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Theories of Personal Selling

Question:

Discuss About The Ethics In Personal Selling Sales Management?

Personal selling is one of the most effective ways to sell the products in the market. This not only makes the conversation between the customer and the seller healthy and productive, it also helps in knowing the exact needs of the people and knowing the exact customer needs. Personal selling helps in knowing the outlook of the customers towards the brand and also helps in knowing where the brand lacks (Weitz, 2000). There are various theories attached to personal selling are the AIDAS theory, The Right Set of Circumstances theory, and the Buying Formula theory of personal selling.

"Hello Sir. How can I help you?" I asked.

"I want a Family holiday trip planned to Disneyland for eight days."

"I would be happy to serve you on the behalf of my organization and I would ensure that our company helps in planning the best trip for you and your family."

"It would be grateful if you could help me plan a wonderful trip."

"Indeed sir. Our company has been planning the best trips for the people at least prices. So what all would be the requirements?"

"I would be wanting two days to visit to the Disneyland at least." He muttered in a language which was not much comprehended by me.

"Sir I want to know what else requirements you want on your trip?" I replied slowly in English.on

"I need tickets for 2 adults and a kid of 8 years. The stay would be for eight days between the dates of April 2nd and April 10th. I would also want a seven-day rail pass of there and travel insurance. I also want a stay in the four-star hotel which includes the breakfast."

I couldn't able to gather much as he spoke fluently in French which I was not very good at. Hence I

jotted down the points which I heard correctly so that to include them in the whole travel itinerary.

"Sir, Will it be fine if you could speak English? I am not very comfortable in French."

He looked at it as its going to be waste and started off all his requirements in broken English as he was not very well versed with the language (McClaren, 2000).

I wrote whatever I could gather and then asked-

"Is there anything else which you want in specific sir? Any special thing required by you?"

"I want you to plan the things in such a way that I am able to witness the cherry blossom season out there."

I noted that down and checked the details and checked at the flights and availability of the hotels and the flights for the customer (Asara, 2013). I made him sit down and noted down all the possible arrangements that could be made for the customer which suited his requirements and fulfilled all his needs.

I showed him all the planned details which had all the permutations and combinations.

Real-Life Scenario of Customer Interaction

"Sir according to your needs this plan would suit you the most as it covers all the things which you need."

I told him all the costs under the various heads which he would have to incur. I showed the flight details and the cost of the restaurants and the tickets for the Disneyland and sightseeing. There was a puzzled look on his face and I wasn't very sure whether it was because of the language barrier or he was not much comfortable with the cost of the things.

"So sir which plan would you like to take as we would have to book the tickets and stuff so that there is no surge."

"I would like to think a bit about the entire proposal and would also want to talk to my wife regarding it and see whether she is fine with all the travel and date arrangements."

"Sure sir you may contact us back with your final plan and we would book the flight tickets right away."

"I might also use the FF points while booking the flight tickets." He replied.

"Sir, we would have to look about it as it is not into our plan. We would try to incorporate and see what can be done about it. You can finalize your plan and I would see what can be done to adjust your flight FF points in that."

"Sure. Thank you. I will get back to you as soon as we decide about the things."

"Sure sir. We would be happy to serve you (Epsilson, 2014)."

With this, he went away taking away with him the papers which had all the plans ready for it.

The entire conversation with the customer made me realize the certain things. It was a whole lot of new experience and I tried to understand the basic needs and should have properly listened to the customer(Dixon, 2012). The theory which I tried to use while conversing with the customer was the AIDAS theory of personal selling. Not only I tried to know about the requirements and the stuff which was needed by the customer but I also tried to brand my own organization and how it would help him plan his entire tour wonderfully.

Except for all these the issues which arose for me were the following while conversing with the customer-

The person specifically wanted to experience the cherry blossom season over there for which he wanted to travel and planning the dates in such a way and cover everything was a bit difficult as the season cannot be exactly determined (Ingram, 2007).

The whole organization was nervous about the potential of me and whether we would be able to plan the entire trip properly as it was one of my initial big tasks.

The language was also one of the major barriers as the person and I spoke different languages and we weren't comfortable talking in each other's language. Hence, it made to skip certain big points and the whole conversation w687202as not very smooth and effective (Jacoby, 2000).

Challenges faced in the Sales Process

The objections which were raised by the customer towards the whole conversation between were going to be waste and he should have properly listened to them carefully as follows-

He did not take the decision right away and was a bit skeptical about the whole planned thing.

