Introduction to selling and sales management
Hi people, I would be discussing some marketing concepts and the selling process. Let us begin. We would first start with what a marketing concept is and then progress to the selling process. So we ask the question, what is a marketing concept?
A marketing concept sees consumers as the reason why products exist. According to William Stanton, The social and economic justification for the existence of a firm or a company lies in its ability to efficiently and effectively satisfy the needs and wants of its market. This means that the society would only patronize you if you are able to satisfy its need. You are in existence simply because you want to satisfy the needs of the consumers. This leads us to the idea that consumers are sovereign. Competition has made organizations to be marketing oriented, and the key task of an organization is to determine the need, wants, and value of its target market and to organize.
The Societal Marketing Concept
This asks the question “How is business done? Is business done in a way and manner that affects the life of the people around your place of operation?” This concept requires that the business should not be done in a way and manner that would be inimical or dangerous to the life of the people. This means that the business should be socially responsible. E.g if in an oil producing area the companies are polluting people’s water, it is expected that they would give something in return e.g sinking borehole for people or tarring their roads. At ewekoro, cement producing area, the dust is now being recycled to protect people’s lives.
When we talk of environment, we mean that the physical features or components of a particular place will dictate the type of environment.
Marketing mix is a set of controllable variables that an organization can use to meet the challenges of the macro-environment. They are 4p’s which are promotion, price, product, and place. Let’s now analyse this variables individually. First, we begin with promotion.
- Promotion: Promotion means informing and communicating the existence of products. Delivering at the right place, right time, to the right person and in the right form or quality that enhances good sales. Promotion is the communication variable in the marketing mix .Promotion also has its own variables, which are tools that can be used to communicate with one’s market. They include: Advertising, publicity, public relations, sales promotion, and personal selling. You communicate or have public relations because you want to create and establish mutual understanding between your company and the users of its products.
- Product: It is anything that can be offered to a market for attention, acquisition, consumption or use. It is anything, be it idea, goods or services. Product aims to satisfy consumers’ demand. It could be either a tangible good or services rendered.
- Price is the exchange value of a product. The price is important both to the company and the customers. The price determines the profit a company can make from a product, and also it determines if it would be appealing to customers for purchase. If a product is not competitively priced and there are close substitutes, then all things being equal, the demand for the product would fall.
- Place (Distribution): It is the movement of the right quantity and quality of goods from the point of production to the point of consumption. What is done is to create place, time, form and possession utility. Possession i.e if It is Mrs A that should be given, we don’t take the product to Mrs B.
1) Prospecting: This is when you go about, search, or look for potential prospects; people who are interested in your products. How do you go about looking for people? You need a lead. Where can you get a lead from? Most organizations have a database of possible customers. If your organization does not have, you can get from journals, magazines, newspapers, government sources e.g federal office of statistics, present customers of the company and agencies.
2) Pre-approach: This is the preparatory to the actual meeting with the prospects. Three things are important here:
- Your call objective: This is what you set out to achieve, it may be to give technical support or to take an order.
- Your call timing: When are you going to visit the prospect? Determine the approach time.
- Your call approach: How to go about the process
3) Approach: How do you contact him, is if through E-mail, internet, fax or telephone. This is the actual contract you are having with the prospect. Assuming you are meeting a prospect for the first time, how do you approach him? This may be through exchange of pleasantries. Introduce yourself as Mr……..representing……. Thank him for granting you audience.
In pre- approach, you need to know a customer before going to him. You must be able to study a customer’s mood.
4) Demonstrate: A mistake that most sales representative make is that they tend to emphasize the attributes at the expense of the benefit. It is the benefit in a product that consumers are interested in. Demonstrate using the AIDA principle. Gain attention, hold the interest, get his desire and then action. Where you have many products, you can give him catalog or bulletin or place the products on his table altogether and discuss them. So to re-iterate, the AIDA principle means
A : Gain Attention
I : Hold the interest
D: Stimulate desire
5) Objection: This is in form of questions from customers or would-be consumer. You must be able to turn every objection raised into a reason for buying. Sometimes product comparison may be a way out. Another one is to ask intelligent questions that may lead him to answering his question. You must be able to answer objections raised as intelligently as God has endowed you. For example Delivery schedule objection may be answered by pointing out that some extra money may have to be paid for delivery.
6) Closing the sales: This means getting the orders:
- By giving him the form to fill (Direct method)
- Completing the form for him (Positive choice method)
- Minor choice method (Asking him to make a choice based on a certain criteria)
- The scare method (Trying to appeal to his emotions)
7) Follow up: After sales services and technical support, see how the customer is, and in the process, probably get another order.
Schewe, Charles D., and Alexander Hiam, The Portable MBA in Marketing
Gary Armstrong., and Philip Kotler, Marketing an Introduction
Philip Kotler., and Kevin Lane keller, Marketing Management (14th Edition)