Personal Selling: Case Analysis Apparently, Alliance Adhesives & Plastics Inc. have benefited significantly as a result ofthe change in its marketing strategy from geographic-based territory system to a personal selling system. Benefits attributable to the new marketing strategy are observable in form of enhanced customer retention coupled with increased account penetration. In this context, the personal selling approach adopted by the company seems to bring the sales team closer to the customer. Unfortunately, the personal selling approach has failed to improve customer satisfaction levels. Primarily, the low customer satisfaction levels are attributable to weaknesses demonstrated by members of the sales force.
Despite being knowledgeable about the products they sell, members of the sales force are still arrogant and self-centered. In this case, the personality weaknesses of arrogance and self-centeredness among the sales persons are the major problems facing the company’s new marketing strategy. Therefore, the 97 member sales force should receive supplementary training on professional personality attributes. Apparently, members of the company’s sales force lack in empathy when dealing with customers. In personal selling, customers are considerably pleased by a sales person’s proficiency with a product or a service.
More so, customers are exceedingly pleased whenever sales persons express empathy in their persuasive interactions. In essence, empathy is the ability to objectively understand a customer’s needs and feelings, and respond to the customer’s concerns in a loyal and respectful manner (Dubinsky and Ralph 29). In personal selling, it is important to accurately read a customer’s emotions, and strive to show empathy towards the emotions as a means of building customer loyalty. Unfortunately, sales persons for the Alliance Adhesives & Plastics Inc.
prioritize the display superiority and pride when dealing with customers. Rather than closely observing customers’ behaviors and feelings, the company’s sales persons persuade the buyers with an insulting attitude. In this case, lack of empathy is the main reason for the low customer satisfaction levels experienced by the company’s marketing department. At this juncture, it is acknowledgeable that personal selling is not just the mere act of persuading a customer to make a purchase. Rather, personal selling is a promotional strategy which entails the use of interpersonal skills and persuasive techniques in creating sustainable relationships with customers.
Currently, the Alliance Adhesives & Plastics Inc. has a high level of customer retention. Soon, the increasing cases of low customer satisfaction may lead to customer turnover, thus compromising on the retention aspect. As a means of facilitating improvement in customer satisfaction, the company’s sales persons should be armed with a set of professional personality attributes, especially the personality attribute of empathy (Dubinsky and Ralph 34). In sales interactions, empathetic sales persons not only understand a customer’s feelings and behavior, but also establish tight rapport with customers by providing customized solutions to an underlying sales problem.
Therefore, sales persons should receive either professional coaching or academic training on interpersonal skills, especially on the ability to express empathy and to objectively recognize verbal and non-verbal behavioral cues when dealing with customers. In conventional marketing contexts, there is a saying that satisfied customers inform five potential customers while dissatisfied customers inform fifty potential customers. Technically, a disgruntled customer is a threat to a company’s marketing prospects. A disgruntled customers will broadcast the dissatisfaction to a multitude of potential customers, thus compromising on a company’s marketing advantages (Dubinsky and Ralph 41).
Primarily, it is necessary to enhance customer satisfaction in order to avoid negative reputation caused by the disgruntled ones. Therefore, the benefits of excellent interpersonal skills, especially empathy in establishing rapport with customers cannot be overemphasized. Work Cited Dubinsky, Alan and Ralph, Anderson. Personal Selling: Achieving Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty. Pittsburg: Houghton Mifflin, 2004. Print.