APT Initiatives
APT Business & Economics Resources
Minimising Workloads, Maximising Performance
Established in 1999

Special Items

Personal selling

Involves sales staff making oral presentations to, and / or taking part in discussions with, potential customers of a product or service, either face to face or by telephone, with the purpose of making a sale. It involves the use of sales staff / representatives who carry out key activities such as: obtaining and making deliveries, staffing exhibitions, giving talks/presentations including demonstrations of the product, giving free trials / samples, offering advice and guidance. Attendance at trade fairs and exhibitions involves suppliers displaying products directly to potential customers, which may concern members of the public and / or industry – for example – the Ideal Homes Exhibition, Motor Show. Exhibitions and trade fairs provide a chance to: show how a product works which is important for complex products, test consumers reaction to a product before it is released onto the market, answer specific customer queries, attract free press coverage. To encourage a potential customer to buy a product or service, a salesperson will usually be involved in six key stages: Prospecting – searching for / identifying potential customers, eg through responses from adverts, word of mouth, cold calling; Pre-approach – gathering information via observations, customers, and other sales staff, in order to make decisions regarding the approach to use with potential customers; Approach – gaining potential customers’ attention and interest; Presentation – trying to create the desire to buy; Close – seeking action / intention to buy eg allowing the potential customer to hold the product to encourage them to become attached to it, and / or moving a potential customer (prospect) towards a payment point; Follow-up – checking whether the customer is satisfied, encouraging repeat business.

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