Personal selling involves the direct personal contact of sellers with the potential buyers with view to making sales. It can also be referred to as the face-to-face meeting of the salesmen with the potential buyers in their houses, offices or market place, e.g. door-to-door selling. It is good for industrial goods or specialised goods.
Importance of Personal Selling
The reasons why a manufacturer engages in personal selling include:
- Form of Sales Promotion: Personal selling is a form of sales promotion which encourages on the spot purchase and orders.
- Creation of Personal Contact: It makes personal contact between buyer and seller possible, thus facilitating immediate feedback.
- Best for Sale of Technical Goods: It is used for selling technical goods requiring demonstration on the usage and installations.
- Introduction of New Product: Personal selling is good for introducing a new product to the market.
- Provides Opportunity for Enlightenment: It affords the marketer the opportunity of explaining the qualities and usefulness of the products to customers.
- Product Modification: The product can be modified to suit the personal needs of the consumers.
- Helps in Product Revival: Personal selling helps to revive customers’ interest in the old products of the firm.
- Suitable for Sales of Certain Products: It is used for custom-made, expensive or perishable goods.
- Poor Performance by Middlemen: Lack of active selling by intermediaries can propel a firm to sell directly to the customers.
Argument Against the Use of Direct Selling
- Lack of Financial Resources: Communication with customers directly results in high cost, hence most firms cannot afford it.
- Geographically Scattered Market: Personal selling will not be useful when there are large numbers of potential buyers who are geographically scattered.
- Inadequate Skilled Salesmen: Use of direct selling leads to involvement of unskilled marketers in effecting final distribution.