He took time for talking to his spouse and wanted some time to ponder and discuss the whole plan with his wife.

Another of the issue was that he wanted to use the FF points while traveling with the flights. Our company was not using such policy as using FF points with the travel agents were not a very usable policy with the people.

Hence while tapping the customer the things chosen were-

  • Observing customer
  • Knowing his needs
  • Brand selling
  • Personal talking and entertaining

Taking the example of the last big deal which was cracked by our organization while organizing the trip for the college students on behalf of the college to the USA for study purpose, we would put forward how the big deal was cracked (Francis, 2010). The group of 50 students had to go from the college for an educational trip to the USA and also had to go to NASA for the educational tour. Not only the tourist places had to be covered, but also all the educational areas had to be tapped. The whole plan also had to include the stay in the hotels, the flight tickets for traveling to the USA and back, the local traveling of the students, the VISA charges and also had to include the travel and health insurance for the stay.

While planning the whole educational trip the following things had to be taken into consideration. Not only this the various theories which were kept in mind by the people planning the trip were first the AIDAS theory.

While planning the trip the first thing was the Attention Getting. The organization had to tap the interest and attention of the college to choose our organization over the others. For this we had to project our special features and how we stood out from all the crowd in the market and how beneficial choosing our organization would be. The next step was the Interest Creating. For this, the organization showed the special features and how it would cover most of the areas and travel charges and expenses of the students. Special discounts, facilities and all were shown by the organization to the college and the interest was aroused in the college to choose our organization. As we were well versed by the needs of the college and the students the next step was the Desire Stimulating. The desire had to be developed inside the students and the college so as to stimulate them to choose our organization to plan their trip over the other organizations. The next thing in the line was Action Inducing. When the organization was liked and approved by the college and was shortlisted for consideration, our company planned a dummy tour for the students. We presented the whole model and estimated the costs and how the whole tour would be covered. This not only helped the college and students understand how the trip and the things would function and what all places they would be visiting and seeing, but also helped the college and students to be aware about the various expenses and the final cost what they would have to bear to take the trip. This also helps the company to show that they are willing to plan a trip for the customers and are equally interested in providing their facilities. Hence, this shows that an action has been induced by the organization and it has taken the initial steps to plan the trip. The next and the last step under the AIDAS theory was the Satisfaction. The organization tried its best to satisfy the customers i.e. the college staff by providing the best of the facilities and the minimum price.

Another of the theories which were seen and followed was the "right set of circumstances theory."

It is just the sheer luck or matter of chance that this comes in the way and the organization has to grab its opportunity. The tie-ups with the other colleges and the student tours of our company helped in planning the trip in an effective way. Even as the season was an off season for touring to the USA the tickets were available at a very low price which also helped in reducing the cost of the whole trip. Hence there were many chances which helped in creating the right circumstances and helped in creating an affecting trip for the college students and made it one of the most effective trips for our organization which is considered as the most profitable as well as among the most successful trips undertaken by our organization.

During this whole planning of the trip, the following things were taken care of as well as learned by the entire organization-

It is important to know about the needs of the customer's and to plan things which would be liked by them.

It is important to create the brand value and create an image of the organization in the eyes of the buyer.

Satisfaction of the customers should be the end result of planning the entire thing and it should not be traded for creating profits.

Trust creation is also important and creating a brand image and value is equally important as both of these ensure the coming back of the customer to the organization again and again whenever needed in the future (Journal of Personal Selling and sales management., 2008).

So choose the option of- Planning an Emirates Flight to London for a Corporate Traveller.

The various tourism products which together make up the whole traveling possible are-

  • The potential customer. (Corporate Traveller)
  • The place (London)
  • The means of transport undertaken for transportation. (Emirates Flight)
  • Number of days of the travel.

While discussing further the traveling product which has been chosen is the person or the customer who has got the trip planned for himself. (Annoynomous).

The customer is one of the most important things which is essential for the organization. It was hence, to see that all his requirements are met, one follow a policy which would fulfill all his demands and make his stay worthwhile. (Mahajan, 2014).

