Merits of Personal Selling
1. Flexibility and Adaptability:
The successful sales persons realize that same. Sales approach does not work with all the customers. They should adopt to each selling situation. Salesperson is to be sensitive to what is happening and flexible enough to make those adaptations. By its very nature, personal selling is capable of providing more flexibility being adaptable. A salesman can adjust himself to the varying needs, moods, motives impulses, attitudes and other behavioural variations of the prospect or prospects to communicate effectively and effect the sales for his boss with print and benefits to the class of customers.
2. Minimum Wastage:
The efforts put in buy the salesmans are highly focused on a single customer or a small group of customers. As a result of oral, face-to-face presentation, the message is likely to reach the customer or customers without distortion and diffusion. This is perhaps, the greatest vent in contrast with advertising where ad message is relased to thousands and lakhs of prospects enmass resulting in message diffusion, distortion and cluster causing much wastage of promotional efforts. It is simple and clear that no customer is alike but unique having his or her own image, personality, needs, wants, preferences and above all likes and dislikes.
3. It is a Feedback:
The salesman is, in effect, a marketing researcher. Being in direct contact with customers, he has the specific advantage of collecting and transmitting the relevant marketing information affecting his company, products and services and himself. Such a timely and authentic and verifiable data are the bases for vital decisions, strategies and tactical adjustments as his firm has to constantly adjust to the changing environment in which his firm works.
4. It creates Impinging and Lasting Impressions:
The process of personal selling is so direct and penetrating that long dashing business relations can be developed between the selling house and the class of customers. In case of advertising, it acts like a flash of a thunder bolt from the blue. The light through very powerful, lasts only for a few seconds; on the other hand, the light of salesmanship is like an electric current that lasts longer as it is under control. Thus, a personal visit by a salesman at door step has more deep impact than that of an advertisement. It is because, ads are continuously octroi, and indirectly excuse duties because goods are to be produced before sale as per sales specifications. It is salesmanship that also pays in terms of income tax and professional tax. More government income though taxes will make it to spend for the overall development of the society. This also leads to good governance-a major responsibility of every business house.
5. It generates Gainful Employment Opportunities:
India and other developing countries have the situation where people run after jobs rather than jobs running after people. Hence, there is good scope for self-employment and ready jobs
in this line of selling. Direct employment in various sales persons jobs, roughly 20% of the population, is engaged in the sales activities. One can imagine these are self-employed and employed by other organisations making their livelihood. The selling jobs are thrilling, challenging having freedom of work opportunity to know people, places and good and bad times.
6. Improving the Living Standards of Teeming Millions:
Salesmen are well known for delivery of standard of living to the community. It is these people who bring to their notice, their necessities, comforts and luxuries-in terms of goods and services according to their needs, moods and purses. They are also instrumental in bringing about change in their life-styles. Day by day, they make available latest goods, quality goods, sufficient goods at reasonable prices. It means, that they create, maintain and improve the living standards of millions. Improvement in standard of living is a mark of increase in per capita income and disposable income individually and national income at macro level.
7. Salesmanship makes the Economic System more Stable:
Faster economic growth is not only desirable but essential. That is why, each country is trying her best to use its all resources to get the optimum results. Though faster economic development is aimed at, there is need for stable economic development. That is, economic ups and downs are not to be too severe as their effects are hazardous on the different sections of the community. Inflation is the upswing in the economic tide-waves that make rich richer and poor poorer.
The middle class is not so badly hit. On the other hand, depression the economic down-turn is really bad for business community. It is good for middle class but though good for poor, they do not have money to buy their needs. These severities of ups and downs can be moderated. The problem of business community is to survive successfully particularly during the period of depression or recession where demand is not picking up. Under these circumstances, it is the efforts of salesmanship advertising that come to help to reduce the ill-effects of depression or recession. It is these agents that stimulate demand for goods and services and protect the legitimate interests of business community. If there were no sales-people and advertising, they are forced to be in deep water.
