Personal Selling occurs when a company representative interacts directly with a customer or perspective customer to present information about a product or service; value added.  Personal selling refers to the personal communications of information to persuade unselfishly to someone.  The customer buys something such as a good, service, idea, or something else that satisfies that individual’s needs.  Products encompass information, services, ideas, and issues.  Your product strategy should be tailored to the customers buying needs.

Presentation skills are crucial to keep people involved and listening to what you say.  Visual aids are always the best way to enhance presentations and DON’T ever read off the slides.  Even a pause can best be used when you are making your point, raising eyebrows, and opening faces.  You should make sure you told a story in a personal way to convey your message with strength.  Being conscious when you are presenting your reactions matter.  You need to be seamlessly transitional in creative ways.  Be honest with yourself and the environment.  Complement sandwiches (well, bad, well) show that you work in a cohesive team against negative and positive environmental changes.

Strategic/Consultative Modeling

Characteristics of Successful Salespeople

Successful salespeoplecreate value by quality relationships, identifying customer needs, and presenting best solutions.  They will also understand the Marketing Concept in order to achieve organizational goals that depend on knowing the needs and wants of target markets and delivering the desired products.  They will use tactics such asTechniques, practices, or methods when you are face-to-face with a customer.  You should have a good grasp of the industry, price and promotion, competitors, Company, Service, Technology, Product and your market or customer.

Features of Consultative Selling

Buyer needs are identified through 2-way communication, information giving, and negotiations tactics replace manipulation.  This process is developed from marketing concept, emphasizing need identification.  A consultative sale emphasizes need identification, which is achieved through effective communication and a relationship built upon mutual trust and respect; most important.  Trust in the salesperson.

  1. Customer seen as a person to be served
  2. Buyer’s needs identified through 2-way communication
  3. Emphasizes need, identification, problem solving, and negotiation instead of manipulation
  4. Emphasizes service at every phase of personal selling process
  5. Need Discovery to Selection of Solution to Need-satisfaction Process to Servicing the Sale

Transactional Sellingis the sales process that most effectively matches the needs of the value.  Under this type of selling, one needs to be conscious of the buyer who is primarily interested in price and convenience.  This process surveys the buyer primarily interested in price and convenience.  A Transactional Approachis acustomer strategy would not emphasize need assessment, problem solving, relationship building, and sales follow-up.  In Transactional Sales, relationship strategy is secondary.  Trust in the product.

Transactional Selling tactics that emphasize low Price

  • Quantity Discount: lower price for high quantity or dollar amount
  • Seasonal Discount: Price adjusted by tome of year
  • Promotional Allowance: Price linked to special promotion or advertising campaigner
  • Trade/Functional Discounts: Give to wholesalers for special services
  • Selling is about executing marketing campaign

Strategic Market Plan-Process that matches firm’s resources to its market opportunities; takes into consideration various functional area of business that must be coordinated such as financial assists, workforce, production capabilities, and marketing.  A strategy is aprerequisite to tactical success.

Relationship StrategyA well though-out plan for establishing, building, and maintaining quality relationships.   Adopt a win-win philosophy, maintain high ethical standards, project a professional image, and buyer remorse.  The goal of relationship strategy is to create rapport, trust, and mutual respect, which ensure a long-term partnership.

Customer Strategy-Carefully conceived plan that results in maximum responsiveness to customer’s needs; develop an understanding of customer’s buying process, understand buyer behavior, and develop a prospect base.  Dictated by needs of customers.  Understand the buying process, understand buyer behavior, and develop prospect base.

