People in Retail: Personal Selling in the Electronic Age
Main Aim(s) of the Unit:
The nature of customer service in the retail arena has changed dramatically in recent years which have witnessed, among other developments, the arrival of the electronic purchase. Alongside such advances, however, is a parallel expectation of higher levels of customer service. This is where the element of personal selling is vital to the retail enterprise. Good personal selling skills not only benefit the profitability of an organisation in the short term, they also enhance its reputation with customers who are then happy to spread the all-important positive word of mouth recommendation. Thus good selling skills can provide a crucial competitive advantage on the High Street.
The aims of this unit, therefore, are to analyse the role of personal selling in the electronic age, consider its nature, characteristics and the advantages to the organisation of a strong selling element based on longer-term customer satisfaction.
The unit is based around a strong practical element and aims to develop personal selling skills in the student by means of not just theory but also workshop sessions and role play.
Main Topics of Study:
- The nature and characteristics of personal selling: its role in profit enhancement, customer relations and marketing tool.
- Personal selling in the electronic age.
- Sales planning and operations.
- The steps of the sales process.
- Business to business and business to consumer selling.
- Negotiation and overcoming objections.
- Sales Management.
Learning Outcomes for the Unit
At the end of this Unit, students will be able to:
- Evaluate the role of personal selling in increasing profitability and customer satisfaction.
- Analyse the steps the selling process.
- Compare and contrast methods of business-to-business and business-to-consumer selling.
- Conduct personal selling sessions using negotiation techniques and the steps of the sales process.
- Communicate effectively by written and oral means.
Learning and teachingÂ methods/strategies used to enable the achievement of learning outcomes:
Weekly lectures will be used to deliver theoretical material and build up the framework of the areas of study. The seminars will use student-centred learning techniques to build upon lecture material and examine topics in more detail. Students will be expected to lead seminars on appointed topics. Case studies will be used to illustrate material and apply theory to the practical arena.
Assessment methods which enable student to demonstrate the learning outcomes for the Unit:
Examination: 3 hours duration
Indicative Reading for this Unit:
Jobber, D and Lancaster, G (2003) Selling and Sales Management. FT/Prentice Hall.
Alternative Texts and Further Reading:
Cron, W.L, DeCarlo, T.E, (2006) Dalrympleâ€™s Sales Management. John Wiley.
Donaldson, B (2007) Sales Management, Principles, process and practice. Palgrave. Macmillan
Guideline for Teaching and Learning Time (10 hrs per credit)
50 hoursÂ Lectures / Seminars / Tutorials / Workshops:
Tutorial support includes feedback on assignments and may vary by college according to local needs and wishes.
50 hoursÂ Directed learning:
Advance reading and preparation / Class preparation / Background reading / Group study / Portfolio / Diary etc
100 hoursÂ Self managed learning:
Working through the course text and completing assignments as required will take up the bulk of the learning time.Â In addition students are expected to engage with the tutor and other students and to undertake further reading using the web and/or libraries.