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Marketing 360

MKTG 360. Professional Selling

Prerequisites: Junior standing and MKTG 340

Credit Hours: (3)

The course contains a study of the theory and practice of professional selling and provides an opportunity for skill development relative to sales careers. After studying practical buyer-seller relationships, the students examine the roles of planning, interpersonal communication and resource management in selling effectiveness.
 

Detailed Description of Content of the Course

Professional Selling addresses the skills, knowledge bases, concepts, and processes relevant to entry-level sales positions. Emphasis is placed on the processes by which professionals develop and strategically manage time, accounts, and interactions to achieve personal and corporate objectives. Theories from social psychology, communication, and buyer behavior, along with skill-based sales training materials are discussed and used.

Discussion topics include:

(1) Sales Success. An overview of characteristics, activities and behaviors underlying success in sales.
(2) The Professional Selling Process. Presents the various stages manifest in the evolution of buyers-seller interactions and relationships.
(3) Interpersonal Communication. Describes the various communication channels available to plan and execute an effective persuasion strategy. Verbal, non-verbal, and listening skill development are emphasized.
(4) Buyer Behavior. Discusses relevant typologies and decision processes used by buyers to acquire information, and the implications of these processes for buyer-seller interactions.
(5) Pre-call Preparation. Discusses the types of information needed to understand specific buyers, and how to develop product information relevant to the buyer.
(6) Prospecting. Presents various methods by which professional salespeople identify, categorize, and qualify new business potential.
(7) Establishing Rapport. Describes methods and strategies for initiating buyer relationships, with an emphasis on social interaction style identification and response.
(8) Identifying Buyer Needs and Motivation. Discusses influences on buyer's decision process and their impact on decisions. Strategic questioning heuristics are developed to assist this stage of the process.
(9) The Sales Presentation. Describes the elements of an effective person-to-person presentation, with an emphasis on adapting the information to the specific interaction.
(10) Handling Buyer Resistance. Presents various strategies and methods for coping with the inherent resistance in decision-making. Negotiation strategies and principles of conflict resolution are covered.
(11) Closing the Sales Interaction. Discusses techniques used to finalize the interaction.
(12) Client/Account Management Practices. Describes strategies to maintain and build satisfactory long-term account-customer relationships.
 
Detailed Description of Conduct of the Course

The course will use a Professional Selling text and many supplemental materials such as video tapes, experiential exercises, and hands-on assignments. Lecture and group discussion will provide foundational knowledge. Strong emphasis will be placed upon students' demonstrated ability to successfully master and use the processes and skills taught in class. A variety of skill assessment measures will be used such as video-taped role playing exercises and individual student feedback sessions. A pool of guest professional sales people has been developed for guest lectures to enhance the learning process.
 
Goals and Objectives of the Course

Having completed this course successfully, students will be able to:
(1) Develop a personal development plan for self-management
(2) Describe buyer decision making relevant to interpersonal interactions
(3) Develop interpersonal communication strategies to effectively and professionally present information in a buyer-seller interaction
(4) Discuss how successful business/customer relationships are initiated, developed, and maintained.
 
Assessment Measures

(1) Examinations. Students will take an essay midterm examination and a comprehensive final essay examination.
(2) A variety of other assessment measures may include:
(a) Role Play Cases wherein students complete video-taped role playing as a professional salesperson interacting with a hypothetical buyer.
(b) Role Play Paper exercises wherein students are required to complete an indepth paper demonstrating their preparation for the sales call.
(c) Book Report prepared on a book selected from a practitioner-oriented book list. A critique of the table of contents is required.
 
Other Course Information

Students are required to complete several experiential assignments in and outside the classroom to prepare for examinations and role playing exercises.
 
Review and Approval

DATE ACTION APPROVED BY
09-20-01 Reviewed and Melvin R. Mattson, Chair Curriculum Committee
2-24-2012
April 13, 2012 Revised