Personal selling is a promotional method in which a supplier or an organisation uses skills and techniques to build a personal relationship with the consumers during the sales process. The main types of sales processes are; transaction (customer buys exactly what he wants), consultative (customer seeks for available alternatives) and strategic (customer is interested in the product as well as skills of supplier) sales processes. On the other hand, engagement arenas are platforms where the company establishes relationship with the customer. However the mind boggling question is; how is personal selling combined with the modern digitized engagement arenas in the hotel industry?
First of all, frustrations will arise if a sales agent who excels in transactional sales is put in charge of the consultative sales process and vice versa (Beltman, R., & Peelen, E. (2013). The good thing is that now a days a lot of industries are aware of the sales processes and therefore makes good use of it.
For instance when you take a look at the fast food industries such as McDonalds, KFC, Burger King, Star bucks Etc., they sell something more than food. They sell satisfaction, an added value which the customer seeks during the sales process. A typical example is by Coca-Cola who showed personal selling through their wide varieties of Coca-Cola brands (Sprite, Schweppes, Fanta, Coke etc.). They gained mass consumption through both online and offline advertisements, by combining personal selling and online digitization as a good engagement technique to increase sales. They created an online website called buy.shareacoke.com where potential visitors can buy their customized coco-cola brands and have it delivered to their homes, weddings, birthdays or any events. This is indeed a unique way of selling and we can relate it to both transactional sales and strategic sales process. They also have a login menu which means they are also engaged with the customer and the customer can return to do more orders via the website in future.
Furthermore, nowadays a lot of industries are also creating similar websites where you can customize your own food, drinks, clothes, gadgets etc. however, it is very rare that many hotel industries do this. What most hotel industries do is that, they create a hotel app where visitors can order for food or drinks to be served to their room. This shows an example of engagement techniques used in the hotel industries. These days the internet of things (IoT) has affected the consumer journey to the point that before the end of 2024, the customer’s journey from home to the hotel will be digitized (Skyscanner, 2016).
Therefore it is necessary that hotels can combine an online engagement arena with the personal selling so that they will not only be moving ahead with the future trends but also get rid of the unpleasant frustrations during the sales process.
Peelen, E., & Beltman, R. (2013). Customer Relationship Management. Edinburgh Gate: Pearson Education Limited
Skyscanner (2016) .The future of Travel 2024. Retrieved on 28th September, 2016 from http://www.skyscanner2024.com/part1.php
The Coca-Cola Company (2016). Share a coke: Customize your 8oz glass coke bottles. Retrieved on 11th October, 2016 from https://buy.shareacoke.com/