Personal Selling – Influence On The Marketing Of Industrial Products

Personal Selling – Influence On The Marketing Of Industrial Products: A Case Study Of Best Alluminium Company Limited Onitsha Anambra State

Personal Selling – Influence On The Marketing Of Industrial Products: A Case Study Of Best Alluminium Company Limited Onitsha Anambra State

Marketing can be defined as the performance of business activities that direct the flow of goods and services from producers to user profitably since the ultimate goal of all marketing effort is to boost profitable sales by offering want-satisfying goods and services to the market over the long-run then personal selling which is a part of marketing activities is by far the major promotional tool used to reach this goal.

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Every organization lives by selling. Many companies spend more money to train their sales people in the art of salesmanship which means that they spend more money on personal selling than any other promotional tool.

The study covers the factors that many account for the effectiveness of personal selling in the marketing of industrial products. In the marketing of industrial products there are tools used such as personal selling, advertising, sells promotion and publicity etc. But personal selling is emphasized in the study.

The company first started with the selling of aluminum doors and windows. According to the director, the company went further to expand by engaging in other aluminum products such as Gas Cylinder, Frying pan and others just a few to mention. Also from the information gathered from the Director, the company has its branches at Enugu and Port-Harcourt. The company has staff strength of thirty-three paid staff and others that are temporally cured from time to time.

Its staff distribution are as follows:

Director, the general manager, the company manager, five drivers and sales clerks.

1.2. STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS

Upon all the invaluable contribution of personal selling in the marketing of industrial products, such as provision of information for purchasing decision, reducing customers perceived risk of purchasing, it has been remarkable how relatively little attention personal selling in industrial marketing has received in the professional literature and academic research.

However, existing knowledge is limited concerning how effective personal selling is used in the marketing of industrial products. This research is focused specifically Best Aluminum Company Limited and the industrial customers.

The company’s product is bought by organizations for the purpose of producing other goods or resale.

1.3. PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

This research work is carried to examine the influence of personal selling in the marketing of industrial products. It is aimed at presenting the true contributions of sales representatives in a bid to improving the sales performance of industrial products.

In line with this, the research study will among other things bear the following purposes

i. To determine the benefits of sales representatives in the marketing of industrial products.

ii. To know the problems of sales representatives in their personal selling efforts.

iii. To determine whether or not personal selling help to increase total value.

iv. To find out whether or not sales representative builds the image of an organization.

1.4. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The researcher considers the study very significant on the following basis and product produced must be disposed off as to make a return on investment.

It is obvious that production becomes complete when the product has got the final consumer, industrial users and the only effective avenue for this purpose is through personal selling. As a result, the study of the influence of personal selling in the marketing of industrial products has become a necessity.

Moreover, the result will produce possible influence on the present economic conditions, such as increasing goods and services available to industrial users and increase in market share of the industrial products. The study will also bring into focus how this neglect of inadequate usages of personal selling would help both the industrial produce, industrial users and to the economic survival in general.

Moreso, the behavioural approach, inter-personal interaction and decision process to be used in selling specific-industrial products, selection of salesmen etc will be looked into and made clearer.

The findings of this study will enable the industries, specifically Best Aluminum company limited to solve their sales problems and correct whatever mistakes they have made or are still making in line with their business operations.

From the results of the findings, individuals or firms prospecting to go into industrial product productions or investors who are interested in investing their money in industrial product productions will have additional information on personal selling as a channel of sales industrial products for sound decision making through the application of the findings and recommendation of this study.

1.5. ASSUMPTION OF THE STUDY

The following assumptions were inherent in the study:

i. Personal Selling is the best tool in the marketing of industrial products.

ii. The study company (Best Aluminum) enjoys increase in sales volume of its company product.

iii. All respondents will read and answer the questionnaire honestly and objectively.

iv. How could personal selling build the image of an organization.

 

1.6. RESEARCH QUESTIONS

I. What are the benefits of sales representatives in the marketing of industrial products?

II. How could personal selling influences the increase in sales volume of industrial product?

III. What are the problems of sales representative in their personal selling effort?

IV. Hoe could personal selling build the image of an organization?

 

1.7. STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESIS

H:O: 1: personal selling does not influence the increase in sales volume of industrial products.

