Personal selling is a useful vehicle for communicating with present and potential buyers.

Nature of Personal Selling and Sales Management

  • Personal selling involves the two-way flow of communication between a buyer and seller, often in a face-to-face encounter, designed to influence a person`s or group`s purchase decision.
  • Personal selling also occurs by telephone, through video teleconferencing, and the Internet between buyers and sellers.
  • The tasks involved in managing personal selling include: (1) setting objectives; (2) organizing the sales force; (3) recruiting, selecting, training, and compensating salespeople; and (4) evaluating the performance of individual salespeople.

Personal Selling in Marketing

  • Salespeople match company interests with customer needs to satisfy both parties in the exchange process.
  • Salespeople represent what a company is or attempts to be and are often the only personal contact a customer has with the firm.
  • Personal selling may play a dominant role in a firm`s marketing program if a firm uses a push marketing strategy.

Creating Customer Value through Salespeople: Relationship and Partnership Selling

Salespeople can create customer value in many ways:

  1. Identifying creative solutions to customer problems.
  2. Easing the customer buying process.
  3. Following through after the sale.

Relationship selling is the practice of building ties to customers based on a salesperson`s attention and commitment to customer needs over time. It:

  1. Involves mutual respect and trust among buyers and sellers.
  2. Focuses on creating long-term customers, not one-time sales.

Partnership selling (or enterprise selling) is the practice whereby buyers and sellers combine their expertise and resources to create customized solutions, commit to joint planning, and share customer, competitive, and company information for their mutual benefit, and ultimately the customer. It:

  1. Relies on cross-functional business specialists who apply their knowledge and expertise to achieve higher productivity, lower cost, and greater customer value.
  2. Complements supplier and channel partnering.

Relationship and partnership selling represent another dimension of customer relationship management (CRM).

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