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Essay: The extent to which personal selling has contributed to the performance of financial service firms in Nigeria

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  • Subject area(s): Business essays
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  • Published: 13 September 2015*
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  • Words: 2,576 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 11 (approx)

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1.0 Background Of The Study
Personal selling can be said to be the oldest promotional mix element which is done or achieved through direct contact between the buyer and the seller. A product that is produced through the combination of the most up-to-date technologies and the best of inputs cannot sell itself. There is the need for the product to be made known to the focus market. A good or service should respond favorably to the marketing mix which will result to the full performance of the goods or services in the market. All of this is to make sure that there is a sale. The whole promotional mix element, personal selling is the only one that brings profit for the company or organization but also attracts a little cost. The role of personal selling in any financial service firm is very essential and necessary for their operation to be effective and efficient. Every operation and activity of financial service firms needs the use of one promotional mix activity which is personal selling. Financial service firms are faced with a number of problems or challenges, which has been resolved with the help of personal selling. We can now say that personal selling is very essential in the operation of financial service firm.
Personal selling is a promotional method in which one party uses his skills and techniques for developing personal relationships with another party with both parties obtaining values. In most cases the value for the salesperson is realized through the financial benefits of the sale while the customer’s value is realized from the benefits obtained by consuming the product. According to new Zealand qualification authority, (2008) described personal selling as retail and wholesale activities in which a salesperson vigorously presents products to consumers in seeking to make a sales. It could also be said to be a two way flow of communication between potential buyers and a salesperson that is design to identify the potential buyer’s needs, pair these needs to one or more of the financial service firm’s products or services and persuade the buyer to purchase the product. Also, according to Philip Kotler, personal selling is the verbal presentation in a conversion with one or more prospective buyers for the purpose of making sales.
1.1 Statement Of The Research Problem
Nigeria financial service firms are weighed down with a number of challenges (Gbede, 2003). The most challenging is the low knowledge level that characterized the industry. Nigerians do not know anything about financial services, they do not trust it. This lack of trust is linked to insufficiency of available information. Financial service firms, even with its socio-economic duty of providing cushions against risks faced by individuals and commercial organization, Nigerians still do not find it attractive. The sales recorded by the financial service firms depend on the acceptability of the service presented by the firms. Consumer will only accept quality products capable of satisfying their wants. The challenge faced by the Nigeria financial service firms is to persuade the consumers of financial service of the quality of their offerings and persuade them to buy their security. All of these activities would be done using personal selling. That is to say the firm or organization has to engage in a face to face conversation with the consumers of the securities.
Personal selling salespersons find themselves making presentation to small groups of people or working with multiple individuals within customers’ firms. A successful marketing relationship is built by two people- one person selling and the other person buying. All of this is done to win their trust and confidence. Personal selling is about problem solving, as the marketing concept is adopted by more and more firms, the emphasis of personal salespeople will be more on identifying customers with a true need for the firm’s products and applying those products to solve customer problems. Less emphasis will be placed on simply making a sale. The focus on problem solving in personal selling reflects a larger trend toward developing relationships between customers and clients. Marketers know that to develop these relationships, they must be willing to sacrifice short term gains, particularly when the salesperson realizes that at the moment a purchase might not be in the customer’s best interests.
The study tend to highlight how prospecting assist financial service firms to increase sales turnover.
The study also tend to know to what extent has approach affected cost reduction.
Also, the study tend to find out how handling objection has helped to increase customers satisfaction.
And finally to know how personal selling help financial service firms to increase profitability.
1.2 Objective Of The Study
The general objective of the study is to determine the extent to which personal selling has contributed to the performance of financial service firms in Nigeria. The specific objectives of the study are to:
1) To examine whether prospecting assist financial service firms to increase sales turnover.
2) To determine how approach in personal selling affects cost reduction.
3) To find out if handling objection increases customer satisfaction.
4) To determine whether personal selling strategy adopted by a firm assist Nigeria financial service firms to increase profitability.
