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What is Personal Selling and Why is it Important?

Discover personal selling, why it’s important, and how it can help your business increase sales.

Customers like to do business with people they know, like, and trust, which is why personal selling is such an important technique in sales and business.

Personal selling is a marketing technique that involves direct, face-to-face interaction with potential customers. Not only does this technique build relationships, but it also improves customer satisfaction, builds trust, and helps build brand awareness.

Personal selling involves person-to-person communication, which requires interpersonal skills and expertise to persuade leads to buy products and services.

There are many different types of personal selling, including retail sales, business-to-business sales, and telemarketing. Personal selling is especially effective with high-end products like cars and homes but is just effective with smaller purchases, especially for repeat sales and sales referrals.

Having a personal selling strategy is important for many reasons. Continue reading to learn more about the personal selling process and how it can benefit your customer relationships.

What is personal selling?

Personal selling is a type of marketing strategy that involves one-on-one interaction with prospective customers to sell a product or service.

While personal selling is a part of marketing, there are several key differences between the two. Personal selling and marketing are both important components of building a brand strategy, but they differ in their approach and objectives.

Marketing entails a broader set of activities that are designed to create awareness of a company's products or services, generate interest among potential customers, and ultimately lead to sales. Marketing can involve a wide range of tactics, including advertising, public relations, content marketing, email campaigns, social media, and more.

Personal selling is a technique that involves face-to-face selling between a sales rep and a prospective customer. With personal selling, sales representatives try to persuade a potential customer to purchase your product or service. This technique helps to build relationships with customers and ensure customer satisfaction.

Types of personal selling

There are several types of personal selling, each with its own features and objectives. Here are some of the most common types:

  • Retail sales: This is the most common type of personal selling. It involves experienced salespeople selling products directly to consumers in retail stores or online. The salesperson is responsible for explaining the features and benefits of the product, answering any questions the customer may have, and closing the sale. Examples of retail sales include a salesperson at a clothing store, electronics store, or car dealership.
  • Business-to-business (B2B) sales: B2B sales involve selling products or services to other businesses. The salesperson may need to work with a team to understand the needs of the business and to tailor their sales pitch to meet those needs. Examples of B2B sales include a salesperson selling office equipment to a company or a sales representative selling industrial machinery to a manufacturer.
  • Telemarketing: Telemarketing involves sales reps making sales calls to potential customers over the phone. The salesperson is responsible for making a persuasive sales pitch and overcoming any objections the customer may have. Examples of telemarketing include a salesperson calling customers to sell them credit cards, insurance policies, or subscriptions to a service.
  • Direct selling: Direct selling involves salespeople selling products or services directly to consumers in their homes. The salesperson typically demonstrates the product, explains its features and benefits, and helps the customer place an order. Examples of direct selling include a salesperson selling cosmetics, kitchenware, or cleaning products to customers in their homes.
  • Consultative selling: Consultative selling involves salespeople acting as consultants to their customers, helping them to identify their needs and offering solutions to meet those needs. The salesperson may need to conduct a needs analysis, provide product demonstrations, and offer customized solutions to the customer. Examples of consultative selling include a salesperson selling software solutions to a business or a financial advisor helping a client plan for retirement.

Why is personal selling important?

Personal selling is important because it involves direct communication between a salesperson and a prospective customer, with the aim of persuading them to purchase a product or service or increase revenue through personalization.

Personal selling typically happens with face-to-face meetings, but it can also be conducted via phone, video conferencing, or other communication channels.

The focus of personal selling is on building relationships with customers and tailoring the sales approach to their specific needs and preferences.
Examples of personal selling might include a car salesperson meeting with a potential customer to show them different car models and features, a real estate agent giving a tour of a property to a prospective buyer, or a financial advisor meeting with a client to discuss investment options. Personal selling can also help you build a personal brand strategy.

The focus of marketing is on reaching as many people as possible and generating interest and demand for a product or service, which you can do by using personal selling techniques.

Personal selling process

The personal selling process typically includes several steps, each designed to move the potential customer closer to making a purchase. Understanding these personal selling techniques is crucial so you can optimize the selling process.