Demerits of Personal Selling:
Each system has both brighter and darker side. Salesmanship is no exception to this. It is a mixed blessing in that it suffers from certain inherent drawbacks or demerits. That is, all is not well of this process of personal selling. One should be aware of these limitations to come to a definite conclusion on its real worth. The serious weaknesses of personal selling are :
1. It is Expensive:
Personal selling, as a method of promotion, is quite expensive. Getting the good salesman is one thing and retaining them for longer period is another. Further, there are no definite correlations between his stay and cost of retaining and the contributions of his, in return to the firm. However, the general rule is “experience has no substitute” and hence, experienced sales force is the backbone of any successful selling house. Personal selling is one to one approach and not a mass customization. If one compares the cost of creating a customer by salesmanship against advertising-the ratio varies between 100 : 01 or 1000 : 01 depending on the nature of product or resource that is marketed.
2. Problem of Getting Gifted Salesman:
Though, theoretically certain guidelines are prescribed for the recruitment of a right kind of salesman, from the pool of potential candidates, it is really very difficult to get a suitable salesman from the company’s point of view. The potential salesmen are selected, trained and
placed with huge investment in terms of time, talent and treasure; however, there is no any guarantee of such persons sticking to the organization as loyal and committed employees. The usual proverbial truth “New broom sweeps well” that holds good. Again, one can not come in the way of salesman’s better prospects elsewhere. In other words, every time, he or she speaks of leaving the organisation in case the desired hike in pay and perks are not given as promised by competitors. This is really a headache for each organization.
3. High Stake in Consumer Loyalty:
Personal selling is such a process which as —”direct and close” relationship between the sales-people and the customers. In fact, customer loyalty depends on the presence of a successful salesman. That is, firm’s fortunes are tied to the loyalty of the customers which, in turn, depends on the very presence of a particular salesman or salesmen. The moment a good salesman is out of sight from the angle of customer, he tries to move out of store, though he has the intention to buy. That is why, it is rightly said that salesman is the “buying agent” of every salesman. It is a fact and experience of most of us as we depend on a particular salesman in a shop patronized, like a particular barber attending you in his Saloon or hair dressing shop.
4. More Administrative Problems:
Personal selling involves more administrative problems than impersonal selling. Since the firm is to deal with manpower-a driving force behind sales-the firm has to meet the challenges in the areas of manpower planning, organising, directing, coordinating, motivating and controlling. The solutions to these issues and related problems that arise though found out are not always effective because situations change. The human content in management is so unique that no problem can be permanently solved.
5. It is not an easy Profession:
Salesmanship is not an easy job. Those who are introverts can not simply think of salesmanship as a career. It is needs long hours of hard work, to be away from family facing all the odds both mental and physical. All salesmen are lucky to get good customers, middlemen and the employers. Unless he is rough, he can not manage rough and rude customers, dealers and above all employers. Some think salesman’s job is one that gives chances for visiting places, making fast money; it is a myth than reality.
6. As a Profession has Little Respect:
Salesmanship as a profession commands very little respect not only in India but all over the world. Many go in for salesmanship as it has easy entry points. Many incompetent people try their hands and heads. As, it is, every Tom, Dick and Harry’s line, it has become a profession of last resort. Again, the easy entry is there because, there are no need of high standards of academic achievements nor any criteria which is universally applicable. These salesmen, all of them, do not have minimum of educational qualifications nor training. Those who are gifted or have aptitude are rare to find.
7. Mark of Fraud:
In salesmanship, there are good chances of fraud and deception. Malpractices that are followed by salesman —not all are sufficient to damage the very image of salesmanship — the great art and profession which is thrilling, challenging and paying. Such unscruptious salesmen are furnishing the very image of noble profession of serving the humanity.
8. Bad Pay-masters:
It is also possible that some organizations might be lucky to get really able salesmen However, the treatment, payment made available including facilities may not be quite matching to their abilities, proficiency, calibre, and hence, contribution. Salesmen may not be enjoying the freedom they need. Such enterprising, freedom loving salesmen feel that they are not treated well or some how they are exploited. For able hands, sky is the limit. Hence, the practices of bad; pay-masters will come in the way of having the services of able hands.
In conclusion, it can be said that most of the demerits and limitations can be done away with. Hence, the merits of good salesmanship really out weight the demerits and limitations and it has the greatest utility.