MEANING OF SELLING PROCESS
In olden days demand always exceeded the supply and, therefore, there was no need to make effort to sell one’s own products. But with the progress of society, production is carried on a large scale and by several competitors which results in over production and competition among the producers. Now the status of the consumer has become superb and the producer has to go to the consumers to sell his products.
Thus, the consumer is the monarch. The producer follows several steps so as to persuade the consumer to buy his product that will give him satisfaction. These steps are known as stages of selling process and the whole process is knows as selling process.
Stages or Steps in Selling Process
The selling process is composed of the following seven stages or steps:
1. Prospecting. Prospecting is the first and the foremost step in the selling process. It refers to indentifying and locating potential buyers. It helps in planning the whole selling effort in order to minimise wastes. Regular and systematic prospecting is the foundation of all selling. It is the pivot round which the whole selling process rotates.
2. Pre-approach. Pre-approach is the second step in the selling process. The salesman should acquire sufficient information about such prospects, so that he may approach each one in the most effective manner. It is referred to as ‘pre-approach. It involves developing an understanding about those prospective buyers who have been identified and who are to be called by the sales man. It may relate to buyers’ needs personality traits and behaviour patterns which form their buying decisions. Preapproach prepares an effective background for making approach.
3. Approach. Approach is the third step or stage in the selling process. Here the salesman comes in contact with the prospect. The face to face contact with the prospect is termed as approach. It involves use of different moinods to reach the prospect, so that the buyer may be offered the product produced by the selling house.
4. Presentation and Demonstration. It is the fourta step in i selling process. Here the salesman demonstrated the customers the characteristics of the products ready for sale. The main objective behind this is to convince the customer that the salesman’s products is the best one for satisfyicg his needs. It this way, effective presentation and demonstration plays a vital role in the selling process.
5. Meeting or Handling Objections. It is the fifth step in the selling process. Under this step the salesman is required to handle and overcome objections raised during presentation and demonstration. The customer usually asks questions. raises objections and seeks explanation. It is the salesman’s job to effectively meet, handle and answer them in a most convincing, effective and systematic manner.
6. Closing the Sales. It is the sixth step in the selling refers to the request for getting an order. After having a objections, the salesman clinches the deal by closing the demonstra The object is to get the customer in a mood of saying ‘yes’, so that salesman can ask for the order. The salesman is expected to be me convincing and effective in this respect.
7. Follow up. It is the important but not the least important step selling process. After closing sales it is important for the salesman to execute the order booked. It builds up goodwill, ensures feedback and encourages to repeat purchases.
MEANING AND DEFINITION OF SALESMANSHIP
Salesmanship is the art of selling the products or services to the buyer. It is an art of persuading and convincing the customers to buy the given products or services. It is the ability to impress upon the people to buy : it is an art of persuading the people to buy and above all, it is the ability, to turn a prospect into a buyer. Thus, it includes all those activities that are to be under taken to convert a trying ‘suspect into a ‘prospect and then the prospect into a customer.
The main definitions of salesmanship as given by different experts are given below:
T.E. Knox, “Salesmanship is the ability to persuade to want whot they already need.”
W.G. Carter, “Salesmanship is an attempt to induce people to buy goods.”
H.H. Houghton, “Salesmanship is the personal service rendered to the community with the marketing of goods.”
R.S. Davar, “Salesmanship may be defined as the art of persuading persons to buy goods which will give them lasting satisfaction by the use into process …… it is the ability to convert human needs into wants. Salesmanship is the persuasion and not compulsion.”
Russel and Beach, “The Salesmanship is the art of personal persuasion employed by the seller to induce others to buy what he has to sell.”
Ripley, “Salesmanship is the power to persuade plenty of people to pleasurably and permanently purchase your product at a profit.”
Prof. Stephanson, “Salesmanship refers to conscious efforts on the part of the seller to induce a prospective buyer to purchase something that he had not really decided to buy, even if he had thought of favourably. It consists of persuading people to buy what you have for 30 in making them want it, in helping to make up their minds.”
Garfield Blak, “Salesmanship consists of winning the buyer confidence for the seller’s house and goods thereby winning regular permanent customers.”
After going through the above definitions, we may define salesmanship “as personal selling and skill by which the seller persuades the prospective customers to buy goods and services for their mutual profit and satisfaction.” Characteristics or Features of Salesmanship
The main characteristic features of salesmanship are given below:
(i) Salesmanship is a science in the sense that one human mind influences another human mind.
(ii) It is an art in the sense that it converts the needs of the prospective customers into wants.
(iii) It is an art of attracting and persuading customers to buy goods or services.
(iv) It imparts knowledge of the new products and thus assists the consumers. In this way, it is a personal service rendered to the prospective consumer.
(v) It is an art of winning the buyer’s confidence for seller’s goods. It may make a customer permanent
(vi) It helps to establish a cordial relationship between the organisation and the customer. It benefits all the organisation, the seller, the consumer and the whole economy.
(vii) It is the ability of the seller to pursue the people to buy goods and services at a price which will benefit the seller as well as the buyer.
(viii) It discourages the bargaining tendency of the consumers.
(ix) It is an individual phenomenon.
(x) It is an individual activity because it is the ability of salesman which induces the buyer to purchase the commodity.