1.3 Research Question
This study attempt to answer the following questions to solve the research problem.
1) How have prospecting assisted financial service firms to increase sales turnover?
2) To what extent has approach affected cost reduction?
3) Find out if handling objection has help to increase customer satisfaction?
4) To find out if personal selling has help to increase profitability?
1.4 Research Hypothesis
The research hypotheses are indicated in their null and alternate forms.
H01 Prospecting has no significant effect on financial service firms to increase sales turnover.
Ha1 Prospecting has no significant effect on financial service firms to increase sales turnover.
H02 Approach has no significant effect on cost reduction in financial service firms.
Ha2 Approach has significant effect on cost reduction in financial service firms.
H03 Handling objection has no significant effect to improve customer satisfaction.
Ha3 Handling objection has significant effect to improve customer satisfaction.
H04 Personal selling strategy adopted has no significant effect to increase profitability in financial service firms.
Ha4 Personal selling strategy adopted has significant effect to increase profitability in financial service firms.
1.5 Significance Of The Study
Financial service firms have confronted a major challenge of performance in terms of providing and enhancing client satisfaction in the Nigeria financial service. Here, the study would help financial service client to see the uniqueness and effectiveness of personal selling strategy to enter into business with lesser stress and problem. It will also give them the opportunities to see the innovative techniques in personal selling that would build up customer’s relationship, increase efficiency and output, increase workers efficiency and also assist in the adoption of personal selling strategies by the Nigeria financial services in order to increase its effectiveness and also its efficiency.
In doing this, it will give a framework for the Nigeria financial service firms to be able to use personal selling in a very unique way to stay ahead in the industry and also to be able to compete globally with foreign financial service firms, thereby bringing about development and also global innovation. This would help give the Nigeria financial service firms name that would shake the world at large. In general, goods that are new and different, technically complex or expensive require personal selling effort. Personal selling plays a key role in providing the consumer with information about such products to reduce the risks involved in the purchase and use. Financial services or securities are complex and technical products that need significant amount of personal selling. Through the effort of successful personal selling, a company can build a very good relationship with customers that last for a very long time.
1.6 Methodology Of The Study
In order to effectively capture the effects of personal selling strategies on the performance of the Nigeria financial service firms or industry, selected financial firms were considered and in getting the information needed, a quantitative approach of questionnaire was adopted so that investigating the variables could be made possible through survey method. The study used both the primary and secondary data (source). The primary source were obtained or gotten through the construction of questionnaires and interviews while the secondary source was gotten through journals, textbooks, abstracts, internet etc. As for the primary source, questionnaires were given to different organization and also different student for them to fill. And also secondary data were gotten from different sources like sourcing through the internet for information and also searching different textbooks by different authors, different journals and also different abstracts. All of these were used to achieve or get the data of information that were used in the particular study.
1.7 Scope Of The Study
The scope of the study is the financial service industry considering the relevance of the sector to the development of the Nigeria economy since post amalgamation and recapitalization of banks and other economic reforms in the financial service industry. The scope was limited to companies in the financial service sector mostly enrolled one with the appropriate authorities like central bank of Nigeria (CBN), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). A Financial Services Authority is essential in Nigeria to enable the country deal with the financial crisis that has surrounded the nation since the 2008 global financial meltdown. What is happening in the Nigerian financial services sector today happened in the 80s and 90s in the United Kingdom that led to the setting up of the Financial Services Authority. With all of these happening, that was why some of these bodies were created to be able to control the activities of the financial service industry. The central bank of Nigeria (CBN) charges the bank with the general control and administration of the monetary and financial sector policies. Also CBN ensures monetary and price stability, promote a sound financial system and also maintain external reserves to protect the international values of the legal tender currency.
However, for the purpose of the study, two financial service companies which include the Asset and Resource Management and the Guaranty Trust Assurance constituted the scope of the study. The respondents for data collected were limited to managers and middle level staff in the study organization. These managers are expected to be well-informed about personal selling and financial services. All of these are done to know the impact and importance of personal selling in financial service industry in helping the country to increase revenue base.
