The modern concept of Personal selling or salesmanship is an important method of selling. It is the process of assisting and persuading a prospective buyer to buy a product in a face-to-face situation. A salesman must have etiquette, his déjà vu with the client must be precise and his objective clear. Obviously one would not expect gifts such as silk stockings to buyers’ secretary as a way to do business. Willy exploited his craftmanship to the depth of seducing the buyers secretary with silk stockings to reach his buyers. Selling is offering to exchange something of value for something else. It involves direct and personal contact between the seller and his representative with the prospective buyer. It provides feedback and performs the complete job of selling. But it is more expensive and time-consuming. The purpose of personal selling is not to ensure the present sale alone, but winning a regular 154 ASA University Review, Vol. 7 No. 1, January–June, 2013 customer. According to Still, Cundiff and Govoni (1996:176), the qualities of a salesman include the following: • Ability to define the products’ exact function in relation to the goals of the company • Ability to allocate sufficient time for thinking and planning • Ability to utilize time efficiently • Ability to select and train capable subordinates and willingness to delegate sufficient authority to enable them to carry out assigned tasks with minimum supervision • Ability to exercise skilled leadership • Ability to utilize time sufficiently As seen above the modern concept of salesmanship emphasizes on time management and its efficient use, planning set objectives, and leadership qualities. The school of thought today has different set standards compared to the door to door selling of the 1930’s sales which Willy Loman was accustomed to doing.
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