Personal selling involves direct communication between a salesperson and a prospective buyer. It’s a way to humanize the sales transaction because it requires communicating, whether that be over the phone, via email or in person.

Allie Decker, a content marketer and strategist, says personal selling can help sales professionals build stronger relationships and achieve greater success rates. Almost all marketers (99%) say personalization improves customer relationships.

So, how can you succeed with the personal selling process? Keep reading this issue of PromoPro Daily, where we outline Decker’s thoughts on the seven steps involved in this method.

1. Prospecting. Like other sales approaches, the first step to personal selling is seeking leads and then qualifying them. Not everyone will be a good fit for what you offer. By collecting as much information as possible, Decker says you can make the most of your time.

2. Pre-approach. In this step, your sales team should prepare to make initial contact with any leads they’ve discovered while prospecting. Decker says pre-approach typically involves extensive online research about the prospect, the market and the business. You may also want to practice a sales presentation at this step.

3. Approach. Now you’re ready to contact a prospect and begin a conversation. Whether this happens in person, online or over the phone, the goal is to get to know the prospect’s wants, needs and challenges. Decker advises asking questions at this stage to determine if and how your product can solve their pain points.

4. Presentation. As you share your product or service, remember to highlight how your offering benefits the prospect. Use the information you collected in the pre-approach and approach stages. This allows you to keep the presentation relevant to the prospect’s needs, Decker says.

5. Handling objections. At this step of the personal selling process, take your time to handle any objections, answer any questions and correct any misconceptions. The purpose isn’t to force someone to buy, Decker says, but rather learn how you can help the prospect reach a solution.

6. Closing. Now it’s time to finalize the sale. Establish contracts, draw up any other paperwork and settle any negotiations.

7. Follow-up. The final stage of the personal selling process involves reaching out to a buyer after the sale and making sure they’re having a great experience. This stage is important, Decker says, because it allows your team to maintain customer relationships.

Rather than selling at your prospects, try personal selling, which takes a more human approach. Although it takes time, this approach can lead to many positive outcomes. People want to do business with those they know, like and trust, and personal selling allows you to build those relationships.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Allie Decker is a content marketer and strategist who contributes to the HubSpot blog.