1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY Marketing has been defined differently by different scholors, researcher. These definition are according to the researcher background and series of researcher made by them. Marketing is also defined as the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organisational goals (AMA, American Marketing Association). A critical look at the above definitions show that marketing like other disciplines has a traditional domain, the boundaries of which should be respected. It is a social process because is not one way action, but is an interaction. And also, it has the exchange process and the transaction that make up the process as its focus. Personal selling is part of the promotional mix, and the role which it plays in a firm can easily be seen from its importance. Personal selling is essentially the revenue generation of industrial producers. Personal selling is an aspect of salesmanship, in which there is a direct face to face interaction between a seller and the buyer to effect exchange of facts for making buying decision. It is through sales representatives that firms know the needs and wants of buyers in order to know what to produce. But it is not enough to produce goods and service that satisfy human wants but also the goods and services must be passed to the user for production to complete. This is where the personal selling strategies come in. The salesperson has to communicate to the buyer by persuading and creating awareness for the product to be desired. The product so advertised has all the potential to satisfy the need of the prospect more than competitive product in the market through personal selling than other types of awareness creation for a product, like advertising, public relation, sales promotion e.t.c. This is because, personal selling is a face-to-face communication, which has the potential to convince the buyer and demonstrate the workability of the product in terms of its quality and features. Advertising, sales promotion and publicity is a fertile ground for personal selling to excel by persuading and informing the target buyer about the product the company is offering Nnedu (1998). Companies that deals on industrial products need salesmen to help them analyse the needs of customers. Personal selling enables marketers to make their presentation to fit the needs, wants, motives and behaviour of individual customer. Personal selling is an effective tool used by organisations to receive the desired response from its customers and prospects. Effective personal selling includes effective communication, education of customers on product usage, problem solving stimulating and motivating and ultimately soliciting for favourable response. For any firm that produces industrial products to succeed in its competitive environment, it must adopt personal selling as its number one promotional tool. The selling of industrial products through personal selling enable the salesperson to convince the potential customer through face-to-face interaction and ensure that the potential customer like the company’s products and preference to other competiting products and parts with his her money for the product. The purpose of this study is to seek how personal selling is effective in the sales of industrial products in selected firms in Asaba. The companies to be use for this study are Asaba Aluminum Company and Jemork water Asaba.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM Despite the advantages of personal selling is has certain short – comings to which the researcher wishes to identify as it affects the companies. Personal selling as a promotional tool is being adopted in almost all organisations as most organisation are aware of the crucial roles it can play in increasing their sales volume and profitability but the fact can be said that some organisations are still ignorant of the actual practices of personal selling. Personal selling is the most expensive element of promotion consuming travelling, salaries, commission, out of station allowance and other expenses. Personal selling has been made defective as a result of the failure on the part of money manufacturers to adequately motivation trends to gear up the salesmen and prepare them to push ahead for expected result where there is no motivation; salespeople may not put in their best. There is usually acute scarcity of experienced sales people. Another short coming is the problem of inefficiency in communication during selling process. This is a serious problem that worth consideration, because the ability of an organisation to communicate effectively to its public’s will determine the success of its marketing operation. In addition, selling is not given due recognition and position of authority in many companies. It is perceived as lesser business images and persuading other people. This is a big problem as use of incompetent salesmen can cause low sales and there by ruin the company. Therefore, this project will attempts to provide solutions to the mentioned problems. 1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY The objective of this study is to examine the impact, benefits and problem of personal selling strategies of industrial products of Asaba Aluminum Company and Jemok Water Asaba. The specific purposes are as follows:
To determine the effectiveness of personal selling strategies in the marketing of industrial products.
To evaluate an insight into the use of personal selling on the sale of industrial products.
To assess the condition for training industrial salesmen.
To examine the level of the motivation given by industrial producers in Asaba metropolis.