H:I: 1 personal selling influence the increase in sales volume of industrial products.

H:O: 2 the attitude of a company’s sales representatives do not built the image of the company.

H:I: 2 the attitude of a company’s sales representatives builds the image of the company.

 

1.8. DELIMINATION OF THE STUDY

The study is limited to search for the influence of personal selling in the marketing of industrial products by industrial salesmen.

The selected company of study is Best Aluminum Company limited. The study will also investigate the benefit of personal selling to the industrial procedures and users, the problems of salesmen in personal selling.

 

1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Some terms used in the study are defined for purpose of understanding the context in which they are used. This is necessary because these terms may be understood by readers in various contexts.

i. INDUSTRIAL GOODS AND SERVISE:

These are goods and services destined to be sold for the purpose of input for further production of goods and services.

ii. INDUSTRIAL MARKET:

This is a market consisting of individuals, groups or organizations that purchase specific kinds of products for resale, for direct use in producing other products or for use in day-to-day operation.

iii. PERSONAL SELLING:

A process of informing prospective buyers and persuading them to purchase product through personal communication in an exchange process.

iv. PRODUCT:

This is the element of marketing mix that represents the basic offering being made to consumers.

 

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.0. INTRODUCTION

Marketing has been defined as a social and managerial process by which individual and group obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with others.

From the above definition, marketing is said to revolve round the following concepts, needs, wants, demand, products, utilities, value and satisfaction, exchange, transaction and relationships, markets, marketing and marketers. The starting point for the discipline of marketing are in human needs and wants.

A useful distinction can be between needs, wants and demands. A human need is a state of felt deprivation of some basic satisfaction. People require food, shelter, belonging etc

Wants are desired to specific satisfiers of those deeper needs.

Demands are wants for specific product that are backed up by an ability and willing ness to buy them. Wants become demands when backed up by purchasing power.

The above distinction throw more light on the frequent charge by marketing critics that marketers create needs or that marketers get people to buy things they don’t want, this is not true. Marketers do not create the need for social status but try to pinpoint how a particular good would satisfy that a need.

 

2.1. WHAT IS PERSONAL SELLING

Personal selling is a face-to-face communication between the prospective industrial customer and industrial sales people. This appears to be the most ideal tool for promotion of industrial products because the customers are relatively few and concentrated in a geographical area. Again most industrial products are complex and expensive in terms of unit values.

Much emphasis is also placed on personal selling because buyers and buying influences ask questions on the technical and complex nature of the product and will require on-the-spot answers to the questions before they can purchase. Furthermore, pre-and post-sale services and technical assistance are important requirements that call for personal selling.

 

2.2. CHARACTERISTICS OF INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS

1. Industrial products are acquired for further production of goods and services, use in operations or resale to other users.

2. They are usually in form of raw materials, installations, and semi-finished goods.

3. They are highly technical and complex nature.

4. Factors such as after-sales services, delivery and availability of spare parts, technical supports are important considerations in purchase of industrial products.

5. The purchase of industrial products require extensive technical information.

6. They are frequently purchased with fewer total transactions.

7. Some industrial products may be acquired either by outright purchase or leasing.

8. There is heavy emphasis on personal selling and trade shows for industrial products.

 

2.3. CLASSIFICATION OF INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS

In order to ensure better understanding of industrial products, they are classified according to the uses of the product. There are four instinct classifications of industrial products, viz:

 

A. CAPITAL INVESTMENT ITEM: – this refers to those capital goods sold as a whole for further product or use in business operations. Capital item consists of the following.

I. Equipment: – they are those removable items, which are used to facilitate production operation, but do not form part of the finished goods.

II. Installations: – these are items, which are not readily removable and may form part of the office building, store or plant of a firm.

III. Real Estate: – this comprises all the land property of the enterprise ranging from office buildings, warehouses, sparking lots, and facilities for employee relaxation to quarters where the employees are housed.

B. MANUFACTURING MATERIALS: – The manufacturing materials comprise those materials that are directly consumed in the production process which forms part of the end product and those materials which are also consumed in the manufacturing process but are not identifiable in the end product of the manufacturing. This is sub-divided into the following:

i. Raw materials: – this consists of agricultural produce and goods usually found in their natural conditions which can be converted into different forms as they move through the production process.

ii. Fabricated Materials/Component Parts: – these are materials installed directly in another product. They form part of the finished product. Examples are: semi-conductors, spark plug, automobile tyre etc.

