One can classify the profession of persuasion as “creative” and “competitive”. On the other hand, it can be also possible to classify as “travelling” and “counter” salesmanship. In fact there can not be a water-tight compartments nor straight- jacket get way of classification.
Therefore, one classifications is not a perfect substitute for another. They are mutually inclusive but not exclusive. A kind of overlapping is going to occur irrespective of the classification followed. Thus, whether it is ‘counter’ or ‘travelling’ that has to be ‘creative’ or ‘competitive’.
“Creative” and “Competitive” Salesmanship
“To create” means “to cause to come into existence”, “to produce out of nothing”, “to originate”. Of these three meanings, the second meaning has much relevance “to produce out of nothing” is exactly what a salesman is to do when he calls on someone unexpectedly and creates a sales. Creative salesmanship means creating the sales, that is creating the desire in the mind of a prospect and converting that desire into demand.
In other words, it is to create order and clinch it. It is the great art of educating the public and converting their desire into demand. It is basically killing the consumer resistance or hesitation and winning their approval. It is the process of converting their ‘needs’ into ‘wants’. It is not just satisfying the current or existing needs but creating new wants for better standard of living and improved quality of life in face of changing and rising aspirations of civilised society.
The life-styles are subject to constant change, and therefore, their sets of needs, comforts and luxuries change over a period of time. It is not a question of inventing new product or even dreaming up of a completely new idea. All that a salesman sells is an idea that is being used in an entirely different line, adapt it for your own openings or closes. Then one can say that the salesman has created an idea. Creative salesmanship does not work of awakening the interest in the goods, creating desire for them, overcoming the objections raised and helping the prospect in making his mind to take up the product or service in question.
In the words of H.M. Boldman creative selling is “to create a sale, bring about a purchase where no purchase would have taken place, to create the desire to buy and to overcome the buying resistance.”
According to Professors Bart. A. Weitz, Stephen B. Castlberry, and John F. Tanner, Creative Salesmanship “is the art of educating the public resulting in their desire to demand new goods and services leading to the improvements in the civilised society.
Thus, an attempt to sell the idea of hair growing on bald head by use of oil preparation, use of a herbal paste, use of a magic counts that massages the scalp to grow hair, removal of facial unwanted hair going in case of women by one shot use of a cream can be a few examples of creative selling. Many companies come out with magical medicines to improve memory, many experts in public speaking have come out with ways of remembering the things that are easily difficult. Now, at present, remembering long say 10 digit number of self and others is a difficult thing.
Creative salesmanship goes in tune with psychology involved in selling. It involves the study of customer’s mind. Understanding and interpreting the answers, actions, gestures made drawing correct conclusions as to what the customer wants ? What are his or her reasons for not buying or hesitation for buying ? Overcoming these hurdles by giving his or her assent in the form of an order. Creative salesmanship is not a quick and ready process nor even it is easy, it is the most difficult task warranting a great deal of thinking —a deep thinking—on the part of a salesman. If it were easy, everybody would have been a successful in selling. Creative selling takes many forms, but in all cases, it is the outcome of a good selling imagination. It is the product knowledge and the salesman’s imagination that generate creative salesmanship.
Basically, there are two kinds of creative ideas. Both of them are important. One is creating an idea that helps in finding a prospect, get your attention or get an appointment. The other and more subtle is creating an idea in the prospects means that will make him ‘want’ to buy.
The success may be time consuming in terms of days, weeks or months even. Creative salesman does not always believe in persuading the customer and clinching the order immediately. It is basically educative and service oriented. It is to create a favorable attitude towards the product or a service, his company and himself. It is the process of establishing public relations or building the reputation for the selling house.
Basic features of Creative Selling:
I. It Lays More Emphasis on Service, Utility-Quality Aspects:
A creative salesmanship rests heavily on service and utility of the product to the customers and granting of incentives such as discount, credit, door-delivery and after-sale-services are not resorted to. It harps on product quality and performance. It is to create a committed customer.
II. Consumer Satisfaction is Overriding Force:
Creative salesmanship ranks first consumer satisfaction or consumer delight than price. Price and pricing are to play secondary role.
III. Entry into New Markets for Existing Products:
Creative salesmanship is to cut new ice in virgin markets so for not touched. It is creating tastes in the existing markets for existing products and creating spade work in new markets for easy entry into new markets not known so far.
Thus, Eureca Forbes is selling its unique and pioneering products in only in India, at present, goes to sell in other countries, if is a case of creative selling. Thus, today, TCL of China has taken by surprise by all established companies like Sony, Matsushita, Samsung, Chang-hong because it is the most widely sold brand all over the world whose T.V. Mr. Big is TCLS Li Dongsheng- the Asia’s Man of the Year as producing world’s largest TV manufacturer. This as reported by Fortune Magazine.
