Personal Selling vs Direct Marketing
Direct marketing and personal selling are two selling techniques that are very similar to each other as both involve making a direct contact with the end consumer rather than relying on the traditional mode of letting products or services sell off the shelves in shops and stores. However, there are differences in these two techniques that pertain to the approach of selling with one emphasizing the role of the salesman while the other focusing more on closing the sale. Let us take a closer look and find out more differences between personal selling and direct marketing.
What is Personal Selling?
Personal selling, as the name implies, is one technique where the seller seeks to develop relationships with customers and makes use of communication and negotiation skills to close the sale of a product or service that is complex and cannot sell on its own off the shelves in a market place.
Personal selling requires oral presentation on the part of the salesman in a bid to close out a sale. At first, the dialogue between the salesman and the prospective client seems like an attempt to make the person aware of a product, but the end of the process usually takes the shape of a deliberate attempt to somehow make the sale of the product.
Being one of the oldest forms of selling, personal selling can make use of either push or pull strategies in a bid to close out a sale.
What is Direct Marketing?
Have you ever received an invitation from a telemarketer on behalf of a company or a business to have a lunch or dinner to listen to some exciting schemes? If yes, you have experienced a kind of selling that is the backbone of many businesses and is known as direct marketing. This involves removal of middlemen from the sale process and addressing the target customers directly. Business of all sorts engage in direct marketing, and if you thought that only small and unknown companies employed this strategy, to achieve higher sales, forget it as even some companies in Fortune 500 make use of direct marketing for selling their products and services.
The methods employed to reach out to target customers are calling through mobiles, sending SMS, emailing, sending out invites through magazines and newspapers to attend a seminar or a conference, etc. Telemarketing is perhaps the most common form of direct marketing, and most effective too, though many people find it too aggressive and even offensive at times as it invades their privacy without any prior information. Direct marketing is mostly based upon call to action by alluring the customer with an incentive or an offer that sounds irresistible.
What is the difference between Personal Selling and Direct Marketing?
• Personal selling is more for products and services that are complex in nature and cannot sell off the shelves on their own such as financial products.
• Direct marketing is a selling technique that involves making direct contact with the intended customer through phone calls, emails, offers through newspapers and magazines etc.
• Direct marketing is more aggressive than personal selling that appears like an attempt to arm the client with important information at first.
• There is an emphasis on building up a relationship with the customer in personal selling whereas direct marketing seeks to impress upon the benefits of the offer.
• Personal selling is the oldest form of selling while direct marketing is being used increasingly by small and big companies to increase their sales.