Presentation Strategy-Well-developed plan that includes preparing the sales presentation objectives, preparing a presentation plan that is needed to meet these objectives, and renewing one’s commitment to provide outstanding customer service

Partnering is a strategically developed, long-term relationship that solves the customer’s problems.  Achieved when salesperson able to skillfully apply 4 major strategies and thus add value in various ways.  Results in repeat sales and referrals that expand the prospect base.  Strength increases each time salesperson uses value-added selling strategies.  A Strategic alliance is the most challenging; salesperson must build a good working relationship with each team member. Trust in other company and its values in strategic alliances.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)-Sales automation, process of building and maintaining strong customer relationships by providing customer value 

Value Creation:

  1. Understanding Customer’s Value Needs-Establishing a relationship based on trust, carefully identifying needs, and identifying best possible product solution
  2. Creating the Value Proposition-Detailed study of customer’s value needs
  3. Communicating the Value proposition
  4. Delivering the Value Proposition

May require coordination of credit approval, training, installation, service, and other aspects of sale

Relationshipsshow us thatinformation does not have value unless people interact effectively.  People that have a better Emotional Intelligence, have thecapacity for monitoring our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in us and in our relationships.  Self-confidence, trustworthiness, adaptability, initiative, optimism, empathy, and well-developed social skills will make you more successful as a sales person.  Have an empathy and ego Drive.  Have outstanding character and integrity by projecting a professional image.  Maintain high ethical standards to add values to the sale.  This helps high performing salespeople build and maintain win-win relationships with a wide range of key groups: Customers, Secondary Decision Makers, Company Support Staff, and Management personnel.

Sales Process– Initiating Customer Relationships to Developing Customer Relationships, Enhancing Customer Relationships, Adding Value through follow-up, self-leadership, and teamwork

New Paradigm

  • Customer obsession- employee focus
  • Mission values-Management focus
  • Respect-Trust, no blame atmosphere
  • Excellence-Achieved by Continuous Improvement
  • Measurement done by Employees

Selling foundations include being trustworthy, behaving ethical, understanding buyer behavior, and processing excellent communication skills.

Trust Components

  • Compatibility- extent to which a salesperson’s behaviors, actions, and personally are consistent with and/or appropriate by his/her customers, buyer likes doing business with salesperson
  • Expertise- extent to which a salesperson processes relevant knowledge and capability; salesperson knows what he/she needs to know.  Salesperson and his/her company have ability and resources to get job done right.
  • Candor-“extent” is honest and upfront with others, especially with regard to issues/factors that may impact those others; salesperson honest in his/her own words; presentation is fair and balanced
  • Dependability-consistently and predictability follows through on commitments he/she makes to others.  Buyers can rely on salesperson, salesperson keeps promises
  • Customer Orientation- a salesperson values and protects interests of his/her customers.  Salesperson truly cares about partnership.  Salesperson goes to bat for customer.

Ethical Tests

  • Is it right?
  • Who will it hurt?
  • Would you want your decision publicized?
  • Is it fair?
  • What would you tell your child to do?

Character and integrity strongly influence relationships in personal selling.  Your character is based on internal value.  Be a role model provided by top management, following company policies and practices, having personal values as a salesperson, and having ethical conduct.  Values are deep beliefs and preferences, representing the ultimate reasons people have contacting as they do.  Values serve as foundations for our attitudes.  Attitudes serve as foundations for our behavior.


  • Ignore influence of your values and engage in unethical behavior
  • Voice strong opposition to practice that is in conflict with your value system
  • Refuse to compromise your values and be prepared to deal with the consequences

Product configuration software develops customized product solutions quickly and accurately.  Incorporates customer selection criteria.  Identifies options, pricing, and delivery schedules.  Can integrate with Customer Relationship Management Applications.


  • Everyone does it
  • Isn’t hurting anybody
  • I couldn’t help it
  • Nobody Cares
  • What do you want me to do, go out of business?
  • I couldn’t help it
  • I have to get the job done

Frameworks for Viewing Ethical Questions

“Results are what matter…ends over means.”

Consequentialist Questions:

  • Who might be hurt?
  • Who might/should benefit?
  • What is right goal?
  •  What if I get caught?

Duty-based Questions:

  • Contract Orientation…What I owes
  • Is this fair?
  • What and who do I owe?
  • What do others legitimately expect from me?
  • What or are should be my loyalties?
  • What (unspoken/spoken) promises have been made?