IV. It Presents Facts in Most Unique way of Creating Interest:
Presentation is the heart of creative selling. It is persuasion through presentation of facts in an eye-catching mind ragging way. Its presentation is appealing to eyes, ears, and brain. Instead of telling of buying of car-as an appeal, the presentation may ask, “see how much of a car you can buy of Toyata” ? C the great art of putting most common things in most uncommon way.
V. It is Time Consuming:
Creative selling is a time consuming affair. It is because, the creative selling believes in convincing the customer before he decides to buy. That is, his decision is not forced upon him. The facts that are presented are to percolate in the bottom if his brain roots and by applying his reasoning he decides on his own and the salesman helps in providing all the detailed facts in terms of dimensions. That is, sales are effective only after introducing the product—may be after a weeks, months’ time. It is not a one shot tool. That is, his waiting for results is an investment.
‘Competitive’ salesmanship is one that is to do with competing away the customers from rivals with a vivid focus on increasing sales at any rate. The main aim is :; excel his rivals. If his competitors are doing better than his firm, he wants to struggle hard to see that his firm overtakes other competitors and intends to be the market challenger and leader.
In effect, he wants to be a super-performer in increasing his volume and value of sales over a period of time. In the zest of achieving superior performance — that is higher sales than cii rivals, he may resort to all sorts of gimmicks say granting liberal discounts, both trade and cash, good many incentives of credit on easy EMI repayments, price cuts, door delivery. Even re may resort to ‘down trading’ where he produce cheep or low quality goods so that he can sell at lowest possible price. Or he may retain same price but cutting down the quality standards in specifications. His main intention is to clear the stocks at his earliest much before his rivals. If it is achieved buy better salesmanship, better quality goods, increased services packages and test and opportune advice, there is neither harm to him nor to his master and the true master namely, the consumer. However, competitive salesmanship over-emphasizes price aspect than ;ne satisfaction through quality of products and services.
In effect, one can not begin with the tactics of competitive salesmanship. A successful salesman is first a creative salesman and then twins, if wants, a competitive. It is because, the success of salesmanship is the great and balancing act of building long range partnership with customers. It is creative salesmanship that lays solid foundation for his sales efforts on which he can build the super structure of his success.
Once the goods are made popular by creative salesmanship, demand for them is bound.to increase causing higher production and wider distribution. Competitive salesmanship takes a definite shape and ramifies once the salesmanship does its spade work. It should be remembered that the basic aim of both ‘creative’ and ‘competitive’ salesmanship is to increase the sales.
However, the approaches to increase the sales are quite different almost a north and south pole relationship. Creative selling emphasizes satisfaction and service while competitive selling immediate sale with emphasis on price and sops.
Basic features of Competitive Salesmanship:
The above discussion brings to light certain specific features of competitive Salesmanship. Though presentation is a must, the focus is on price as a major weapon which makes or mars.
I. Sales Maximisation:
Competitive salesmanship believes in price competition—a price war because pricing is a big gun in the kit of a salesmanship. The idea is to maximise the sales in existing and new markets by price cutting and granting more sops or incentives to compete away the customer. Psychologically, the customers are very much moved away by lower price than quality.
II. Sellers’ Satisfaction:
The main stay of competitive salesmanship is seller’s satisfaction than consumer satisfaction and deligent. It believes in increasing sales in short period by cutting down the price and clearing the stock. Whether customer is coming back or not is a matter of doubt. It builds no permanent partnership as it does not result in consumer satisfaction.
III. Entry into, New Markets for New Products:
A competitive salesmanship is doing well in its own sense if not in full, at least in part as all consumers can be satisfied by low price, sops and incentives. Hence, attempts to enter new markets for new products where consumers do not know and price plays a big role in this competitive world. It is easier to charge higher price new markets and new products which paves the way for skimming the market after penetrating or vice a versa.
IV. It presents facts in Normal Way:
As price plays a very important role compared to quality, it harps on price. Economy is sung well than the quality properties of the product. It takes full support of advertising and sales-promotion and highlights how the product is cheaper and better if not best. Now even well known companies making coffee powder, shampoo, have come-out with sachets for hardly one rupee or one rupee fifty paise. Here, people are going by price quality being known by brand. Even in case of unbranded products, competitive salesmanship is the only successful way. We know road side sellers of power shoes, almost duplicates of well-known brands of adidas, Nike, Puma, Bata are sold within no time by competitive salesmanship.
V. It is Quick Response Way:
Competitive salesmanship presents the facts of a product by highlighting the price. Price bait is sufficient to attract and influence consumer behaviour. It is the price that matter. In order to sell at least prize, these products may have the original high quality specifications. That is, the manufacturers are trading on what is called as down trading; keeping costs of the product at the minimum so that products can be sold at lowest price. Keeping even lowest margins. Thus, it is quick response and result oriented.