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What Is a Salesman?

Hillary Cyril




What are sales? Sales are activities related to the exchange of products or services for payment. The sale of a product is also commonly regarded as a sale. Sales are a major force in any business activity, both domestic and global. The number of sales in any economy is closely proportional to the income generated from that economy. In fact, sales are the backbone of any business in the world.

Sales have always been a part of the global marketing mix and a true definition of sales will not exclude them. It is not about gaining popularity, but rather it is all about winning trust from your prospects and clients. A definition of sales should include three important things: it should be measurable, it should be comprehensive, and it should be true. If any of these three items are missing, then your definition of sales has lost its validity. Sales are actually a very complicated area and even the best marketer cannot really say exactly what the selling process entails.

One of the most important things that need to be included in any definition of sales is a transaction. Essentially, every sales transaction consists of the following three components: selling the product to the buyer, taking the buyer to the seller, and delivering the product to the buyer once he/she has paid for it. It is very easy to confuse the first two components with each other, but take a moment to think about how a typical sales transaction takes place. Most often, a potential buyer approaches the seller, looks at the product, determines whether he/she wants it, places an order, and the seller then delivers the product to the buyer.


Now let’s think about how this same transaction might take place if the salesperson was known as an outside salesperson instead. If the potential buyer was approached by an inside salesperson, the same three components would occur. First, the potential buyer would approach the inside salesperson for the product, determine whether he/she wants it, and place an order. Once the order is placed, the inside salesperson goes to the customer and explains the process of purchasing the item. Then, the inside salesperson places the order with the company whose name is on the back of the product. The only difference here is that the potential buyer is approaching the company and not the individual selling the item.

Now let’s apply this same theory to the third component of sales: delivery. Inside salespeople are very familiar with how product delivery happens. This includes making sure that the paperwork is in order, ensuring that the boxes of product arrive on time, and calling the customer to make sure that the product is properly packaged. Outside salespeople are usually not used to this process, so they don’t understand why a client might be delayed, or why the product might not be delivered on time.

These three examples just barely scratch the surface of what needs to be understood about the definition of a salesman. There are many more things that go into a successful selling career, but these three are at the top of the list for most people. Learning as much as you can about each of the three components of selling is a good way to start. As you study the various elements of sales, you will be able to begin developing your own unique style. You will be able to differentiate yourself from your competition.

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