“The best product doesn’t sell itself, sales depend on planned communications to stimulate demand.”
What is personal selling?
Personal selling is a form of marketing communications system used to effectively explain, the advantages of a product to target customers.
It’s a specific communications system designed to sell more products to existing customers, promote new products and for market penetration and expansion.
For a marketing communications system to be effective and efficient, this marketing communications must recognize key elements.
These elements are the messenger, the target customer, the message, the message delivery channels and the feedback system.
Personal selling is one of the major delivery channels. It completes advertising and provides a more reliable channel for getting feedback.
Succeeding at personal selling requires the possession of basic skills.
What are the personal selling skills that guarantee success?
- The attainment of adequate level of education:
Achieving success in personal selling needs the possession of at least, average abilities to read and understand, write intelligently and communicate clearly.
This is very important as a salesperdon will have to communicate effectively the merits of a product to a target customer in order to make a sale.
The selling of some technical products is difficult for a salesperson that is unable to read, interpret and transmit technical information to target customers in a layman’s language.
2. The willingness to be open to continuous learning:
We are living in a dynamic world where information, channels of communication, products and services become obsolete quickly. We are living in a world where trends are normal.
So, for the sake of survival, businesses must either initiate trends or exploit emerging ones for business gains. The consequences of failure are better not imagined..
So, it’s very important for a salesperson that wants to stay relevant to be open to continuous learning. It’s the only way to keep up with updates and learn new ways to take advantage of new opportunities.
3. Ability to take initiative:
A salesperson with eyes on success has to go out into the field to seek buyers. They would hardly make significant sales If they chose the option of waiting for customers to come to them.
Customers always have competitors to choose from but a salesperson that initiates sales calls and sales visits make themselves the best choice.
4. Creative ability:
Creativity is a very important personal selling skill. Different customers have different preferences and would easily buy products designed to meet their specifications.
A salesperson that crafts a sales pitch around a target customer’s need has better changes of success than the one that doesn’t..
5. The ability to be assertive:
This is a must have ability for a salesperson selling non routine products and services.
Success here is dependent on the possession of the hard selling skill of assertiveness. This is because the salesperson often has little time to convince a skeptical target customer and close a sale.
6. The willingness to research:
A salesperson that is not willing to embark on research is not success driven.
There will definitely be times of low or no sales. Periods of low sales can occur any time.
When this happens, the salesperson should be ready to go the field to ask questions and develop a new strategy on the strength of findings from the field.
Then implement the strategy, get feedback, evaluate results, repeat the process until success is achieved.
7. Readiness to follow-up and stay in touch:
Every successful salesperson recognizes the importance of follow up.
Follow up calls are required to keep customers happy, have them come back for more, volunteer useful information and give referrals.