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Sales, or the activity of selling, forms an integral part of commercial activity. It could be argued that it is the cornerstone of business as it is the meeting of buyers and sellers and all other areas of business has the goal of making that meeting successful. Mastering sales is considered by many as some sort of persuading "art". On the contrary, the methodological approach of selling refers to it as a systematic process of repetitive and measurable milestones, by which a salesperson relates his offering enabling the buyer to visualize how to achieve his goal in an economic way.

`Selling' is the heart beat of any business. No business can function without professional sales people. Dubious selling practices may occasionally result in a sale if the customer is particularly gullible. But it is arguable that, even then, only good marketing, great quality of product along with sales follow up (which encompasses a far wider range of skills, with an almost diametrically opposed motivation) 'will lead the customer to buy again from the same company '. Organizations seldom profit from single purchases made by first-time customers. Normally they rely on repeat business to generate the profit that they need. However, there are some industries which have a business model based on one time only sales relationship. These tend to be the sale of very expensive, unusual household products such as houses and new and used cars.

The economic reason for this behaviour is that these items are usually unique. A customer is buying a product because of that product's features and benefits along with their emotional attachment or feeling about the product. These can be slightly influenced by the salesperson, however, the sales person knows that the same item cannot be resold to the same customer again at a later date. They also know that the customer is unlikely to buy a similar product for a long time, and so has no incentive to offer any extra quality of service to encourage a long-term relationship. This behaviour is generally true only of business-to-consumer sales. Business-to-business sales are much more relationship based owing to the lack of emotional attachment to the products in question.

Selling is a practical implementation of marketing; it often forms a separate grouping in a corporate structure, employing separate specialist operatives known as salespersons (singular: salesperson).

The successful questioning to understand a customer's goal, the further creation of a valuable solution by communicating the necessary information that encourages a buyer to achieve his goal at an economic cost is the responsibility of the sales person or the sales engine (e.g. internet, vending machine etc).

The primary function of professional sales is to generate and close leads, educate prospects, fill needs and satisfy wants of consumers appropriately, and therefore turn prospective customers into actual ones.

From a marketing point of view, selling is one of the methods of promotion used by marketers. Other promotional techniques include advertising, sales promotion, publicity, and public relations.

Various sales strategies exist, such as tit-for-tat which is best if ongoing dealings and interactions are expected. This insight is behind so-called consultative sales process which are used by Saturn to sell cars, as well as for some direct Business-to-Business sales.

Several types of sales exist including direct, consultative, and complex sales. Complex sales varies from other types in that the customer plays a more pro-active role, often requiring proposal response to their Request for Proposal (RFP).

Links to Related Articles:

- Why sell golf products?
- What is the job of a Printing Salesman?
- Why is good customer service just as important as price when choosing a new promotional products vendor?


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This is an extract from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia

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