Personal Selling; Personal selling defines as hand to hand exchange goods and money or Face-to-face selling in which a seller attempts to persuade a buyer to make a purchase. In the competitive market place, it is important that the product is communicated across to the customers. Traditionally, advertising is a tool for communication. However, as the competition has increased, the process of communication has also become more and more complex.

Here are explain Personal Selling; Introduction, Meaning, Definition, and Theory.

Personal selling is one of the forms of promotion or marketing communications used by organizations to communicate with the marketplace and drive purchases of their products. Along with advertising, public relations, and sales promotion – personal selling makes up the promotions mix or marketing communications mix of a company. What is the importance and process of Decision-Making?


Meaning of Personal selling; Personal selling or salesmanship are synonymous terms; with the only difference that the former term is of recent origin, while the latter term has been traditionally in usage, in the commercial world. Since a salesman, in persuading a prospect to buy a certain product, follows a personal approach; salesmanship, in the present-day-times is often popularly called as personal selling.

It is the most traditional method, devised by manufactures, for promotion of the sales of their products. Prior to the development of the advertising technique, they used to be the only method used by manufacturers for the promotion of sales. It is, in fact, the forerunner of advertising and other sales promotion devices.


Personal selling can define as; direct person-to-person communication between sellers and potential customers, with the aim of persuading potential customers to purchase products.

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According to Philips and Duncan,

“Salesmanship is the art of presenting an offering so that the prospect appreciates the need for it and a mutually satisfactory sale follows.”

They often occur face-to-face, however, it can also take place through telephone conversations, online video conferencing or online text communication. Also, Personal selling is an effective way to promote and sell high priced and/or complex products.

This is because the person-to-person approach allows for a detailed explanation of products and any individual questions or concerns the customer has can be immediately addressed.

Personal selling Introduction Meaning Definition and Theory
Personal selling; Introduction, Meaning, Definition, and Theory. Russia cotton Candy Hands #Pixabay.

#Introduction, How to Sale?

Introduction to Personal selling; The marketers of today cannot rely on only advertising, in fact, the marketing communication mix comprises of 5 modes of communication as explained herein;

  • Advertising: Any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor.
  • Sales promotion: A variety of short-term incentives to encourage trial or purchase of a product or service.
  • Public relations and publicity: A variety of programs designed to promote or protect a company’s image or its individual products.
  • Personal selling: Face to face interaction with one or more prospective purchasers for the purpose of making presentations, and answering questions, and procuring orders.
  • Direct marketing: Use of mail, telephone, fax, e-mail or internet to communicate directly with or solicit & direct response from specific customers and prospects.

The present article deals with personal selling as one of the modes for selling. The topic falls within the scope of both marketing communication and sales management. It is the most effective tools, especially in the later stages of the buying process. It is very useful in building buyer preference, convictions, and action.

Distinctive qualities:

Personal selling has three distinctive qualities;

  1. Personal confrontations: They involves an immediate and interactive relationship between two or more persons each party is able to observe the other’s reactions at close hand.
  2. Cultivation: It permits all kinds of relationships to spring up, ranging from a matter of fact selling relationships to a deep personal friendship. Also, Sales representatives usually have the customer’s best interests at heart.
  3. Response: It makes the buyer feel under some obligation for having listened to the sales talk.
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Theory of Personal selling:

Personal selling is more of an art. Often effective salespersons have an instinct. Yet, it is realizing that proper training can enhance the skills of good salesmen. In present times, it is becoming more and more customer-oriented because no more do are have a buyer’s market.

Theory of Personal selling - List
Theory of Personal selling – List

Three major aspects of personal selling are;

  1. Professionalism.
  2. Negotiations, and.
  3. Relationship marketing.

Now, explain each;


The belief that good sales are born is giving way to a professional approach to sales activity. As well as, the sales managers realize the importance of training the sales force and spend huge sums of money each year for the same. We find the market flooded with training aids comprising of books, video and audio-cassettes, CDs and many more.

The aim of sharpening the skills of a salesman to make him more and more effective. All sales training approaches try to convert a salesperson from a passive order taker into an order setter. An order taker is passive and is dominating by the situation. An order Getter molds the situation in his favor and takes charge in order to achieve his objectives. The modern professional approach to salesmanship is customer-oriented.

The act of selling is projecting as aimed at solving the problems of the customers. Such an approach is satisfying the customers more thereby making sales activity more and more effective. Also, the sales personal are trained to understand the situation and they formulate their reaction because no single approach works in all situations.


Negotiation skills are one of the most important skills of a salesman. The two parties need to reach an agreement on price and other terms of sales. A good salesman wins the order without making deep .concessions that will hurt his profitability.

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Also, he must not unduly extract the customer because such an approach will be detrimental in the long run. This process of exchange by way of negotiation is more of an art. Learned by a salesman over time. The professional approach to negotiation identifies the zone of agreement between the seller’s surplus and buyer’s surplus.

Such an understanding helps in reaching the agreement point where both the parties feel satisfied. Negotiation involves communication that is Focussing and planning. Also, A good salesman understands his customer well and then formulates a negotiation strategy.

Relationship marketing:

As the salesman becomes close to the customers, the Transactional nature of the selling approach gives way to the relationship approach. Also, the Transactional approach is deal to deal approach centered on short-term gains. The relationship approach is long term and establishes a relationship between the buyer and the seller.

Both understand each other and support each other. Sales managers have to realize that it is far easier to get sales from an old customer as compared to getting the same from a new customer. So, it is important to retain existing customers. As well as, Personal selling is the most effective method of building relationships.

No other means can establish relationships as effectively as personal selling does. So modern salesmen work with a long-term perspective, establishing close customer associations. Such a practice is most evident in banking, airlines, insurance and investment industries.

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