Types of Salespersons
Order takers are not expected to persuade customers to buy the company’s products or increase their quantity of purchase. They are supposed to book customer orders and pass on the information to relevant people in the company. They are expected to be accurate. They are also expected to·have information about when the order that has been booked will be delivered to customers.
Customers will often enquire about the delivery date from them and they should have answers. Order takers are also being prompted to at least prod customers to buy certain other products of the company besides the ones that they are already are buying or increase their quantities of purchase.
Inside Order Takers
Retail sales assistants are typical inside order takers. The customer has full freedom to choose products without the presence or influence of a salesperson. The salesperson’s task is transactional. He receives payments and passes over the goods to the customers.
Delivery salespeople are primarily concerned with delivering the product. There is little attempt to persuade customers to increase the order. Changes in order size are customer driven. Though delivery salespeople do not try to influence demand, winning and losing an order is heavily dependent on reliability of delivery.
Outside Order Takers
Salespersons visits the customer, but they primarily respond to customer requests rather than actively seek to persuade them. They are being replaced by the more cost-efficient telemarketing teams who call customers and book their orders.
The prime objective of order getters is to convince customers to buy the company’s products. At some stage in the order-getting process the salesperson should understand customer requirements and convince him that his company’s products serve his requirements best. Some salespersons get too excited about persuading the customers to buy the company’s products.
Customers feel embarrassed and angry when a salesperson becomes very insistent though the customer has made it clear that he does not want the product. A salesperson should avoid such situations and should gracefully back off when the customer does not seem interested in the product. If salespersons do not take this precaution, the tribe of salespersons would be collectively shunned by customers.
In some industries/ notably pharmaceuticals and building industry, the sales task is not to close the sale but to persuade the customer to specify the seller’s products. Medical representatives calling on doctors cannot make a direct sale since the doctor does not buy drugs but prescribes them for patients. Architects also act as specifiers rather than buyers. In these situations, the selling task is to educate and build goodwill for the company.
Order getters are in typical selling jobs where the major objective is to persuade the customer to make a direct purchase. These are frontline sales people who are supported by technical support sales people and merchandisers
- New Business Salespeople: The selling tasks are to win new businesses by identifying and selling to prospects. These salespersons should maintain good relations with current customers who can provide them leads. They should also be prepared to make a lot of cold calls and visits.
- Organizational Salespeople: They maintain close long-term·relationships with organizational customers. These salespersons should be very sensitive to customers’ problems on a day-to-day basis. They have to act as mediators between the customer and the functional departments of their own company. The selling job may involve team selling where sales people are supported by product and financial specialists.
- Consumer Salespeople: They sell products and services such as cars, insurance to individual customers. These salespeople have to be sensitive to customers’ time and they should not be insistent even when customers have declined to buy. Sensing that a customer does not the want the product is as important as sensing that he may want the company’s product. A consumer salesperson should be always wary of putting off the customers by being too persistent. Exemplary behavior is imperative for consumer salespersons.
- Technical Support Sales People: Where a product is highly technical and the negotiations are complex, a salesperson may be supported by product and financial specialists who can provide the detailed technical and financial information required by customers. This may be on-going as part of a key account team or as temporary basis with the specialist being called into the selling situation whenever required.
- Merchandisers: They provide sales support in retail and wholesaling selling. Sales to individual outlets are supported by merchandisers who give advice on display, implement sales promotions, check stock levels, and maintain contact with store managers.