C. OPERATIONALS:

Business operationals include the employment of labour, operating supplies and repairs, replacement and maintenance items.

i. Labour: it refers to any employment of people to carry out the production activities.

ii. Operational supplies: – these are low priced convenience items, which facilitate the manufacturers operation but do not become part of the end product.

iii. Repair, Replacement and Maintenance items: – this refers to a wide variety of repair parts for repairing both plant and equipment.

D. BUSINESS SERVICES: – this refers to all categories of services offered to a manufacturing firm which may include:

i. Manufacturing services: they are those highly skilled and specialized services which one firm offers to another. Example shapig service.

ii. Office Services: these are somehow related to manufacturing services except that they are specifically such services rendered to office. Example photocopy.

iii. Professional Services: – these are those services rendered by advertising consultants, marketing consultants, accounting consultants, legal and medical consultants to a manufacturing organization.

2.4. PERSONAL SELLING PROCESS

In seeking how personal selling is, one has to examine the process of personal selling procedure.

The personal selling process consists of six (6) stages:

1. Prospecting.

2. Pre-approach.

3. Approach.

4. Presentation.

5. Close.

6. Follow-up.

Below is the major steps in effective personal selling:

1. PROSPECTING

This is when qualified or potential customers are being searched for, through personal selling. For products that are one-time purchases, continual prospecting is necessary to maintain. There are three types of prospect. A lead is the person who may be a possible customer. A prospect is a customer who wants or needs the product.

If an individual wants the product, can afford it and is a decision maker, this individual is a qualified prospect.

2. PRE-APPROACH:

Once a sales person had identified prospect, preparation for the sale begins with the pre-approach. This stage involves obtaining further information on the prospect and deciding on the best method of approach. Activities in this stage include, finding information on whom the prospect refers to be approached and what the prospect is looking for in product or service. For industrial products, the pre-approach involves identifying the buying role of a prospect for example influencer or decision maker.

3. APPROACH: – The approach stage involves the initial meeting between the sales person and prospects where the objectives are to gain the prospects attention, stimulate interest and build the foundation for the sale presentation itself. The first impression is critical at this stage, and is common with a reference to common acquaintances, or even the product or service itself, which will depend on the information obtained in he prospecting an pre-approach stage.

4. PRESENTATION AND DEMONSTRATION

The presentation is at the core of the order getting. Selling process and its objective is to convert a prospect into a customer by creating a desire for product or service.

5. CLOSE

The closing stage in the selling process involves obtaining a purchase commitment from the prospects. This stage is the important and most difficult because the sale-person must determine when the prospect is ready to buy. The close itself can take several forms. Three persons believe a buyer is about ready to make a purchase.

a) Trial Close

b) Assumptive close and

c) Urgency close.

A trial close involves asking the prospect to make a decision on some aspect of the purchase.

An assumption close entails asking the prospect to make choice concerning delivery warranty of financing terms under the assumption that a sole has been finalized.

An urgency close Is used to commit the prospect quickly by making references to the timeliness of the purchase when a prospect is clearly ready to buy the final close is used and salesperson asks for the order.

6. FOLLOW-UP

The selling process does not end with the closing of sale. Rather contemporary selling requires customer follow-up. The follow-up stage includes making certain that the customer’s purchase has been properly delivered and installed and difficulties experienced with the use of the item are addressed. Attention to this stage of the selling process solidified the buyer-seller relationship. However, today’s satisfies customers become tomorrow’s qualified prospect.

 

2.5. CLASSIFICATION OF INDUSTRIAL SALES PEOPLE

Industrial salespeople are those individuals with a technical orientation whose specific assignment is to sell industrial products to buyers and buying influences in an Industry, government and institutions. Industrial salespeople can be classified into the following groups: –

i. The sales Engineer: – the sales engineer deals on highly technical and complex products that therefore require technical competence to sell.

ii. The executive salesperson: – the executive salesperson sells products and services to business executives of a firm. For example consumer services, computer software programmes etc.

iii. The industrial supplies salesperson: -this group of salesperson sell to manufacturers, those standardized industrial products such as: component parts, processed materials etc.

iv. The inside salesperson: – this salesperson is more or less a phone sales person. He is not required to work in the field as other salesperson do. They simply call their customers through the phone.

v. Missionary salesperson: – the missionary salesperson works with industrial customer and middlemen as a consultant. This person is not directly involved in the physical sale of the product in question, rather he helps the customer with technical assistance, helps the distributor in inventory control etc.

