Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Personal Selling

Mary Kay Cosmetics, unlike most other consumer product companies, relies primarily on personal selling which takes place in independent interactions or at Mary Kay parties where sellers and buyers meet. While Mary Kay products are available online for purchase, customers buy products through thousands of independent consultants nationwide because Mary Kay products are not available in retail stores. Advertisements such as this personal Mary Kay beauty consultant ad communicate the product to customers. This example introduces customers to new beauty products and the concept of a personal seller who is in direct contact with the customers (and goes through the the sales process, beginning with prospecting and ending by closing and doing a follow-up). These beauty consultants represent the company to consumers, acting as salespeople to share information with consumers about various products and also listening to their opinions to find the best fit for the consumer’s needs and wants.

Personal selling is discussed by Kotler in Chapter 13 during which he describes the purpose of it as not only making sales but building customer relationships. The role of the sales force is crucial because it provides a direct, interpersonal link of marketing communication. Aside from representing the company to the customers, personal sales representatives also represent the customers to the company, bringing back insightful information to management in order to improve the products and services. As Kotler indicates, in order to be successful a company’s marketing and sales departments should work together to effectively reach consumers and accomplish objectives just as Mary Kay has done in the beauty industry.

Ashley Russell, Section E

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