Monday, March 12, 2018

Practice Personal Selling

Personal selling—the technique of face-to-face persuasion by a salesperson—does have disadvantages compared to, let’s say, targeted marketing or mass advertising. Personal selling requires high labor costs, depends on staff who might become unreliable or inconsistent, and can reach only a limited number of prospects.
     Yet when it comes to return on investment, personal selling outdoes those other two methods, according to a meta-analysis of hundreds of studies by researchers at University of Missouri, University of Miami, and Kühne Logistics University. Using what is called “short-term elasticity” for the measure of sales revenue increases as a function of selling method expenditures, personal selling was about 31% more profitable than mass media advertising and about 6% more profitable than targeted marketing. Further, the effects of the marketing communications on sales are sustained substantially longer with personal selling than with the other two methods.
     This last isn’t surprising, since personal selling, when done properly, develops relationships of the shopper with the selling staff. The shopper senses that they are the focus of caring attention and customized messages as they interact with the salesperson and the products. On the salesperson side of the equation, personal selling provides more opportunities than the other two methods for closing the sale right there.
     Of course, few retailers would use only personal selling without incorporating other advertising and promotional techniques. For purposes of assessing relative ROIs, the researchers statistically teased out the effects from what in the real world operates as synergistic marketing initiatives.
     Still, a verification of the payoff from personal selling is useful. Those payoffs will be at their greatest when the personal selling shows expertise:
  • Aside from thieves, consumers choose to be acknowledged when they enter a store or a department within a store. Beyond that initial contact, shoppers want staff available to answer questions. 
  • Coach your staff to be order getters, not only order takers. They should do this in a way which recognizes a prevailing truth: People prefer to buy than to be sold. Gently, but decisively, spiral the shopper in toward purchases which will both meet the customer's desires and boost your retailing profits. 
     Practice personal selling in the sense of valuing it as a professional skill, in the spirit of a medical practice. Also practice personal selling in the sense of continually improving your skills, in the spirit of practicing a musical instrument. Over time, become a virtuoso.

For your success: Retailer’s Edge: Boost Profits Using Shopper Psychology

Click below for more: 
Prefer Order Getters to Order Takers
Personalize the Selling Message
Beware Open Sell

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