Selling is the key to success

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Following the covid pandemic, governments are looking for economic growth to re-establish their economies, but what exactly do they mean? 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.

The purpose of every business is to make money by anticipating and satisfying customer demand profitably. The secret to every successful business is very simple, but often difficult to apply. Success depends on the ability to identify the need of a potential customer, to provide a solution and ultimately sell that solution to the customer. Identifying a need and a potential customer is relatively easy, but business success will depend on the ability to sell the solution to gain the income.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines “selling” as, “making over or disposing of in exchange for money.” However, in some ways, this definition is limited. In its broader sense, “Selling” can also be seen as a process of influencing thought, action and attitude, to produce a desired action.

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.

Advertising, with the exception of direct response advertising, does not create sales. What it does is to raise 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 helps to “open doors” for the opportunity of business discussion.

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

Businesses only survive on good selling. Commercial selling depends on finding potential customers with a need and proving to them that the supplier has the solution. Many good business ideas fail as commercial ventures purely because entrepreneurs or business staff do not have sufficient sales skills or abilities. While some people may appear to have a natural sales ability, all staff engaged in customer selling should receive proper training in order to conduct a selling engagement to a successful conclusion. Nobody ever bought anything which they did not think at the time that they wanted. Good sales people identify genuine need and seek to fulfil it.

Successful sales people should be well rewarded, because the job is difficult, often conducted in some isolation which requires a lot of self-discipline and self-motivation. 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 are there to make money. They survive and thrive by providing goods and services of a quality and at a price that satisfies customer requirements, Getting and retaining customers requires the support directly or indirectly of every part of the organisation. But however, good a product or service may be, the success of any business ultimately depends on the skills of its professional sales personnel to produce the necessary income.

© N.C.Watkis, Contract Marketing Service 20 Mar 23

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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