Principles of Personal Selling Essay

In anything that we do there must be a principles or rules that we must follow or embark on in order to succeed in our pursuit of goals. Sales process is a systematic approach to selling a product or service thus successful sales can be achieved if the systematic approaches are being strictly obeyed. Some of the systematic approaches: 1. Customer Centered Approach 2. Establishing Rapport 3. Presentation Techniques 4. Establishing Outline Needs 5. Agreeing the problem or opportunity 6.

Prioritising the Buyer Criteria 7. Gaining Commitment 1. Customer Centered Approach- It is very important for a sales person to know the features of her product and to understand the motivation of the prospect for buying a certain product by so doing preparing his/her self very well for the first ,important meeting with the client. In order words it is the beginning of new sales and might be vital to both the customer and salespersons in building a long-lasting buyer-seller relationship.

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In a customer-centric approach we are not trying to manipulate the benefits of our product to meet the client’s needs, we are trying to determine what the client wants and match an appropriate solution to the problem. In order to do this we must know and understand our client. Particularly in B2B markets the salesperson needs to know the company/firm and the person or persons you are meeting. An objective must be set vividly on what you want to accomplish from this initial meeting and confine them in a pre-planning grid as shown in fig. 1.

The grid is going to aid you in your preparation and you can think about some questions like : * How you will establish rapport with your customer and put them at ease. What will be your opening remark? * How you will gain the attention and interest of your customers. * How you will go about identifying the prospect’s need and showing some empathy with their problems /predicament * How you will put forward the benefits of your market offering and deal with any objections. The customer centred approach encloses entirely all elements in the systematic approach listed above and it’s where the trust is being build.

Starting on a wrong depicts gloomy results in the meeting. Selling(Product)To:(Person) on(Time/Date)Venue( Place of Business) Company (Firm’s name)Last Visit( date , time, what happened)| My approach / Building Rapport| Possible problems to overcome/avoid| Personal Contact- get attention| | Gain prospect interest| | Identify Needs| | Express Benefits| | Link benefits to needs| | Handle objections and get agreement| | Close sale| |

Fig 1 – Pre-planning grid S o the salesperson should try to establish rapport, understand the customers awareness arouse the costumer’s awareness of the problem and maintain interest, demonstrate that the product/solution meets their needs, create a desire for the solution/proposition. 2. Establishing Rapport –this is when you have create an environment of trust and proceed to significant discussions on a sale because there was no prior business relationship. And, lack of confidence, there are no sales, no business, and no renewal business.

As we said earlier, first impression counts. You can use the mirror techniques but a good practice and careful judgment in how to execute is important. Learning how to use posture, breathing patterns and word usage are all critical to allowing a customer or prospect to feel comfortable around you. Your wrong position can influence the dynamics of s meeting. Courtesy is also important, because little things make difference. Ask more relevant questions and also give complements as this can send signals and put the prospect in an ease position to talk more.

The more relevant questions you ask the more relevant information from your customer /client. Always remember that the pace a person speaks is closely related to the pace they listen. Match their pace and they will hear more of your message – especially the important parts. 3 . Presentation Techniques – The quality of your sales presentation will often determine whether a prospect buys from you or one of your competitors. You should try to make it relevant to your prospect‘s needs, business sector.

Avoid “canned presentation” Create a connection between your product/service and the prospect. Just like the Kinaesthetic people who tend to communicate through touch movement and space can best understand fully well about your presentation if you offer them your product to use for a while. Get to the point and be animated. In other words, you should state what you are going to present, present it and summarise what you have presented. For auditory communicators will use this means of communication to best understand and follow up with your presentation.

You must use variation in your voice pitch and intensity as well as positioned intonations. Using a physical demonstration will also give visual communicator a better chance of comprehending the sales message that you are trying to convey to them. 4. Establishing Outline Needs – Customers do have needs for our products/service that’s why they buy it only after e have demonstrated that the product/service meet their needs. The customers priorities need s to be established; i. e. what must he has, what he or she really likes to have and what would be nice?

As we had open questions when establishing a rapport with our prospect, we also need to have closed questions when establishing their needs which will aid you having in gaining information. According to the Spin System developed by Huthwaite Inc of USA, there are four types of that need to be asked when establishing outline needs of a customers or prospect:- Situational, Problem ,Implication and Need questions The situational questions are a sort of questions that is being asked by the salesperson with the aim of obtaining basic information. It can also help us to understand the customer and show our interest.