1.8 Limitation Of The Study
The study is limited by a number of variables. One major limitation is that this study only focuses on just industry which is the financial service industry it does not cover other sector of the economy like the oil and gas industry and even more. Another limitation is the inability to fill questionnaire. People that are given questionnaire to fill often find it difficult to fill it and as such causes a lot of damages. Also short period of time is given to fill the questionnaire. All of these makes problems mentioned above brings about the limitation of the study.
1.9 Outline Of Chapter
The work is divided into five (5) chapters, the first section or chapter which is chapter one (1) is the introduction part, where all about the subject matter is made known. The second chapter deals with the review of important literatures on the construct and variables of the study as well as the theoretical and empirical framework, chapter three (3) deals with the research methods, research design, population of the study, sample size, sampling techniques, sampling frame, sources of data, research instruments, reliability and validity. While chapter four (4) deals with data presentation and data analysis and finally chapter five (5) deals with summary of the work, summary of findings, conclusion, recommendations, suggestions for further studies and contribution to knowledge.
1.10 Operationalization Of The Research Topic
The role of personal selling in financial service firms as the topic has the following constructs:
Dependent construct as financial service firms
Independent construct as personal selling
The above is mathematically expressed as Y = F(X)
Where Y = dependent variable
X =independent variable
Y = financial service firm
X =personal selling
Here, financial service firm would depend on personal selling for growth.
This can further be expressed as:
Financial service firm performance = F (personal selling)
That is FSFP = F (PS)
Where FSFP = Y and PS = X
X and Y are broken down as follows:
Y = (Y1, Y2,”..Yn)
X = (X1, X2 ‘.Xn)
Y1 = Sales turnover
Y2 = Cost reduction
Y3 = Customer Satisfaction
Y4 = Profitability
Similarly x = (x1, x2, x3 ‘.Xn)
X1 = prospecting
X2 = approach
X3 = Handling objective
X4 = Personal Selling
1.11 Definition Of Term
1) Personal Selling: it is an oral presentation or a face to face communication with one or more prospective purchasers of a product for the purpose of making sales. It is also a two way flow of communication between a potential buyer and a salesperson that is designed to identify the potential buyer’s needs, match these needs to one or more of the firm’s product or services and convince the buyer to purchase the product or service. In personal selling there must be an oral presentation of ideas, product or service to one or more prospect for the purpose of making sales.
2) Communication: it’s a two way process of reaching mutual understanding, in which participants not only exchange information, ideas and feeling but also create and share meaning. It is a means of connecting people or places. It is a key function of management; an organization cannot operate without communication between levels, departments and employees. Communication is an act of sharing or exchanging information with someone.
3) Salespersons: They are people employed to represent a business and to sell its merchandise or service. Also an individual who sells goods and services to other entities. The successfulness of the salesperson is usually measured by the amount of sales he or she is able to make during a given period and how good that person is in persuading individuals to make a purchase. If a salesperson is employed, in some cases, compensation can be decreased or increased based on the amount of goods or services sold.
4) Approach: It consists of the strategies and tactics employed by salespeople when gaining an audience and establishing initial rapport with the customer. Approach is used by the salespeople in dealing with the prospect. This approach generally creates a good initial impression. This refers to the way or strategy the salesperson tries to persuade the customer to purchase its product or service.
5) Prospecting: Prospecting is the method by which salespeople search for new customers and prospecting is to expand the customer base, which is important because most sales organization lose customers every day.
6) Handling Objection: Objection can be seen as customer’s questions about the product or service or even the company. An objection is always encountered in every sales presentation. Objections are often indications of interest by the prospect and should not be viewed with misgiving by salespeople. In this case, the prospect is requesting for additional information to help him make the decision to buy. We can also say that objections are excuses for not making a purchase, this can be due to the characteristics of the product or service or even the price.
7) Presentation: presentation is the core of the order-getting selling process and its objective is to convert a prospect into a customer by creating a desire for the product or service.

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