Selling is the Foundation of Business


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As commercial life starts to return to a semblance of normality and the effects of the pandemic recede, the need for effective selling will be of primary importance. Selling is the foundation of business. When Governments want to grow the economy, they often forget that in order to generate national income, people have to work harder to be more successful at selling goods or services, in order to produce the income. Of all the management processes which produce sustainable profitable income, by anticipating and satisfying customer requirements, the effective management of the selling activity is potentially the most important.

Selling is a business skill which relies on the ability to identify a customer’s need, to understand their underlying problem and to provide a solution to the problem which satisfies the customer. Successful sales executives also require a personal confidence to meet new customers, and not be put off by the rejections that inevitably occur. Selling can be a lonely business, which requires careful management to ensure that sales staff are properly directed, trained and motivated, because the future of the business depends on their success.

Commercial Managers need to be aware of the selling conditions that they can control, such as target customer selection, the product or service package offered, the pricing policy. Selling conditions which they cannot control, but which may have a profound effect on their selling opportunities include, competitor activity, economic situation, new and competing technology, legislation and many others.

The action of selling is the only business activity that brings money into a business. Thus the effective management of the selling process is fundamental to ensuring that costs, investment and use of assets are minimized, while the level of profitable income is maximised.

The art of successful selling lies in differentiating at an early stage, between those who are there to buy, those who would buy if they recognised that they had a problem that could be resolved to their advantage, and those who while they show interest and curiosity, are simply not in the market to buy at that time.

Selling is more successful if the customer comes to the supplier with the intent to buy, than if the supplier goes to the customer with the intent to sell. In most consumer markets, potential customers are largely self selecting in that they choose to enter the selling arena of a shop or a web-site. By so doing, potential customers indicate that they have an initial interest in the product or service on offer, even if they are not disposed to buy at that time. The sales assistant may then guide the customer to the product required, thus securing the sale. . Nobody ever bought anything which they did not think at the time that they wanted. The best sales people don’t sell, but recognise those customers who want to buy.

Advertising, with the exception of direct response advertising, does not create sales, but raises awareness of the existence of a product or service to potential customers. That awareness may then encourage further enquiry via a shop or web-site that results in a wish to buy. In business to business transactions, advertising brings awareness to potential clients that help to “open doors” for the opportunity of business discussion.

The growth of e-selling does not make the art of selling redundant. While internet on-line sales are growing, the nature of the transactions are really only an electronic form of catalogue selling, with all the same advantages and disadvantages. E-selling works best when customer already know what they are seeking and only require to find a suitable price and source of supply.

Commercial selling is an occupation that can be immensely rewarding, in terms of finance and job satisfaction. Those people who appear to despise and look-down on salesmen and women, have no understanding of the job. Selling is immensely important and fundamental to all commercial activity.

Businesses only survive on good selling. Many good business ideas fail as commercial ventures purely because entrepreneurs or business staff do not have sufficient sales skills or abilities. All staff engaged in customer selling should receive proper training in order to conduct a selling engagement to a successful conclusion

While the Commercial manager is ultimately responsible for producing the profitable income for the business, it is the sales person who has to find and successfully engage with the customer to affect the sale and produce the money.

Businesses exist only for the purpose of making money. Whatever a business makes or type of service it provides, money is only produced when the goods or services are actually sold to a customer. It is only from the act of selling that income is derived for the business in question, thus the ability to “sell” is fundamental to the success of every business.

© N.C.Watkis, Contract Marketing Service 22 Aug 21
Contract Marketing Service, (Business Development Specialists)

Nicholas Watkis, AE MA DipM CMC FCIM
Nicholas Watkis set up Contract Marketing Service in 1981, providing professional interim marketing management for a wide variety of businesses. Over 30 years practical experience in organizations, large and small, national and international, led to the development of Business Performance Maximized specialist in marketing performance measurement.


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