Slightly over 45 percent of them are women.
The number of people who earn a living from sales is huge compared, for instance, with the nearly , workers employed in the traditional advertising sector. Personal selling offers several advantages over other forms of promotion:.
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Selling is a process that can be learned. Experts have spelled out the steps of the selling process, shown in Figure , and professional salespeople use them all the time. These steps are as follows:. This activity is called prospecting.
An introduction to Marketing Opportunities & Selling
Because there are no surefire ways to find prospects, most salespeople try many methods. For many companies, the inquiries generated by advertising and promotion are the most likely source of prospects. Inquiries are also known as sales leads. Leads usually come in the form of letters, cards, e-mail addresses, telephone calls, or through social media sites. Some companies supply salespeople with prospect lists compiled from external sources, such as Chamber of Commerce directories, newspapers, public records, club membership lists, internet inquiries, and professional or trade publication subscription lists.
Meetings, such as professional conventions and trade shows, are another good source of leads. Correspondence with buyers can be helpful.
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Records in the service department can identify people who already own equipment and might be prospects for new models. Finally, friends and acquaintances of salespeople can often supply leads. Just because someone has been referred or has made an inquiry does not mean that the person is a genuine prospect.
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Salespeople can avoid wasting time and increase their productivity by qualifying all prospects. Qualifying questions are used to separate prospects from those who do not have the potential to buy. The following three questions help determine who is a real prospect and who is not:. Approaching customers: After identifying a prospect, the salesperson explains the reason for wanting an appointment and sets a specific date and time. At the same time, the salesperson tries to build interest in the coming meeting.
Sales Strategies: Introduction to Selling
Presenting and demonstrating the product: The presentation and demonstration can be fully automated, completely unstructured, or somewhere in between. In a fully automated presentation, the salesperson shows a movie or slides or makes a PowerPoint presentation and then answers questions and takes any orders. A completely unstructured presentation that has no set format is a much more successful approach.
Handling objections: Almost every sales presentation, structured or unstructured, meets with some objection. The professional salesperson tries to anticipate objections so they can be countered quickly and with assurance. The best way to counter objections is to have a thorough knowledge of the product offering so that a solution can be found that overcomes the objection. The result is that that sales presentation turns out to be just a preliminary, nonbinding round.
After the higher authority responds, often disapproving the agreement, the sale goes into round two or starts all over again. However, if the client says his uncle has to give the final approval because he will be loaning the money, the salesperson will try and set up an appointment when the uncle can be present. If you can find and align to that uniqueness, the client will view you as a Strategic Partner and not just another vendor. How Clients Choose When clients have a choice among service providers, they differentiate their universe of alternatives using the following questions and levels: Can you do it?
If so, you are a Level 1: a Qualified Provider. They can tell you what they do but not effective at communicating that they are better than their competitors.
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Can you do it better than most? Preferred providers are usually very experienced and technically accomplished. Strategic Partners are not only technically superior, their distinction is that they are motivated to utilize all of their resources to help their clients win. By doing so they not only win more, but they create delighted clients who actually sell for them.
Their clients give them all of their follow on business and actively advocate for them in the market place.