Hence, the following things that should be kept in mind while planning the trip for the Corporate customer were-

  • It was the duty to fulfill the needs to the corporate customer.
  • The whole trip should be planned in such a way that it looked like a professional trip for the corporate client.
  • It was required to check the availability of the Emirates flight for the dates to London when the client had to visit London for his work.
  • At no point, the customer should be made to feel that his needs cannot be fulfilled and that his demands cannot be fulfilled.
  • He should be treated in the most courteous way and respected and it should be seen that all his needs are fulfilled and that all the criteria and requirements he has mentioned should be completed in the orderly way.

There are various theories which can be properly heard and thought of while thinking about fixing the trip for the customer.

One of the theories is the AIDAS theory. It includes gaining the attention of the customer and then creating interest in him. Then it includes desire stimulation in the customers and the action-inducing that is further followed by satisfying the customer needs. All these things under the theory help the company to know about the needs of the customers and help them in providing the best of the things in the best of the money and also help in creating the brand image in front of the customers (Haaften, 2012). Hence, by this the attention of the corporate client was trapped by fixing the whole trip of his office earlier. After it went good, the individual offers were offered which suited the client and hence he became the member of our organization. His all trips were designed in a professional manner and which fulfilled his needs as well as his ego.

Another theory which was followed by the organization is the "Behavioral Theory" of the customers. It includes judging and understanding the behavior of the customers. It is necessary to judge the behavior of the customer not only according to what he says and tells about him but also on how he presents himself. It is necessary for the seller to know about the customer and how he behaves to the things. Understanding the behavior is important and knowing about the customers (LOka.). Hence while planning the trip to London following things were taken care of-

  • The pocket of the client.
  • On what dates he wanted to travel
  • What was the motive of the trip
  • What were the specifications he had demanded for
  • How he wanted to present himself there.

Another theory which are followed by the organization is "buying formula theory" which was used while planning the London trip. This theory also shows that there is a solution for all the things and that there is a certain pattern followed by the customers while buying the things. The buying formula they fitted in this scenario in the following ways-

  • The need of the customer (Emirates flight was the specification which was hard to find during the dates during which the client needed. A bit of chalking out the plan, fulfilled the need.)
  • Every problem has a solution. (As the flight was not available from the home city to London, travelling to the nearest metropolitan city which was about 3 hours far fulfilled the need.)
  • The purchase is the next big thing. (Fulfilling all the needs and requirements and hence planning the trip accordingly helped in organizing the perfect trip to London.)
  • The last step is the satisfaction. Satisfaction is the ultimate thing and hence fulfilling the criteria of a proper business trip with the flight (Emirates) as needed by the customer satisfied him.

Hence following the various theories help in tapping organizing the trip to London by the Emirates flight for the corporate client of the corporation with which our organization had ties with. (Ghose, 2010).

Conclusion

Personal selling is one of the most important things which helps both the customers and the organization. The various theories help both the parties in various ways.

On the part of customers, the benefits of such theories are as follows-

  • Helps them getting the best of the products
  • Get the maximum satisfaction
  • Get the best services by the best brands and organizations.
  • Gets services at the most reasonable prices.

On part of organizations, the things they get are-

  • Tapping the market
  • Helps in creating a brand image
  • Helps in satisfying the customer and make them come back to them again and again.

References

Annoynomous.(n.d.).The Customer Service Gap Model. Retrieved March 1, 2018, from https://vle.du.ac.in/mod/book/view.php?id=9167&chapterid=13198

Asara, A. (2013). The State of Research in the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management.Sage Journals.

Dixon, M. (2012). The Challenger Sale: How To Take Control of the Customer Conversation. New DElh.

Epsilson, S. (2014).Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management.

Francis, T. (2010).The Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management.

Ghose, S. (2010). 4 Theories of Personal Selling – Explained!

Haaften, R. (2012). Customer satisfaction models.

Ingram, T. (2007). Professional Selling: A Trust-Based Approach - Page xxvii.

Jacoby, J. (2000). Personal selling: theory, research, and practice - Page 311.

Journal of Personal Selling and sales management. (2008). The Sales Force Technology–Performance Chain: The Role of Adaptive , 4.

LOka., T. (n.d.). Tourism Product Definition. NEW ATLANTIS .

Mahajan, R. (2014). Tourism products.

McClaren, N. (2000). Ethics in Personal Selling and Sales Management: A Review of the Literature Focusing on Empirical Findings and Conceptual Foundations. Journal of Business Ethics , pp 285–303 .

Weitz, B. (2000). Personal Selling and Sales Management: A Relationship Marketing Perspective. Sage Journals .

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