How Personalized Approaches Lead to Successful Personal Selling

personal selling

How Personalized Approaches Lead to Successful Personal Selling

Personal selling isn’t just about selling a product or service anymore; it’s about forging genuine connections and catering to the unique needs of each individual customer. At its core, personal selling transcends mere transactions; it’s about building meaningful relationships and delivering value in a way that resonates deeply with the customer.

It’s about taking the time to truly listen, empathize, and address the individual concerns and aspirations of each prospect. However, personal selling isn’t always easy. It has its good points, but there are also tough parts to deal with.

We’ll take a close look at the good and bad sides of using personalized approaches. This will help us understand the opportunities they bring and the problems they might cause in sales.

What is personal selling?

Personal selling is when a salesperson interacts directly with potential customers to sell a product or service. It’s about building relationships, understanding customers’ needs, and persuading them to make a purchase through personalized communication.

In personal selling, the salesperson tries to persuade the consumer that the product would enhance value by highlighting a number of its qualities. However, the goal of personal selling isn’t always to close a deal with a customer. Companies use this strategy to inform clients about new products.

The person-to-person strategy gives the salesperson an opportunity to make a better pitch while making the potential customer able to touch and feel the product.

When is it right to do personal selling?

The various situations where personal selling works include:

  • Big Decisions: It’s helpful for things people need to think a lot about before buying. Salespeople can guide them through the process.
  • Tailored Solutions: If a product or service can be changed to fit what a customer wants, personal selling lets salespeople figure out what they need and offer the right thing.
  • Making Friends: In some jobs, like selling to other businesses or fancy products, it’s important to make good relationships with customers. Personal selling helps build trust and keep them coming back.
  • Tricky Sales: When selling stuff that needs lots of talking or dealing with many people, personal selling lets salespeople talk directly and explain things well.
  • New Ideas: When there’s something new to sell, personal selling helps explain it to customers, answer their questions, and show why it’s great.
  • Luxury Stuff: Fancy brands use personal selling to make customers feel special and show them why their products are worth the extra money.

Read: 5+ Best Examples of Innovation in Business

Pros and Cons of Personal Selling


  • Making Friends: Salespeople can become buddies with customers by talking face-to-face, making customers feel good and happy about the service.
  • Tailoring to You: Salespeople can change how they sell to match what you want, making it more likely you’ll buy something.
  • Quick Answers: Salespeople can see if you like something right away and fix any problems you have, making it easier to sell stuff.
  • Going with the Flow: Salespeople can change how they sell depending on how you react, making sure they sell things better.
  • Keeping in Touch: Salespeople can be pals with customers for a long time, making them come back to buy more and tell their friends about it.


  • It takes a lot of time: Personal selling needs a big investment of time and energy, from finding potential customers to making connections and closing deals. This makes it quite demanding.
  • It can cost a lot: Personal selling involves spending money on things like travel, entertaining clients, and training salespeople. Sometimes, these costs may not lead to immediate profits.
  • Doesn’t reach everyone: Personal selling is limited by how many people a salesperson can talk to in a day. This means it’s not as good for reaching large numbers of customers as methods like ads or selling online.
  • Relies on salespeople: The success of personal selling depends a lot on how good the salespeople are at their job. If they’re not skilled or if they leave the company, it can affect sales.
  • Some customers don’t like it: Some people prefer to make their own decisions without a salesperson’s help. They might resist talking to salespeople, which can make selling harder.

See Also: How To Understand the Risks and Rewards of Startup Business Investment

What are the 7 steps of personal selling?

The steps involved in the personal selling process typically consist of the following:

#1. Prospecting

This basic step involves locating and vetting potential customers through cold calling, cold emailing, or social selling on LinkedIn. Sales development professionals typically handle this stage of the personal selling process. However, sales and account executives may also do some.

Finding qualified prospects, getting their contact details, and piquing their interest in your offering are your objectives. To accomplish this, you need to adopt a customized strategy, first investigating the lead’s business and determining any potential pain areas before developing your sales pitch.

A scheduled meeting on the calendar is the most common indicator that this stage has been completed. Here, you’ve finally hooked the potential customer into finding out more about your offerings.

#2. Discovery

In the discovery step, you aim to do two things at once – first, figure out if the lead is a good match for what you’re selling, and second, learn more about the lead’s situation.

Lead qualification means making sure the lead fits what you’re looking for in a customer and is worth pursuing. Many salespeople use a framework called ANUM, where they ask questions about authority (who can make the buying decision), needs, urgency, and money.

Once you’re sure the lead is a good fit, focus on getting more details about their situation. This might happen during the same conversation or, if the issue is complicated, in a follow-up chat. In personal selling, it’s vital to really understand what problem your customer is facing, so don’t rush this step.

