Those who would engage in personal selling for the first time tend to equate their ability to sell the product as a function of its price. That is why in most of the sales training activities that I have participated or conducted I have noticed that the participants tend to look at the details of the product, its price and compare it with the prices of its direct competitors. Most of the questions being asked by the participants is how could they openly compete against a product that is priced much lower than the one they are being trained to sell.
First time sellers must realize that the product could not be sold by itself since there are similar products out there of the same quality but with varying degrees of pricing. Those who are successful in the field of selling would tell you that they are not actually selling the product itself to their clients but the value that is to be derived from the use of the products. It is the sellers job to create the value for the product that they are selling to their customers. If given a wide array of products to sell, the sellers must first determine the specific target market that he would like to cater to then create a specific value of the product in relation to the needs of that target market.
Probably the best example that I can cite is the selling of life insurance policies. I derive my training in sales from the first job that I applied for which is selling life insurance policies for Philamlife. I have to admit that I had never been a successful life insurance agent since even up today I still believe that it is one of the most morbid products that one can engage in selling. In order for your client to enjoy the product that you are selling they must either pass away or something bad must happen to them. All you give them is a piece of paper with a promise that for the sum that your client has agreed to pay the company they would get a corresponding financial protection if anything bad happens to them (either death or serious injuries). Despite of this conditions the product still sells and Philamlife charges one of the highest insurance premium rates in the Philippines. Yes they do sell because emphasis is given during the sales training stage that their insurance agents should not focus on the mechanics of the life insurance program but on the specific benefits that is to be derived from purchasing the said program. Lines like “Life is full of uncertainties, are you sure that your loved ones are well protected financially if something happens to you?” or “Spare the your grieving family all the troubles, let us do it for them.”
A few years ago it was unattractive for the Filipinos to use a motorcycle for work or just to merely go around town. People find it very inconvenient to use since you are exposed to the elements and the dangers that it posed riding in two wheels. Most Filipinos prefer to purchase cars or the service jeeps. Motorcycle sales back then was mainly concentrated on those that would be used for tricycles, commercial uses like messengerial services or mainly to motorcycle enthusiast. Fast forward a few years today, you would notice that SM Southmall has allotted their whole parking lot on the right side of their mall only to be used by motorcycle riders. The manufacturers and sellers of motorcycle used the increasing gas prices and never ending traffic to create value for their products and the Filipino people is responding quite positively.
There are a number of stories that we could cite like the Avon method of selling wherein they arm only their resellers with a product catalog and not the actual product itself. The holding of Tupperware parties which provides potential buyers with an idea on the specific use of each product line. Success in personal selling or what ever business activities that one can engage in depends in relating the value of the product in relation to the needs of the target clients.