We must be careful not to ask questions to elicit information that you easily could have obtained before beginning the call e. g. “Would you describe your current projects? ” But when it comes to winning the sales or to ascertain whether the customs has problems or not and as well s needs that can be satisfied, the salesperson will use the problem questions method. “So you’re having trouble placing qualified people in project roles? ” When trying to link problems with the customer’s business or trying to bring an implication of a problem to the fore, we can apply the Implication Questions. What kinds of problems are created by having a gap in your project team? ” They implication questions are strongly linked to success in larger-ticket sales, and yet they’re more difficult to phrase than either Situation Questions or Problem Questions. But they are essential to moving larger sales forward, because they help to make the client (and the seller) conscious of hitherto hidden complications or of potential difficulties that may arise if steps are not taken to remedy the immediate problem Developing link between your products and the customer’s needs requires the use of the Need Questions. Just suppose we had someone on our database with the qualifications you are looking for, how valuable would this be to you? ” These questions focus the client’s attention on the solution rather than the problem, and they encourage him or her (with your assistance) to outline the benefits that your solution will provide his or her company. Thus a good Need-Payoff Question both pre-empts objections and enlists client buy-in.

Using Situation Questions to establish a context leading to Problem Questions so that the buyer reveals Implied Needs which are developed by Implication Questions which make the buyer feel the problem more clearly and acutely leading to Need-Payoff Questions so that the buyer states Explicit Needs allowing the seller to state Benefits which are strongly related to sales success. 5. Agreeing the problem or opportunity Since the SPIN and some similar techniques are to make the customer ware of his or her needs and the ability of your product/service meet these.

Expanding and developing the needs, agreeing the problem or opportunity with the customers can only be done by having an outline solution to present to the customer. Omitting this step can lead to misunderstanding and valuable waste of resources 6. Prioritising the Buying Criteria. Here the needs can be ranked into; * Essential features * Desirable features * Nice to have features. But since good selling means searching for the fit between your product or service and the customer’s concepts, your principal attitude in a sale must be that of an interviewer.

So in prioritising the buying criteria the following questioning must be involved: * Confirmation Questions which validate your data or reveal inaccuracies in what you thought was true * Commitment Questions help you to locate your current position in the scale by identifying what action the customer is willing to take to move things forward. * Closing questions. As defined by Travel Industry Dictionary “Closing questions is any question that requires the client to make a commitment or decision that leads them closer to making a purchase”.

E. g. * “Do you have further questions, or are we ready to proceed? ” * “We could have this delivered and operational by Tuesday. What would you like me to do? ” * “If you would please give me your license and registration, we can wrap this up now” 6. Gaining Commitment- Our principal mission in sales is to gain agreement and commitment. The sales context /environment also make the gaining of commitment to vary in two ways. i. e. by either going straight for closure or obtain closures in stages.

When we talk of closure in stages is fro the context of complex sales situations where in each stage you will like to be having some commitment. In order words bartering and trading might be involve in such a strategy. At each stage . NEVER GIVE ANYTHING AWAY FOR NOTHING. Hence No sales call should ever be made without a Commitment Objective If you do not have a Commitment Objective firmly planted in your mind, you will wind up being one of those 62% that don’t ask for Commitment. To conclude we cannot carry out or be successful in any sales without following the principles being discussed in details above.

Also the diagram in fig 2 is going to show us the key steps in the sales process, Establish rapport with customer Establish outline need Explore and develop customer needs Prioritise buying criteria Make/refine sales proposal Negotiate Gain commitment from customer Make sale Figure 2- Key Steps in the Sales process. Reference http://EzineArticles. com/? expert=Brian_Panichelle Paul H. Selden (1997). Sales Process Engineering: A Personal Workshop. Milwaukee, WI: ASQ Quality Press. p. 23. developingb2bsales. com/building-rapport-is-the-starting-point-for-building-trust. ttp://www. businessknowhow. com/marketing/sales-presentation. htm Safire, William. “The Spinner Spun,” New York Times. December 22, 1996 http://www. evancarmichael. com/Sales/3151/What-is-SPIN-Selling. html http://www. travel-industry-dictionary. com/closing-question. html The New Conceptual selling Stephen E. Heiman, Robert B Miller. Diane Sanchez, Tad Tuleja http://www. desktoprating. com/Sales/Sales-Training. htm http://www. articlesbase. com/sales-articles/the-sales-training-series-gaining-commitment-12428. html#ixzz0uRV6gk4t


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