Absolutist Questions:

  • Principles based, regardless of consequences
  • What is the right thing here?
  • What is the law?
  • Is this honest?
  • Am I being true to my standards?

Developing a Relationship Strategy

Adopt Thought Processes with a Win-Win Philosophy.

Our self-concept is shaped by the ideas, attitudes, feelings, and thoughts you have about yourself that influence the way you relate to others.  Feelings and behavior are consistent with the self-concept.  These can be changed.  To develop a more positive self-concept: focus on future, not past mistakes, develop expertise in selected areas, and develop a positive mental attitude.

Key factor that determines sales success is a positive self-concept and the ability to relate to others in effective and productive ways; also the 4-step self-improvement plan

WIN-WIN PHILOSOPHY-first step in developing a relationship strategy; both buyer and seller come out of the sale understanding that their respective best interests have been served; The people help others solve their problems, fix what caused the problem, make life a joyous happening for others and themselves, learn from the past, live in the present, and set goals for the future, and make commitments to themselves and to others and keep them both, built on empathy-the ability to understand what a person is feeling, ego drive-Is an inner force that makes the salesperson need to make the sale, character, and integrity.  Ego-Drive and Determination in same sentence are bound and determined to accomplish their goals.  Nothing will stop you.  Character and Integrity-Character and includes personal standards such as honesty.  Customer Satisfaction primary, Adopting win-win is first step in development of relationship strategy.  Both the buyer and seller come out of the sale with their respective best interests being served.

WIN-LOSE-See a problem in every solution, Fix the blame, let life happen to them, live in the past, and make promises they never keep


First customer contact critical.  Quick, Superficial judgments are then made.  Those impressions can facilitate or distract.  The image a salesperson projects can influence the customer’s feelings about the salesperson.

Verbal Messages voice communication through tone, volume, and speed of delivery.  Nonverbal messages without words or silent messages: facial expressions, handshakes, voice tone, gestures, appearance, and posture, and other nonverbal means.  These convey more.  Verbal Communication

  • Organize Thoughts
  • Paint World Pictures
  • Watch Grammar

Communication Skills

Verbal Communication: Questioning

Salespeople skilled at questioning take a strategic approach to asking questions so that they may control the flow and direction of conversation, uncover important information, demonstrate concern and understanding, and facilitate the customer’s understanding.

Verbal Communication: Strategic Application of Questioning

  • Generate Buyer Involvement-Buyer talking at least  (60%-70%)
  • Provoke Thinking
  • Gather Information
  • Clarification and Emphasis

Need to make sure verbal and nonverbal messages are consistent

Communication styles are patterns of behavior that others observe such as tone of voice patterns, eye movement, facial expression, and posture.  Individual differences exist and are important.  Communication styles are a way of thinking and behaving.  Individual style differences tend to be stable based on hereditary and environmental factors.  There are a finite number of styles.  Most productive relationships, it is necessary to get in sync with the communication style of the people you work with

  • STYLE FLEXING-delivered attempt to adapt one’s communication style to accommodate the needs of another person “people are more apt to buy from you when they perceive you view the world as they view the world”
  • DOMINANCE-can be defined as the tendency to control or prevail over others.  People are competitive, offer opinions readily, are decisive, opinioned, self-assertive, and vocal
  • SOCIABILITY-reflects the amount of control we exert over our emotional expressiveness higher in sociability, express their feelings freely.  Can be defined as the tendency to seek and enjoy reactions with others.
  • BUYING DECISION PROCESS-The role of the salesperson will vary based on where the buyer is in the buying decision process and the role of the salesperson will vary based on the type of buying decision


Sales presentations are made for seasonal buyers usually over 3-6 months in advance.  Buyer’s needs may be a mix of situational, functional, social, psychological and knowledge needs.


Business Markets operate differently than consumer markets and those differently affect the selling process.  There is concentrated demand, derived demand, higher levels of demand fluctuation, purchasing professionals, multiple buying influences, and close buyer-seller relationships.