By following these steps, salespeople can effectively move prospects through the customer journey and increase their chances of making a successful sale.


So, What is the first step in the personal selling process?

The first step in the personal selling process is prospecting. This involves identifying potential customers who may be interested in the product or service being sold. Prospecting can be done through various means, such as referrals, cold calling, networking events, or social media.


Once potential customers have been identified, the salesperson needs to do some research and preparation before making contact.

This involves gathering information about the customer, such as their needs, preferences, and buying habits, as well as information about the product or service being sold.

The salesperson may also prepare a sales presentation or demonstration to use during the approach stage.


The approach stage is where the salesperson makes initial contact with the potential customer. The goal is to make a good first impression and establish rapport with the customer. The salesperson may use various techniques, such as a warm greeting, a compliment, or an opening question to engage the customer and start a conversation.


Once the salesperson has established a rapport with the customer, they will move on to the presentation stage. This involves showcasing the product or service being sold and explaining its features, benefits, and value proposition.

The salesperson may use various presentation techniques, such as product demonstrations, testimonials, or case studies, to illustrate the product's benefits and persuade the customer to make a purchase.

Overcoming objections

During the presentation, the potential customer may raise objections or concerns about the product or service being sold. The salesperson needs to be prepared to address these objections and provide satisfactory answers that alleviate the customer's concerns.

This may involve providing additional information, offering solutions, or addressing any misconceptions the customer may have.


The final stage in the personal selling process is closing the sale. This involves asking for the customer's business and finalizing the transaction. By the closing stage, you should have formed a personal connection with the customer.

The salesperson may use various closing techniques, such as offering a discount, creating a sense of urgency, or emphasizing the benefits of the product or service, to encourage the customer to make a purchase.

After the sale, following up with the customer to get feedback after the purchase is key to strengthening the personal relationship and nurturing future sales.

It's important to note that not every sales conversation will lead to a sale, but by understanding the personal selling process, salespeople can increase their chances of success, build stronger customer relationships, and improve the customer experience.

Advantages and disadvantages of personal selling

Personal selling advantages and disadvantages may come into play when deciding to use this concept for your business. It can be a very effective component of a well-designed marketing strategy, so knowing the pros and cons is essential.


  • Customization: With personal selling, you have the power of personalization at your side. For example, a salesperson selling office equipment to a business can identify the specific needs of the business and provide customized solutions that meet those needs.
  • Relationship-building: A financial advisor who engages in personal selling can build a strong relationship with clients by providing personalized financial advice, answering questions, and demonstrating a genuine interest in the client's financial well-being. This can lead to long-term business relationships and referrals.
  • Immediate feedback: A salesperson who is selling a new product can observe the customer's reactions and adjust their sales pitch accordingly. For example, if the customer seems hesitant about the price, the salesperson can explain the value of the product and offer additional information to address the customer's concerns.


  • High cost: Personal selling strategies can be expensive. For instance, a company that employs a sales team to sell industrial machinery to other businesses may incur significant costs associated with travel, equipment, and salaries. This can be particularly true if the sales cycle is long and requires multiple visits.
  • Limited reach: With personal selling, you may not reach as many people as you would with other marketing techniques. For example, a salesperson selling cosmetics to customers in their homes can only reach a limited number of customers at a time. This can make it difficult to generate significant sales or reach a wider audience.
  • Inconsistent quality: A company that relies on untrained or inexperienced salespeople to sell its products may encounter issues with quality and effectiveness. This can result in missed sales opportunities and negative customer experiences. For example, if a salesperson is not knowledgeable about a product, they may not be able to answer customer questions or provide effective solutions.

Humanize your sales process with personal selling

You can improve your customer experience by adding personal selling to a well-thought-out marketing strategy. But to get started with personal selling for your business, you need to have the right tools and resources, which you can get with Mailchimp.

Mailchimp has all the tools and resources you need to seamlessly strengthen your business, build your brand, and humanize your sales process. Contact us today to get started.

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