He should not be in a hurry to impress the customer and should avoid controversy. He may suggest uses of the product and may create an impulsive urge to possess the article by appealing to human instincts.
6. Handling objections: A sale cannot be achieved simply by creating interest and desire. Every customer wants to make the best bargain for the money he is spending. Presentation and demonstration of the product are likely to create doubts and questions in his mind. The salesman should clear all doubts and objections without entering into a controversy and without losing his temper. Testimonials, money-back guarantee, tact and patience are popular means of winning over s hesitant buyers. The salesman should convince the customer that he is making the best use of his money by purchasing the product. For this purpose, the salesman should prove the superiority of his product over the competitive products. He should not lose patience if the customer puts too many queries and takes time in arriving at any decision. If the customer does not buy even after meeting rejections, the salesman should let him go without showing temper. He must believe in the universal rule that the customer is always right.
7. Closing the sale: This is the climax or critical point in the personal selling process. Completing the sale seems to be an easy task but inappropriate handling of the customer can result in loss of sale. The salesman should not force the deal but let the customer feel that he has made the final decision. He should guide the customer in making the choice without imposing his own view. Some adjustment in price or other concession may sometimes be necessary for a successful closing. The salesman should show the same interest in the customer which he exhibited during approach stage. Sales should be closed in a cordial manner so that the customer feels inclined to visit the shop again. In closing the sale, the article should be packed properly and handed over to the customer with speed and accuracy. Once the customer has purchased the article, the salesman should show and suggest an allied product. For instance, he may suggest socks, ties, handkerchiefs, vests, etc., to a customer purchasing a shirt. This is known as additional sales and requires great skill and tact.
8. Post-sale follow-up: It refers to the activities undertaken to ensure that the customer is satisfied with the article and the firm. These activities include installation of the products, checking and ensuring its smooth performance, maintenance and after-sale service. It helps to secure repeat sales identify additional prospects and to evaluate salesman's effectiveness.
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