The study evaluated the impact of personal selling on sales volume. The research survey design was adopted in the study while simple random sampling technique was used to select a sample size of 100 staff of the organization that participated in the study. Data used for the study was collected from both primary and secondary sources. The primary data was gathered from respondents through the use of questionnaire, interview and observation, while, secondary data was collected from journals, internet materials and textbooks. Four hypotheses were tested using the Chi-square statistical tool and the results revealed that there is a significant relationship between personal selling and sales volume at Significant level of 0.05; and df=12. Finding from the study revealed clearly that personal selling is more persuasive among the marketing communication mix element. It aims at consolidating customers and maintaining the buyer-seller exchange relationship. Personal selling as a business strategy, helps representatives of a company to explain to their clients/customers how well the products/services can satisfy their needs. Therefore, Organizations should focus more on the customer by adopting personal selling as a marketing strategy.
1.1 Background of the study
The hallmark of every business is to identify, anticipate and satisfy customers need, maximize profit, possess competitive advantage and remain relevant in the marketplace. This can only be achieved through the adoption of personal selling as a promotion mix strategy. Personal selling plays a vital role in creating direct contacts and interactions between customers and sellers/producers as well as enhances productivity of business.
According to Ebitu, (2002), personal selling is a common feature of most companies in marketing their product and services. Goods that are new, technically complex or expensive require more of personal selling than any form of promotion mix. Personal selling is an effective tool at certain stage of the buying process, particularly in building up buyer preferences, conviction and actions (Kotler 2006).
Personal selling involves the use of speech and conversation by sale person to bring about some conviction on the part of the buyer. It is aim at assisting or persuading a prospective customer to buy a produce or services or to act favorably upon an idea that have commercial significant to the seller. Udeagha (1999) defined personal selling as a process of conversing the sale of a company’s products or service by sales man or woman, it is a dynamic process involving direct contact between the seller of a product or service and the prospective buyer through oral or face to face or telephone discussion or written mail exchange of ideas through suggestion.
In his opinion, Adirika (1993) defined personal selling as the process of including a prospective customer to act favorably on an idea advantage to the buyer and commercial significant to the seller. Every marketing manager ought to have sales persons beside him that have a thorough knowledge of what personal selling is all about in order to bring about a good level of profit to the company.
Kotler and Armstrong, (2010) noted that, personal selling as a business strategy, helps representatives of a company to explain to their clients/customers how well the products/services can satisfy their needs. They give their clients opportunity to make more enquiries about their services. This assists them to match their needs and the services. Company representatives (marketing officers) informs customers of new products/services and explain to them how best they can use these products. Personal selling equally assist firms to increase their sales volume and expand the market by identifying new customer, retaining old customers and persuading them to buy the firm’s product. Personal selling is a presentation by the firm’s sales force for the purpose of matching, sales and building customer relationship (Kotler and Armstrong, 2010). The need for personal selling activities has increased because of stiff competition, widening of market, changes in tastes of customers and technology, increasing customer relationship and sales volume of the firm.
Although, taking decisions on sales is the most difficult tasks facing many business executives. This is because it is difficult to predict, estimate or determine with accuracy, potential customers demands as they are uncontrollable factors external to an organization. Considering therefore the importance of sales in business survival and the connection between customers and sales. It is expedient for organizations to engage in programs that can influence consumers’ decisions to purchase its products which in turns bring about increase in the sales of the firm products. This is where personal selling is relevant.
This study will therefore focus on the impact of personal selling on sale volume of mobile phones in Calabar municipality. The researcher’s interest for this study was prompted due to the fact that; Personal selling is a sub set of promotion mix which is one of the 4ps in the marketing mix i.e. product, price, place and promotion. Personal selling is a unique element of marketing communication unlike advertising and sales promotion which main focus is to create awareness about the existence of a product or services and provide information as to the features of the product. Personal selling is an individualistic approach that is designed to meet specific needs to prospects. It is usually directed to specific market segments. Its goes beyond the fundamental roles of marketing communication.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Despite the immense contributions of personal selling to different business organizations, critics still fail to recognize it as a marketing strategy to reckon with. They tends to lay much emphases on variables such as advertising, publicity, sales promotion etc. They believe that personal selling is expensive and does not bring quick response to product offering and increase sales volume. However, Sales representative of mobile phones fail to persuade prospective customers to buy and do not provide the necessary information’s that can motivate potential buyers to buy products and services that can be of benefit to them.