2.6. QUALITIES OF A GOOD SALESPERSON

In order to achieve good sales result in an industrial market, the industrial salesperson must posses the following forms of knowledge:

i. Knowledge of the customers business operation: –

In order to perform effectively in an industrial market, the salesperson must have adequate knowledge of the business operation of the industrial customers.

ii. Knowledge of the product: – the salesperson must have adequate knowledge of the product characteristics he sells. He must be able to explain the product benefits, technical features, how the product can be applied by the customer in his business and the differential advantage of the product over competitors’ offerings.

iii. Knowledge of buying influences: – the salesperson must have adequate knowledge of the buying influences in each customer firm and for each product. Knowledge of the buying influences will enable the salesperson to know who they are and how they can be reached with the communication message about the product.

iv. Knowledge of buying influences as individuals: – it is necessary that the industrial salesperson know what motivates the buying influences in each customer firm. It means that the salesperson should be able to know what interests the buying influences, their individual attitudes, opinions, feelings, preferences and so on.

v. Knowledge of competitors: – the salesperson must be aware of the strength of competition in the industrial market. The salesperson must know who the competitors are, their strengths and weakness, their prices, their services capabilities, their ability to deliver when promised, approaches used by their salespersons etc.

2.7. IMPORTANCE OF PERSONAL SELLING

To note the importance and influence of personal selling in the marketing of industrial goods, Philip Kotler quoted “personal selling is the most cost-effective tool at later stages of the buying process particularly in building up buyers reference conviction and action. The reason is that personal selling, when compared with other marketing promotional tools has distinctive benefits.

1. PERSONAL CONFRONTATION:

Personal selling involves an alive, immediate and interactive relationship between two or more persons. Each party is able to observe the other need and characteristics at close hand and make immediate adjustment.

2 CULTIVATION:

Personal selling permits all kinds of relationship to spring up ranging from a matter-of-fact selling relationship to deep person friendship. Effective sales representative will normally keep their customers best interest at heart if they want to maintain long-run relationship.

3. RESPONSE

Personal selling makes the buyer feel under some obligation for having listened to the sales talk. The buyer has a greater need to attend and responds, even if the response is a police thank you. Personal selling is also used to create a stronger and quicker response; therefore, in the marketing of industrial products, it is the most effective and expensive contract or communication tools of a company.

2.8 SELECTION OF INDUSTRIAL SALES PERSON

The selection of an effective salesperson for industrial products is indeed a very different matter. The act of industrial salesmanship calls for seasoned professionals who possess both technical and sales capabilities in addition to other personal characteristic.

However, the selection of industrial sales person is based on the following criteria: –

i. He must be highly enthusiastic.

ii. He must be a well-organized personality.

iii. He must be ambitious.

2.9 PROBLEMS INVOLVED IN PERSONAL SELLING

Stanton states that the major limitation of personal selling is its high cost. It is true that the use of sales force enables a business to reach its market with minimum of wasted efforts. However, the cost of development and operating a sales force is high, moreover personal selling is often limited by a company’s ability to get the caliber of people needed to do the job.

However, to acknowledge the vital role of industrial product. It is been observed that a particular problem that hassets an innovation industry in marketing of industrial product is the estimation of the price that a user is likely to be willing to pay for sometimes how he wants the new products.

Robin in his own contribution says that personal selling is a problem to be noticed in the marketing of industrial products. This problem he said is that personal selling tends to dwell on only 20% of the customer and generate 80% of company profit, where 80% of the customers generate 20% of the company profit.

5.0. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION.

In this chapter we shall look at the summary of findings, conclusions and recommendations. This study was aimed at finding the influence of personal selling in the marketing of industrial products. This study among other things was carried out to examine whether or not personal selling improves the image and probability of an industrial company’s product.

5.1. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS.

