Home > Education > Selling: What is selling to you?

Selling: What is selling to you?

I'm quite confident that "selling" means different things to different people. So... in your opinion, what is selling? - by Jolly Roger
I'm quite confident that "selling" means different things to different people. So... in your opinion, what is selling?
I'll answer it descriptively.

Selling is the most important skill in any business.

Every person sees through a different lens. Circumstances and environment certainly would determine someone's definition of what selling is.

My own view is that selling is a business, and should be treated as such.

I don't usually paste anything here that I've written elsewhere. This is from a work in progress--and I think it's appropriate for this thread.

Selling has been described as an art, a profession, a career, an occupation, a science, and even a game. In the right context, those terms are valid. However, the very best producers in sales think of themselves as the CEO's of their own businesses. They act in accordance with their own business choices and business decisions. It follows then that the decisions they make will determine their ultimate success or ultimate failure. The rewards of good decision-making are far-reaching and observable. Equally, the fruits of poor decision-making, or the common reluctance to make personal choices, are often frustration, discouragement, and lesser material rewards.

--Gary Boye, Uncommon Sense


That's the best I can offer. - by Gary Boye
I agree, that sales is really your own entreprenurial venture within the walls of whatever company your working for...

J - by jasonc
Listening and then meeting the needs of the person. I think you can try to sell to 100 different people, but if they don't need, more or less want that new car today, then the sale just won't be made. - by msanti85
[
That's the best I can offer.
That's the best explanation I have ever heard! Great Job! - by EXP Creative
Selling includes contacting potential customers, presenting and demonstrating products, taking of orders, delivery of goods and the collection of payment. (Direct Selling Association) - by Prospector
[quote]Selling has been described as an art, a profession, a career, an occupation, a science, and even a game. In the right context, those terms are valid. However, the very best producers in sales think of themselves as the CEO's of their own businesses. They act in accordance with their own business choices and business decisions. It follows then that the decisions they make will determine their ultimate success or ultimate failure. The rewards of good decision-making are far-reaching and observable. Equally, the fruits of poor decision-making, or the common reluctance to make personal choices, are often frustration, discouragement, and lesser material rewards.[/QUOTE--Gary Boye, Uncommon Sense]

What you've posted, Gary, is that the person who takes charge of his life and responsibility for decision making determines his success and that success can be measured. Also, not taking charge of one's life and responsibility for decision making can lead to negative outcomes. I don't see that as a statement of what selling is as much as a statement of a general philosophy that could be applied to everything we do - and very dynamic and true it is.

Day to day, Gary, what are the most specific actions that define what we do when we're selling? Also, what things do we do that may feel like "selling" yet aren't and actually defeat successful sales activity?

I have some conclusions but I'm interested in hearing what you or anyone else has to say. - by MitchM
Day to day, Gary, what are the most specific actions that define what we do when we're selling?
My pappy used to say that a salesperson need only concentrate on 2 things; finding someone to tell your story to and telling someone your story. ;) - by Jolly Roger
Day to day, Gary, what are the most specific actions that define what we do when we're selling?
Mitch,

When we are selling, we are either finding prospects or acquiring customers. If we are not doing either, we are not engaged in the act of selling.

I maintain that selling is a business which does not exclude some of the definitions I noted in my excerpt.

What it is, and what we do, does not directly address what is required. That's a different subject and the answers to that are much more important than the arbitrary definitions we place on the above. - by Gary Boye
Mitch,

When we are selling, we are either finding prospects or acquiring customers. If we are not doing either, we are not engaged in the act of selling.

I maintain that selling is a business which does not exclude some of the definitions I noted in my excerpt.

What it is, and what we do, does not directly address what is required. That's a different subject and the answers to that are much more important than the arbitrary definitions we place on the above.
What fascinates me and interests me most about what you have to say, Gary, is on the subject of what's required and it is what's more important than the arbitrary definitions - the cliches and pocket phrases which do have a purpose. - by MitchM
"What fascinates me and interests me most about what you have to say, Gary, is on the subject of what's required and it is what's more important than the arbitrary definitions - the cliches and pocket phrases which do have a purpose."

Mitch, I'm not sure I understand what you mean. I think cliches and pocket phrases are the "Shake and Bake" versions of what's required. - by Gary Boye
Mitch, I'm not sure I understand what you mean. I think cliches and pocket phrases are the "Shake and Bake" versions of what's required.
I don't disagree with that, Gary - what I meant was that these "shake & bake" cliches and pocket phrases have some value - everything can be used well in the right context or as a measure of what's really important or required.

But it's what you refer as to what's required that's a different subject - what I might call the dynamic personal interior and exterior environment of decision making - that fascinates and interests me.

Your post on being the CEO and assuming responsibility of decision making alludes to this different subject.

