Personal Selling Strategies – Its Effectiveness in Marketing of Capital Goods

Personal Selling Strategies – Its Effectiveness in Marketing of Capital Goods

Personal selling as one of the communication tools is very important in marketing of industrial goods (capital goods) because of it’s technicality and complexity.  And as often been started that personal selling as an interpersonal persuasion process designed to influence certain people’s decision, which involves the face to face communication of information from a seller to a prospective buyer on industrial goods.  It is at this level that the researcher wants to review related literature in this area of study.

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Ibekwe (1999) in this research on the role of personal selling on industrial product.  Selected a sample of 20 customers, these customers were made up of industrial goods users (capital goods), he founds out that sales force is the striking force of an organization, which helps the sales men to meet face to face with the buyers is it (target buyer or target market); involves creating product awareness, arousing interest developing product preference, negotiating prices, closing a sale and providing post transactional re-enforcement.  He further stated that for personal selling to perform it’s duty, it reviser the attention of the sales man on delivery, installation, supply of parts and accessories, service calls, education in use and repairs.

In 1999, Johnson in his research study on “The selling service stress of marketing industrial goods in Enugu State”.  He finds out that, personal selling is the obvious dominance tools used in capital market especially in marketing of industrial goods and marketing of services.  Also, he went further to say that personal selling is one form of promotion which permits the adjustment reserving to adopt a service or product to the individualized needs of each buyer i.e. personal selling is flexible and can be adopted to the specific needs of the prospect.  In conclusion, it is unfortunate that in most of industrial goods company, all these things enumerated over are not fully used and in some cases where they are in use, they are used haphazardly, and the results manifest itself in the decrease in sales volume with it’s conservancies on profit.

A research study on the “personal selling communication as an effective promotool in marketing of goods and services” (A case study of Heavy equipment dealers in Enugu Urban) by Udeh 1997.  He founds out that, for effective marketing of industrial goods and services, personal selling is needed to resale to the major target customers.  He went on to state that companies marketing such products as industrial equipment; chemicals apparel, furniture and musical instrument, life insurance companies and real estate firms need personal selling as a major promotool if they are to cope with the changing and competitive nature of their business environment.  Also, is sued to support all the firm’s communication efforts.

Patricle (2000) in his article “personal selling emphasized”.  Found out that personal selling is a promotional activity which varies based on factors such as product complexity, product cost, and market size.  As such marketing process consist of the interaction of product, promotion, pricing and distribution strategies.  These strategies must be coordinated effectively to successfully sell a product.  Personal selling is one aspect of the promotional strategy of an organization’s marketing effect and a unique marketing activity differing from advertising, publicity, and sales promotion.

Stanton one of the authorities in marketing is of the opinion that personal selection (staffing) is the most important activity in the management process in any organization.  That, the several benefits that accrue from having a good industrial sales selection program includes:  Increased chances of the company getting the type of sales men needed, training and supervision are made easier.  Also, that a well selected sales force will be more productive and will built better customer relations than a poorly chosen group.

Kotler one of the world’s leading authorities in marketing in his book “marking management” that personal selling is the most effective tool at certain stages of buying process, particularly in building up buyers, preference conviction and action.  The reason he started is that personal selling when compared with advertising has three distinctive qualities of personal confrontation, cultivation and responses.

John (2000) in his article “How to pay your sales force”, founds out that management do not determine the level and components of an effective compensation plan.  That the level of compensation must bear some relation to the going marketing price for the type of sales job and abilities required, only then will the industrial sales men perform to their maximum.  He went further to say that the company must also determine the amount, a variable amount, expenses and fringe benefits.  Top sales management decide which elements should be in the compensation plan and their relative.  A popular rule seems to favour making 70% of the sales persons total income fixed and allocating the remaining 30% amount the other elements.