In the course of this study various data were generated and presented in chapter four, from the data presentation and analysis it was discovered the following:

i. That personal selling effort helps to influence sales volume and relatively increase the probability of the company. Table 4.8 confirms this.

ii. That the organization offers special training programme to their sales representatives in bid to improving their technical skills.

iii. Finally, that the organization operates a customer complaint department, which helps to threat the complaint of the customers which may result from their transactions with the company’s sales representatives.

5.2. CONCLUSION

Personal selling essentially consists of helping the customer appreciate the usefulness of a product to the point where his desires for it become great enough to induce him to buy. This makes personal selling a very important function in marketing which can never be over emphasized.

The Best Aluminum Company limited has recorded an increase in sales volume and net profit through the use of personal selling. The industrial customers had also benefited from personal selling by ways of enhancing on the spot decision making and easy identification of quality products and type to be purchased.

5.3 RECOMMENDATION

From the oral interviews and findings in this research study, the researcher would therefore present the following recommendations, which might help and improve the ability of personal selling effort in Best Aluminum Company Limited Onitsha.

I. The sales representatives should be given adequate training by external training and development consultant so as to properly build their technical know how.

II. The company should see that sales representatives are well remunerated as this will help to improve their sincere transaction with the company’s customers.

III. Finally, the management should endeavour to increase the number of sales representatives in their marketing department, for this will bring competition among sales personal and this will result to the development of new skill and practice by sales personnel which in turn will improve company’s sales volume, for goods well presented are half sold.

5.4 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

The following limitations are inherent in the study.

I. Time factor-this is one of the limitations because the time given for this study is not adequate for the project of this nature which requires careful analysis and recommendation.

II. Finance- this is another limitation to this study. The research project is funded entirely from the researchers limited resources. A lot of financial hardship is encountered in this regard.

III. High cost of printing materials was another factors that limit the scope of the study. Despite all these limitations or constraints this research work is still valid.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Anyanwu A (2000) Research Methodology in Business and Social Sciences, Owerri, Canum Publisher.

Anyanwu (1993) Dimension of Marketing

Okigwe,Nigeria. Avan global publication.

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Mix. Concept and application to Consumption related decision.CEEKAY Business Center 99-zik-avenue Enugu.

A.k.Arowole&M.A.Adeyemi (2004) Compendium of marketing

Terminologies. Revised Edition.

Baridam D.M (1990). Research Method Administrative. Port- Harcourt, Belk publishers.

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Assent communication, Enugu publisher.

Cunditt Et Al (1983) Fundamental of marketing

LondonOxford university press.

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ORGANIZATION STAFF AND MANAGEMENT QUESTIONNAIRE

SECTION B.

1. Does your company buy other industrial material?

(a) Yes (b) No

2. For what purpose do they buy?

(a) For further production (b) for operational uses (c) for reserving

3. Does your company make use of personal selling?

(a) Yes (b) No (c) Sometimes

4. What do yo0u think makes your company to use personal selling?

(a) To make direct contact with prospective buyers

(b) To improve the sales volume of the organization

(c) To enhance positive relationship with buyers

(d) To help explain the technical complexities

(e) Others

5. Does your organization offer special training programmes for their sales representative

(a) Yes (b) No

6. If yes what kind of training does your company give to their sales representatives?

(a). On –the-job training (b). Off – the – job training

©. Both

7. What percentage sales volume increase does your company gain through sales representatives?

(a) 5%-10% (b) 10%-20% (c) 20%-30%

(d) Above

8. Does your company give out incentives to motivate your sales representatives?

(a) Yes (b) No (c) sometimes

9. If yes what kind of motivation?

(a) Financial success (b) Recognition

(c) Group approval (d) others

10. Does the attitude of your sales representatives build the image of the company?

(a) Yes (b) No

11. If yes how does your company gets to know?

(a) Through customer complaint department

(b) Through other sales representatives

(c) Through the company’s research and development department

(d) Others

Personal Selling – Influence On The Marketing Of Industrial Products: A Case Study Of Best Alluminium Company Limited Onitsha Anambra State

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To place an order for the Complete Project Material, pay N5,000 to

GTBank (Guaranty Trust Bank)
Account Name – Chudi-Oji Chukwuka
Account No – 0044157183

Then text the name of the Project topic, email address and your names to 08060565721.  

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