Sales are essentially activities associated with the exchange of products or services for a specified price at a specified date. The sale of a product to a consumer is also often considered a sales. While most sales are not compulsory and are not even negotiated upon, some sales are mandated by law such as sales of automobiles and other vehicles, sales of tangible personal property such as furniture and electronics, sales of services such as legal services and banking transactions, and sales of licenses and Certificates of Registration. Certain activities may be conducted for non-profit purposes such as fundraising for an organization, scholarship program, or health services for the poor.
Business development can take place in many different ways but all require sales support. There are two main types of sales: inside sales and outside sales. Outside sales refer to sales that occur after a customer buys from a business such as a store or restaurant and makes a purchase or purchases a product or service from that business. Inside sales refers to sales that take place before a customer buys from a business like a factory or warehouse where the products are manufactured and shipped to customers.
Inside sales is more direct and involves the salesperson building a relationship with the buyer by providing them with the information they need to make a decision as to whether to buy. This process of developing a relationship begins before the customer enters into a buying arrangement. A salesperson can begin by offering advice on what to buy, how to use it, and how to maintain it over the long term. After this stage, the salesperson begins to sell the product by providing the buyer with testimonials and examples to back up the product or service they are considering buying. When a customer feels they have been well informed, they are more likely to feel comfortable making a purchase.
Another part of sales involves creating new sales opportunities. The creation of new sales opportunities includes using traditional marketing techniques such as advertising and marketing events, but it is also used in conjunction with social media. Traditional marketing venues include radio, television, and print, while social media outlets include creating presence on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and LinkedIn. Using these traditional marketing venues helps create new sales opportunities, but what many companies are discovering is that social media is an even better way to generate new sales leads. Social media allows for a business to connect with potential customers who are not already looking to purchase the products or services a business provides.
Salespeople must be willing to adapt their selling techniques in order to use social media to their advantage. Many salespeople believe that there is a hierarchy in the selling techniques they use. They believe that they use different selling techniques in each interaction they have with a potential client compared to other methods they may use. However, according to marketing research, the best selling techniques come from conversation starters rather than techniques that require selling. The two best selling techniques that apply to most people are giving the buyer a free gift and getting them to make a purchase from you.
When approaching a potential customer you should always lead with the free gift first, as this creates the sense of urgency a potential customer has to buy now. You then may initiate a sales pitch based on the free gift you provide. Some salespeople also believe that by using a combination of direct and indirect selling techniques they will be able to increase the amount of revenue they earn. What is apparent though is that the more effective sales techniques are those that involve warm calling and cold calling.