personal selling vs. field service

by teejay 6 Replies latest jw friends

  • teejay

    i'm taking a class in marketing. one of the last chapters in
    the textbook discusses personal selling. reading through it,
    i couldn't help but notice strong similarities with an activity
    we all used to engage in, especially on Saturday mornings.

    read these excerpts and see if you see what i mean...

    Salespeople create value of both their employers and their
    customers. They create value for their employers by collecting
    information on customer needs, wants, and problems sot that the
    company can create better products. They also find new customers,
    service accounts, handle transactions, and increase sales and

    Personal selling can be an organization's largest operating expense
    and is the largest marketing expense. Because the average cost of a
    business-to business, face-to-face sales call is over $300,
    salespeople must get results. Many organizations have recognized
    the value of personal selling. Most businesses have sales forces and
    even professional services have learned selling skills.

    When people think of personal selling, the activities that most often
    come to mind are those involved in order getting. Order getting is
    developing business by seeking out potential customers, providing
    them with necessary information about products, and persuading
    them to buy.

    Order taking is the routine completion of transactions after
    customers have already decided to buy. Order takers must be able
    to answer questions, make price or payment adjustments, handle
    complaints, and inform customers of changes in products or
    supporting services. Well-trained order takers alert their companies
    to possible new business. Order takers can also be order getters.

    Good order getters fully understand the products they are selling,
    how to find their customers' needs, and how to solve customers'
    problems. Winning over buyers requires selling skills. According to
    one survey, buyers are reluctant to switch suppliers even when there
    are good reasons to change. Overcoming the challenge requires
    salespeople to convince buyers that they offer superior value.

    Support salespeople help order getters and order takers in a variety
    of ways but do not conduct actual sales transactions with the
    organization's customers. There are two main types of support sales
    people: missionary salespeople and technical specialists.
    Missionary salespeople perform promotional activities. They
    perform tasks that help stimulate greater demand for the product.
    (isn't that one of the CO's main activities -- encourage more field

    Many firms practice relationship selling in which salespeople
    develop long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with
    customers. Customers often value more involved relationships than
    order taking. They want to collaborate with trusted salespeople who
    offer in-depth counseling on purchasing decisions, help find
    imaginative solutions to problems, support them within the
    salespeople's companies, and have high ethical standards.

    The process for selling involves seven steps:
    1. prospect for customers (field service)
    2. prepare for sales calls (the Ministry School/Service Mtg)
    3. approach qualified prospects (field service)
    4. make sales presentations (presentations)
    5. handle objections ("conversation stoppers")
    6. close sales (make the "placement)
    7. build long-term relationships ("return visits")

    Personal selling begins with prospecting, or identifying potential
    customers. Salespeople must locate individuals that could be buyers
    for their products.

    These buyers can be put into three categories: Leads (individuals
    that are potential customers), Prospects (individuals that have an
    interest in the product), and Qualified prospects (individuals that
    are willing to buy, can afford to buy, and have the authority to
    purchase the product). Obviously, the last category includes the
    best bets for salespeople, but they are the hardest to identify.
    Salespeople often start out with a long list of leads, narrow it down
    to prospects, and narrow it further to fewer qualified prospects.

    Preparation means the salespeople find out more about their
    qualified prospect and, if necessary, make certain they know the
    benefits of their product. Once preparations are made, they plan an
    approach or initial contact to the qualified prospect. The goals of
    the approach are to learn more about the customer's needs, gain
    attention, and stimulate interest. The most foolproof way to get
    prospects' attention and interest is to have a potential solution for
    their problems.

    During the approach, salespeople ask questions and gather
    information from the potential customer. Some salespeople
    establish rapport in a friendly manner, use a pleasant voice, and
    offer an opportunity to chat before getting down to business.

    The sales presentation communicates information to customers,
    with the goal of stimulating further interest. The traditional
    approach is for salespeople to describe and demonstrate specific
    product attributes and to explain how they can benefit the prospect.
    In addition, value-oriented selling requires that communication flow
    in both directions. Salespeople often begin a presentation with
    open-ended questions that help uncover information about
    prospects' wants and needs. Salespeople can help build long-term
    relationships, rather than merely completing a single sale, by
    identifying not only how a particular product can help, but also how
    the organization could work with its clients.

    In a stimulus-response presentation, salespeople try to offer the
    appropriate information (stimulus) at the right time to get the
    customer to buy (response). One form of stimulus-response
    presentation is suggestive selling, in which salespeople ask
    customers if they would like particular information.

    The formula selling presentation is somewhat more rigid, based on
    the idea that product information must be provided in a thorough,
    lockstep format. Although the sales information is conveyed
    sequentially, good salespeople are flexible enough to answer
    questions or stop during the presentation to explain product features
    that customers don't understand. An important feature of this type
    of presentation is that it reduces the risk of omitting important

    The need-satisfaction presentation emphasizes asking questions
    and listening to customers' answers in order to nail down their
    needs and desires. Once salespeople have identified these, they
    present the benefits of their products or organizations and how
    these can satisfy needs and solve problems.