Indeed, by showing less emphases on personal selling such marketers and organization as a whole fail to understand the fact that personal selling apart from inducing, gathering market information also help customers to know the features of the product, their price, important and how such product can be used. Also it was observed that this problem is worsened by the fact that some of the sales persons are half back and lack the ability to express their sales properly not only that it was observed that most sales persons lack the ability to possessing self confidence. Also it was observed that the sales people are not good listeners. The sales people do not allow the customers to talk with them Udeagha (1999). In spite of all the positive attributes of personal selling, does it actually impact on the sales volume of mobile phones in Calabar municipality? Is it actually true that exposure to personal selling influence customers demand for product? If so, to what extent?
1.3 Objective of the study
The general objective of the study is to determine the impact of personal selling on the sales volume of mobile phones in Calabar municipality. For the researcher to achieve this general objective the following specific objectives was taken into consideration;
(i) To investigate the impact of personal selling on the sales volume of mobile phones in Calabar municipality.
(ii) To ascertain if personal selling can influence consumer purchase decision of mobile phones.
(iii) To investigate the effect of personal selling on customer relationship management.
(iv) To determine the role of personal selling on customer loyalty to a firm products.
1.4 Research questions
(i) To what extent does personal selling impact on sales volume of mobile phones in Calabar municipality?
(ii) How can personal selling influence consumer purchase decision of mobile phones in Calabar municipality?
(iii) Is there any effect of personal selling on customer relationship management?
(iv) To what extent does personal selling influence customer loyalty?
1.5 Research hypothesis
(i) There is no significant relationship between personal selling and sale volume of mobile phones in Calabar municipality
(ii) There is no significant relationship between personal selling and consumer purchase decision of mobile phones in Calabar municipality.
(iii) There is no significant relationship between personal customer relationship management.
(iv) There is no significant relationship between personal selling and customer loyalty
1.6 Scope of the study
This research work is limited to the impact of personal selling on the sales volume of mobile phones in Calabar municipality. It will also explain the role played by personal selling in creating customer relationship and loyalty in Calabar municipality. And its finding will create awareness and enlightenment towards the usage of personal selling by firms to enable them enhance their productivity. This research work shall concentrate on every aspect of personal selling in order to broaden make meaningful knowledge to both companies intending to increase their sales volume of techno mobile phones in Calabar municipality.
1.7 Significance of the study
A study of this kind is significant in many ways. This study will be relevant to marketing practitioners, scholars, business organizations, and manufacturers, as will it gives insight to practical application of personal selling. It will assist mobile phone dealers in the application of personal selling strategy. It will spell out the relevance of personal selling on the performance of enterprises. Similarly, this inquiry will add to the existing literature on marketing mix.
Furthermore, marketing practitioners and scholars will find the result of this research very useful as it will enable them come out with practices that will lead to better application of marketing research in our various establishments. In addition, this study will be of valuable assistance to future researchers.
1.8 Historical background of Techno telecommunication company
Techno telecom limited was established in July 2006 in hongkong, china. But they set up operations in Nigeria the following year 2007 launching their first mobile phone model. T205 in the same year.Techno claim to be the first mobile company that introduce dual sim phone in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya. Techno is a comprehensive mobile phone manufactures in R & O, manufacturing sales, and services with years of development. It has now become one of the major mobile phone suppliers in the world and one of the largest mobile phone manufactured in china.
In the year of 2008, techno decided to focus on Africa as its key market and according launch techno brand strategy. Techno phones range from different collection i.e techno is of java made, android and phantom. Example of techno product are techno M3, techno N7, techno P5, techno android and techno phantom A and among others. They range from different prices i.e N3,000 , N 5,000 , N 12,000 , N 15,000 , N 40,000 just to sell to customers and satisfy their needs and increase the customers base. Techno is being marketing in Nigeria through licensing, franching and agent in different part of the country.
In cross river state, techno is being marketed by UDEC communication limited. The udec communication limited is one of the major distributors of mobile phones in Calabar and they started operation in 2008 with their head office located at N0: 150 Ndidem Isang Iso road, Calabar municipality cross river state and also have branches spread round in Calabar. Through three years of efforts, techno as achieved initial success with outstanding and unique marketing strategy and now become one of the most popular mobile phone brand in many countries and it has being recognize as the number one dual sim mobile phone brand in Nigeria.
1.9 Definitions of terms
Personal selling: Is an oral presentation in conversation with one or more prospective purchasers for the purpose of making sales.
Market : It is potential customers sharing a particular need or want who might be willing and able to engage in exchange to satisfied that need or want
Sales: This are the activities involved in selling goods and services
Sales person: Is an organization sales man who is in charge caring out sales activities he is also known as a sales representative. Represent the organization by influencing the customer to by the organization product.
Prospect: Is a potential customers who is willing to buy and organization product.
Selling process: It is a series of steps that a sales man passes in selling an organization product to its customers.