Personal selling is used to meet the five objectives of promotion in the following ways:
- Building Product Awareness – A common task of salespeople, especially when selling in business markets, is to educate customers on new product offerings. In fact, salespeople serve a major role at industry trades shows, where they discuss products with show attendees. But building awareness using personal selling is also important in consumer markets. As we will discuss, the advent of controlled word-of-mouth marketing is leading to personal selling becoming a useful mechanism for introducing consumers to new products.
- Creating Interest – The fact that personal selling involves person-to-person communication makes it a natural method for getting customers to experience a product for the first time. In fact, creating interest goes hand-in-hand with building product awareness as sales professionals can often accomplish both objectives during the first encounter with a potential customer.
- Providing Information – When salespeople engage customers a significant amount of the conversation focuses on product information. Consequently, most marketing organizations provide their sales staff with extensive sales support, including slide presentations, brochures, research reports, online videos, and many other forms of informational material.
- Stimulating Demand – The most fundamental objective of personal selling is to convince customers to make a purchase. As we show in The Selling Process Tutorial, getting customers to buy is the prime function of a large segment of selling jobs
- Reinforcing the Brand – Most personal selling is intended to build long-term relationships with customers. A strong relationship can only be built over time and requires regular communication with a customer. Meeting with customers on a regular basis allows salespeople to repeatedly discuss their company’s products and by doing so helps strengthen customers’ knowledge of what the company has to offer.