    In the sales situation, objections are prospects' reasons for not
    making purchases. Objections are based on costs, benefits, or both.
    They also may occur because prospects do not see a need or want
    for products.

    Skilled salespeople know when objections are valid and show
    respect for prospects' wishes by backing off; perhaps that prospect
    will become a customer in the future. But the same salespeople also
    recognize when objections become an opportunity to further
    showcase the product's benefits. For instance, if prospects compare
    the salesperson's products unfavorably with the competition,
    salespeople can show ways in which they are better suited to the
    prospects' needs. Salespeople can explain how a weakness in a
    product is outweighed by other strengths.

    In relationship marketing, the closing is not the end of a sale.
    Instead, value-driven salespeople continue building long-term
    relationships with customers. Relationship-building activities,
    including follow-up sales calls, are geared toward making sure
    customers are satisfied with their purchases. Effective follow-up
    contributes to a customer's evaluation that an exchange (purchase)
    was beneficial and delivered value. Customers who make such
    evaluations about an exchange are more likely to become repeat

    from Marketing - Creating Value for Customers
    by Gilbert A. Churchill, Jr. and J.Paul Peter


    weird, huh?


  • stephenw20

    Weird my ass you should ask a GB member to tutor the damn class

    how many BILLION dollar nonprofit corps do ya know?

  • teejay


    how many BILLION dollar nonprofit corps do ya know?

    HA! good point.

    todd, who knew that he wouldn't be a "newbie" forever... now i can run
    the mikes!

  • Flowerpetal

    Teejay, I enjoyed your post.

    How about this theory I have? We all know Judge Rutherford was an attorney. I believe it was he who started this turning in or reporting time thingy as far as preaching.

    Well after watching many reruns of L.A. Law and the main concern of one of the partners, Douglas Brackman, was billable hours so the firm could continue to make money. He was always on the other lawyers to bill the hours they spent with their clients.

    Now take that idea and apply it to JWs going out in service, talking to people and reporting the time they spent. Another form of billable hours, you tink mebbee?

  • patio34

    Sorry I'm responding so late to this thread! Been busy!

    What really annoyed me a few years back was when the 'Kingdom Ministry' suggested that we ask any return visits if they knew of any one who would also appreciate us calling on them. That seemed like such a blatant sales tactic!


  • Julie

    Greetings to all,

    Since many here do not know me (I am part of the h2o exodus) you probably don't know that I was actually never a JW but I studied with them a long time. Long enough to have been totally shocked when I found out the truth about the WT.

    While I studied with them there were things that seemed not quite right. One of those things was exactly what you speak of here. I used to train staff in selling skills and I noticed all of these techniques in the "studies".

    One upside for all ex-Jws is that they/you have been trained in selling and could apply those skills to any product. I have seen some mighty lucrative sales careers. Too bad many leave and don't realize they have these valuable, marketable (and much in demand) skills.

    Just my two cents worth,

  • teejay


    Judge Rutherford was an attorney… after watching many reruns of L.A. Law and the main concern of one of Douglas Brackman, was billable hours… Now take that idea and apply it to JWs going out in service, talking to people and reporting the time they spent. Another form of billable hours, you tink mebbee?

    I 'spose it's possible, but since the time spent in service isn't really a cost of
    the org., the analogy doesn't quite hold up. IMHO, the WT corp (like most
    other corporations) uses numbers as a motivational tool, a means to quantify
    what a person is or isn't doing. With it they are able to discern who is
    'strong' or 'weak,' which young men in its group is 'reaching out' and
    which aren't. Those interested in special merits of distinction and stand out
    among their peers can become auxiliary, regular, and special pioneers. In a
    round-about way it is a measure of how duped, how much of a believer, an
    individual member is, and how 'ready' they are for further 'training.'



    One upside for all ex-Jws is that they/you have been trained in selling and could apply those skills to any product. I have seen some mighty lucrative sales careers. Too bad many leave and don't realize they have these valuable, marketable (and much in demand) skills.

    true, that. One of the keys to being a successful salesperson is that one must
    have a belief in what they are selling. I know that's not an absolute
    necessity, but it goes a long way toward success. And therein lies a major
    problem, at least for me, with the sales profession. The catch, as I see it, is
    that I doubt that I will ever find ANYTHING that I believe in like I
    believed in the Society's product. Reading over the textbook, I found that I
    employed most of the best sales techniques: I cared about people and I
    believed in what I was selling. I was a believer. I was tailor-made for a cult

    "Start the day off with a smile,
    and get it over with."
    _____________ --- W.C. Fields

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