#3. Meeting Preparation

Now that you’ve learned a lot about the company and the needs of the potential customer, it’s time to create a presentation or demonstration that convinces them that your solution is the right choice.

If you already have a presentation or demo template, make sure to adjust it to match what this buyer cares about. For instance, if they really care about a specific feature, make sure to include a slide or section about that feature.

This way, the prospect won’t lose interest and will feel you’re paying attention to their needs.

#4. Sales Presentation

During the sales presentation, you share your ideas using slides or a web demo with the person you’re trying to sell to. But it’s not about just reading from the slides. In personal sales, it’s all about talking directly with the customer, where both sides are equally involved.

So, try to make it more like a chat where the customer can ask questions anytime during the meeting. This conversation helps build strong relationships with customers. It also ensures that the customer learns everything they need to know about your solution, so they feel confident about buying from you.

For big business sales, this step might take a few meetings, either with different people involved or to show different features of what you’re selling.

#5. Handling Objection

When a potential customer raises concerns about your offer, it’s called a sales objection. For instance, if they say, ‘I’m not sure this feature will work for us,’ that’s an objection.

To handle objections well, you need to:

  • Listen: Pay attention to what the customer is saying and try to understand their point of view.
  • Acknowledge: Repeat their concern to show you understand it.
  • Explore: Ask questions to figure out why they have this concern. For example, if they say, ‘We’re not ready for this,’ find out why.
  • Respond or ask more: If you know how to address their concern, provide evidence to convince them. If you’re still not sure, ask more questions to clarify.

Using this approach not only helps you deal with objections effectively but also strengthens your relationship with the customer.

#6. Closing

Once objections are addressed, it’s time to close the sale. This means asking the customer if they’re ready to buy, negotiating the terms, and getting both parties to agree on a fair contract.

How long this step takes depends on how complicated the deal is. For most business salespeople, it only takes a few days to finalize the contract.

But for big deals with a lot of money involved, there might be some back-and-forth about the details, like payment terms or special clauses in the contract.

Either way, when the deal is done, it’s time to celebrate! You’ve successfully sold your product or service using personal selling techniques!

#7. Customer Onboarding

After finalizing the deal, you’ll guide your customer through the onboarding process, which may include teaching them how to use the product. You’ll also introduce them to their customer success representative (CSM).

The CSM’s job is to make sure the customer has a great experience. They’ll answer questions, fix problems, and offer advice.

Using their deep understanding of the product, they’ll help customers make the most of it. Sometimes, they’ll even use their friendliness and thoughtfulness to strengthen the relationship.

In personal selling, it’s important to keep customers satisfied. This leads to more customers staying with you, more people recommending your product, and more opportunities to sell additional products or services.

Types of personal selling

The three main types of personal sales: order takers, order creators, and order getters. Some companies use all three types to make money, while others only use one. Below, we’ll explain what each type means and how they’re different.

  • Order takers: Order takers are like helpers who answer calls or messages from people who are already interested in buying something. They guide them to the right product or service. For instance, a salesperson at a store like Macy’s is an order taker. This type of selling is usually easier because the customer is already thinking about buying.
  • Order creators: Order creators are salespeople who convince other businesses to suggest their products to customers. For example, a salsa company might try to convince stores to put their salsa in a noticeable place on the shelves. Building a good relationship is often more important than just convincing someone to sell your stuff. That’s why pharmaceutical sales reps often take doctors out for fancy meals or to watch baseball games.
  • Order getters: Order getters are salespeople who reach out to potential customers first to get them interested in what they’re selling. They might knock on doors, make cold calls to people who haven’t asked for them, or go to events to find new customers.

Personal Selling Scorecard (Pdf.)

Having read up to this point means you got value. To evaluate how much value you got, go through the questions in the scorecard below.


What are some common mistakes to avoid in personal selling?

Common mistakes in personal selling include being too pushy, not listening to the customer’s needs, lacking product knowledge, failing to follow up, and neglecting to build rapport.

How can sales professionals continuously improve their personal selling skills?

Sales professionals can improve their personal selling skills through ongoing training, seeking feedback, learning from successful peers, staying updated on industry trends, and practicing effective communication techniques.

How important is building relationships in personal selling?

Building relationships is essential in personal selling as it fosters trust, enhances customer loyalty, and increases the likelihood of repeat business and referrals.

How does personal selling differ from other sales methods, like advertising?

Personal selling involves direct, interpersonal communication between a salesperson and a customer, whereas advertising communicates with a larger audience through various media channels.


Personalized ways are really important for selling well. If salespeople know all about how selling works and use the good parts while fixing the bad ones, they can make personal selling work great.


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