Personal selling is a very old form of promotion, it involves the use of sales force to support the push strategy, that is influencing intermediaries into buying the product or a pull strategy in which the role of sales force is limited for supporting the retailers to provide services after sales.  It is a promotional method in which two parties take part; one is the salesperson, who uses his skills and methods to build personal relationships with the purchasing party. Experts say that, “In most cases the “value” for the salesperson is realized through the financial rewards of the sale while the customer’s “value” is realized from the benefits obtained by consuming the product. However, getting a customer to purchase a product is not always the objective of personal selling. For instance, selling may be used for the purpose of simply delivering information.” Personal selling is defined as follows:  “Personal selling is oral communication with potential buyers of a product with the intention of making a sale. The personal selling may focus initially on developing a relationship with the potential buyer, but will always ultimately end with an attempt to “close the sale”

The Objectives of Personal Selling

Personal selling is generally used to meet five main objectives namely
•    Creating Interest
•    Building Product Awareness
•    Stimulating Demand
•    Providing Information
•    Reinforcing Brand

Advantages of Personal Selling

[adsense1]It is a two-way form of communication: One of the most important advantages that personal selling has over other promotion formats is that it is a two-way form of communication. In a situation where the customer is purchasing a product, the salesperson has the facility to contact the customer to gain feedback. In any case that the customer does not understand how to use the product or initially has a problem with the product then he can contact the salesperson in which case the salesperson can make adjustments and help address the questions and concerns of the customer.

Interactive nature: this is an advantage because it tends to be one of the most effective promotional techniques for building relationships with present and potential customers. Especially in B2B markets, it is also essential for companies that sell expensive products or selling products in high volumes that is selling products in bulk. Such purchases take a lot of time to complete and involve inputs of various people at the purchasing company or buying center. Success in sales requires the marketer to develop and sustain strong bonds with members of the purchasing company.
-Practical: Personal selling is practical because it is easier to reach and record customer data through this medium of promotion.

Disadvantages of Personal Selling

Perhaps we can say that the biggest disadvantage of personal selling is the degree to which the method has been misunderstood. In most cases there have been complaints of bad experiences with salespersons with rude demeanors, annoying and aggressive behaviors.  Though there are many salespersons that fall in this category, the truth of the matter is that salespersons are most successful in achieving goals and objectives when their main focus is the satisfaction of customers and building long term relationships instead of focusing on their own well being.