  • Consumer Markets-People (Personal Use)
  • Business Markets—Firms, Institutions, Governments, Non-Profit Organization
  • Selling to Gov. very profitable but lots of red tap


Base score-Assessment of Product or supplier (P)

P X L=Attribute Score

EX: Compensation, Location, and Training


  1. Straight Rebuy Buying Situation-Routinized Response Behavior
  2. Modified Rebuy Buying Situation-Limited Problem Solving
  3. New Task Buying Situation-Extensive Problem Solving


95% of all business problems stem from miscommunication barriers.  These include speech or hearing impediments, selective perceptions, noise, negative attitudes, vocabulary, status/authority differences, and emotional status

Many clients ask for written proposals and some provide detailed guidelines.  Most include: Budget and Overview, Schedule, Objective, Rationales, and Strategy.


Be familiar with product history.  Know the stages of product testing.  Link key features of customer needs.  Quality Control involves measuring against standards.  Extensive Sales-force training is key element of quality control

  • Show interest
  • Gain Confirmation
  • Advance the Sale

Types of Questions: Controlling Amount and Specialty of Information

  • Open-ended Questions
  • Closed-end Questions
  • Dichotomous (Stay away from Yes and No)/Multiple Choice Questions
  • Are you a good or bad time Manager-specify resources

Types of Questions

  • Probing Questions-what if?
  • Evaluative Questions-Are you happy?
  • Tactical Questions
  • Reactive Questions-refer to or directly result from information previously provide by the other party
  • That’s interesting…can you tell me how it happened?
  • You mentioned that.  Can you give me an example of that?

The SPIN Questioning Strategy

  • Situation Questions: Achieve fact finding Questions
  • Problem Questions: Achieve Objective of uncovering current satisfaction
  • Implication Questions: Achieve objective of developing and channeling dissatisfaction; Have high selling impact
  • Nee pay-off Questions: Achieve objections of rehearsing and selectivity channeling customer attentions
  • Have High selling impact


Find out facts about the buyers existing situation.  How many people do you employ at this location?  How do you manage your time and contracts?  These are the least powerful of the SPIN questions; Negative relationship to success.  Most people ask too many and Need Balance.  Eliminate unnecessary situation questions by doing your homework in advance.

Implication Questions

Ask about the consequences or effects of a buyer’s problems, difficulties or dissatisfactions.  What effect does that problem have on productivity?  Could that be impeding your ability to develop good relationships with your customers?  Implication questions are the most powerful of all SPIN questions top salespeople ask lots of implication questions.  These questions are also the hardest to ask.  Prepare for these questions by identifying and understanding the implications of various suspected needs prior to the sales call.

Need-Payoff Questions

Ask about the value or usefulness of the proposed solution.  They seek the buyers opinion as to what life would be like if problem was solved.  How would better time and customer management help you?  Would you like to discuss how we could do that for you?  Versatile Questions used a great deal by top salespeople.  These questions help the buyer to understand the benefits of solving the problem.  Use these to tell the benefits.

Funneling sequence of ADAPT

  1. Assessment Questions
  2. Discovery Questions- Questions probing information gained in assessments.  Seeking to uncover problems or dissatisfactions that could lead to suggested buyer needs
  3. Activation Questions- Shows the negative impact of a problem discovered in the discovery sequence.  It is designed to activate buyer’s interest in and desire to solve the problem
  4. Projection Questions- what life would be like without the problem?  The buyer establishes the value of firing and implementing a solution.
  5. Transition Questions-Open-end Questions for maximum information

Nonverbal Communications

  • Facial Expressions
  • Eye Movements
  • Placement and movement of hands, arms, heads, and legs
  • Body posture and orientation
  • Proxemics
  • Variation in Voice Characteristics

Verbal Communications

  • Speaking rate and pause duration
  • Pitch of frequency
  • Intensity and Loudness
  • Positioning and Differentiation



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