The job descriptions presented earlier demonstrate that personal selling involves much more than just selling products and/or services. The personal selling agent is often the firm's best source of public relations. In their day-to-day duties, salespeople represent the firm and its products. Their personalities, servicing of the account, cooperation, and empathy not only influence sales potential but also reflect on the organizations they represent.
The salesperson may also be used directly in a PR role. Many firms encourage sales reps to participate in community activities like the Jaycees and Little League. Sometimes sales reps, in conjunction with the company, sacrifice time from their daily duties to help people in need. For example, after the Los Angeles earthquake, local companies donated food and their sales forces' time to aid quake victims. Computer salespeople devoted much of their time to getting customers and noncustomers back online. After a catastrophic flood, a beer company in the Northeast had its sales reps distribute water in its cans to flood victims. Coors provided free water in its cans to Pittsburghers when a barge break contaminated the drinking water. These as well as other public relations activities result in goodwill toward both the company and its products while at the and personal selling should same time benefiting society. be designed to work
Figure 18-6 Twelve ways to use advertising to sell more
1. Save sales force time. Sending a reprint of an advertise- 8. ment ahead of time familiarizes the potential client with the product or service.
2. Save lengthy explanations. Sometimes ads can explain much of what the product does and even what it 9.
doesn't do, saving time as the salesperson only has to explain what is not already conveyed.
3. Visual aids. Ads can add impact to the presentation, reinforcing selling points.
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Co-op Mailing means that two or more businesses share in the cost and distribution of a direct mail campaign. It's kind of like having you and another non-competing business split the cost of printing, assembling and mailing an advertising flyer to a shared same market base.