“How to buy your sales force” (Udeh 1998) says that personal selling takes place when the sender or communication usually the sales person consciously develops his or her message to have a calculated impact on the attitude or behaviour of the prospective customers for the purpose of making sales.  The channel in this case of a sales person delivered message usually consists of the spoken words, appearances or personality of the sales person.  Personal selling is an aspect of the active communication system.  Communication can be interpersonal or mass communication.  It can be causal, informative or persuasive and it is this persuasive aspect of communication which is personified by personal selling that an industrial goods maker is interested in.

Alfred (1983) in his book marketing – “The sales managers role” stated that under present day, highly competitive condition, few industrial goods companies can offer services or products embracing so many advantages that they can be marked without the aid of efficient sales men.  He went on to say that buyer of goods from heavy industrial equipment to haberdashery have a wide choice of suppliers, and when all things are easel, the order.  Is most likely to be placed with the representative who possesses to greatest skills in salesmanship.  Therefore to improve the standards of an industrial sales force, a continuous sales training policy is necessary which should include product training.

Kotler one of the world’s leading authorities in marketing in his book principles of marketing is of the view that since personal selling is person to person conversation, it can tailor the promotion message to the characteristics and needs of individual prospective consumers of industrial goods.  The salesmen he stated: acts as a problem solver for each target consumer called upon rather than a disseminator of mass information.  He or she can present a basic message, observe effect of the message on the target consumer, then adjust the presentation in the light of the observed effects over all personal selling is a very intense promotion method used in industrial goods marketing consumer can easily ignore, dismiss or forget advertising and other promotion exposures but they find it more difficult to ignore dismiss or forget personal selling presentations, personal selling he stated has another role which allows sales men take orders, and transmit them to other processing personnel.  Except for mail order advertisement no other promotion method can do this.

David in his book marketing today – A basic approach stated that “personal selling communication is an effective promotion used in the marketing of goods and the major targets for this kind of communication.  He went on to state that companies making such products as industrial equipment, chemicals, apparel, furniture, and musical instruments, life insurance companies, and real estate firms need personal selling as a major promotional tool, if they are to cope with the changing and competitive nature of their business environment.

Alfred (1971) said in his book “marketing” that the way a sales man respect to be rewarded will influence the sales volume which the industrial salesmen achieves or aims to achieve.  Therefore, industrial sales force in order to perform to their maximum need a well-rewarded pay packet.  Continuing, he said that the industrial good company pay method should be such as to attach industrial salesmen to the right calibre, and having done so, keep them in lengthy successful, and well rewarded service.  Industrial goods are technical in nature so that income of an industrial goods salesmen should be commensurate with he job the company expects him to do.  They goal of a good compensation plan is to gain the cooperation of the employees, and further the interests of the salesmen in particular for desired profit.

Stafford and Grant (1986) stated that every professional sales person know the importance of first impressions, and the professional approach to selling.  Develop the right of personality, be careful of your first appearances, prepare knowledge of products, and prepare your plan for selling, they stressed that approach should contain a positive opening a benefit for the prospect, something to arouse curiosity and assurance that your are not wasting the prospect’s time.

Russel, et al (1988) specified six objective of pre approach stage to provide additional qualifying information, to gain insights into how best to approach the prospects, to obtain information around which the presentation can be better planned, to keep the sales representatives from making serious errors to give the sales representative more confidence, and to impress the prospect that the sales representative is diligent and professional.

Jack in his book “selling industrial products” enumerated the five (5) key constraints describing the environment in which the industrial products selling job takes place and which will readier the use of personal selling to persuade present and prospective buyers.  These constraints operate to shape and focus any consideration of the nature of this vital selling job.  Firstly, the market is largely technically oriented.  Rational motives lies behind most buying decisions and thus affect sales approaches.  These motives reflect the highly technical specifications that characterize customers needs while limiting for the flexibility of goods is a function of the market demand for the products that these industrial goods help produce.  Thirdly, the complexity of the selling process is further multiplied by the fact that, the time span of industrial marketing typically is lengthy.  Fourthly, the pricing of industrial goods is a high sophisticated process.  Finally, the industrial product salesmen must be technically trained to deal effectively with sophisticated process products, and customers need within the constraints of the marketing place.

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