Knowledge Bank

Articles / Course Material


In this millennium, most of the employment opportunities will be in the Sales function. In fact today sales people are being considered as important as the branding boys. Selling today is accepted as the cutting edge of business. Gone are the days when selling was taken for granted. Today companies are spending huge amounts to train their sales force in the art of selling, because the sales personnel are the most important link with the customer. Companies may devise the best marketing efforts, but the results in terms of generating revenues will not be successful if the Sales force is ineffective.

There are certain misconceptions of selling which has created a negative image of the sales profession and make people hesitant to take it up as a career. One of the misconceptions being that excellent products sell themselves and the sales activity unnecessarily adds to costs. This means that if a company regularly manufactures excellent products, then there always will be people buying them. This could be true when a company manages to produce technologicaly superior quality products. But in these types of products there will be additional costs in terms of research and development.

The job profile of a sales person in sales is besides selling also to gather information from the customers and competitors in the market. This type of information is vital for the use of research and development, so the requirement of sales personnel is of utmost importance.

There is another misconception about selling, that there is something immoral about selling. The begining of this very damaging misconception perhaps has its origin from the "foot in the door image" of a sales person. People thinking of a salesperson as a hustler and a cheat. There is nothing immoral about this profession, but in fact it provides a mechanism for exchanging goods and services and through this process customer needs and wants are satisfied. People in some stage or the other in their lives are involved in selling, even if it is selling their skills in order to get a job.

Today a career in selling has great importance. The people who have spent their lives in the sales function, have found it to be a challenging and responsible occupation. A person in sales has the opportunity to meet various people and the freedom to plan his own work schedules.

Even if products and services are excellent they may not get noticed by the customer and may need an intelligent salesperson to highlight the features and benefits. Sometimes what may appear to be an excellent product may be totally unsuited to a particular client. Selling requires a unique quality in a salesperson, who deals with the specific needs of an individual customer. A sales person with the right product knowledge and judgement, is in a position to assess these circumstances and guide each customer accordingly.

Salesmen who are glib tounged are gradually on the way out. Today a newbreed of sales persons are seen. They are sober and assist the customer in taking a decision to buy a product or service. Today the marketing scenario is dynamic with intense competition. In this scenario the the sales person has a three dimensional job i.e. Communicating, Persuading and Differentiating.

Personal Selling Skills: Personal selling is an extension of the marketing concept. Todays sales person is a need identifier and a problem solver. Most sellers depend upon repeat business where a huge chunk of selling activity is done with professional buyers.

  1. Asking relevant questions
  2. Giving product information, differentiating and offering evidence to reinforce selling statements.
  3. Understanding the customer and acknowledging their view point.
  4. Offering support to the customer.
  5. Creating a relaxed enviornment to faciliate decision making.

Dr Satvinder Singh Bedi.
Associate Professor.
Head, Industry Interface,
Bedekar Institute of Management Studies (Thane ),
Mob: 9324816914.