You say the answers to what's required are much more important than simple definitions - simple definitions seem to be what most people look for stringing together into longer definitions which may appear as deeper context yet are simply larger versions of simple definitions that shake & bake. - by MitchM
But it's what you refer as to what's required that's a different subject - what I might call the dynamic personal interior and exterior environment of decision making - that fascinates and interests me.

Your post on being the CEO and assuming responsibility of decision making alludes to this different subject.
You're giving me too much credit, Mitch. I believe selling is a business. Like any business, things are required depending on the nature of the endeavour. Working capital, location, suppliers, various resources--on and on. With selling, the major requirement is skills. There's a price to pay--and not necessarily in dollars. Learning is work--hard work. And--you've got to ask yourself "am I the right person selling the right product for the right reason".

Simple--not easy. - by Gary Boye
...finding someone to tell your story to and telling someone your story. ;)
That's one for the books. Simple yet profound. :) - by bridger480
"And--you've got to ask yourself "am I the right person selling the right product for the right reason"." -- Gary

Is the failure to ask and answer this question a major cause of failure in selling, Gary? It sounds simple yet "right" is a mult-dimensional word. Also, the hard work of learning has to do with that question and with the other skills you need to be successful. - by MitchM
"And--you've got to ask yourself "am I the right person selling the right product for the right reason"." -- Gary

Is the failure to ask and answer this question a major cause of failure in selling, Gary? It sounds simple yet "right" is a multidimensional word. Also, the hard work of learning has to do with that question and with the other skills you need to be successful.
Yes, I think so. I'm referring to selling--the career--not making a particular sale. - by Gary Boye
That's one for the books. Simple yet profound. :)
Thank you. Thank you very much. I'll be here all week. :D

Yes, I think so. I'm referring to selling--the career--not making a particular sale.
Gary is right Mitch. I would add to it by asking, "Are you the right person, selling the right product, for the right company, for the right reason."

I can't actually take credit for that since its in most Sales 101 classes. Kudos to Gary for bringing it up. - by Jolly Roger
Yes, I think so. I'm referring to selling--the career--not making a particular sale.
I understand that from my past career as a public school teacher and the many times I looked at myself during the highs and lows wondering the same thing.

Then more currently, the same questions have come to mind - the personal questions. And the skill questions. Asking the right questions is challenging.
-----------------------------
[You're both right of course. I've boiled the question down to: Is this right for you? and from that work with those who I meet with trying to be as selective and exact as we can. It's the part of what I do I enjoy a lot because it's the relational/problem solving side of things.] - by MitchM
Thank you. Thank you very much. I'll be here all week. :D
I can't actually take credit for that since its in most Sales 101 classes. Kudos to Gary for bringing it up.
JR, I think back in Sales 101, I must have been sleeping when they covered that. I wish I wasn't because I think it would have saved me some pain. When, many years later, I finally saw those words, they jumped out at me--like Eureka! - by Gary Boye
Your post on being the CEO and assuming responsibility of decision making alludes to this different subject.
Mitch, I got an email this morning from somebody who disagrees with my definition and analogy (CEOS of their business stuff) and really got me to examine some of the things I've taken for granted. I visited his site and found some of the most fantastic insights on selling I've ever encountered. Like wow!

It's not my place or proper protocol for me to post his words here, but for sake of our discussion, If you'd like me to forward, PM me and I'll do so.

I'm going to send him a referral and I'm hoping he'll post here. What a mind he has. - by Gary Boye
Mitch, I got an email this morning from somebody who disagrees with my definition and analogy (CEOS of their business stuff) and really got me to examine some of the things I've taken for granted. I visited his site and found some of the most fantastic insights on selling I've ever encountered. Like wow!

It's not my place or proper protocol for me to post his words here, but for sake of our discussion, If you'd like me to forward, PM me and I'll do so.

I'm going to send him a referral and I'm hoping he'll post here. What a mind he has.
PM me, Gary. How can I grow and study if I don't challenge my thinking from the outside - the inside too easily becomes self contained.

I gotta run from the inside to the outside [world] for a while - the inside here too becomes too easily self contained and not productive in the prospecting/acquiring customer stand-point.

Later and I'll be looking for the PM in the PM. - by MitchM
JR, I think back in Sales 101, I must have been sleeping when they covered that. I wish I wasn't because I think it would have saved me some pain. When, many years later, I finally saw those words, they jumped out at me--like Eureka!
Gary, I shouldn't say "...it's in most Sales 101" classes since I have not attended a Sales 101 class. That was a gross assumption and my mistake.

When I first heard that statement, or something similar, 20 years ago I heard it a lot and read it a lot. So much so that I took it for granted that everyone else had too and today assumed it to be so basic that it was covered in Sales 101 classes. My apologies. - by Jolly Roger
Gary, I shouldn't say "...it's in most Sales 101" classes since I have not attended a Sales 101 class. That was a gross assumption and my mistake.

When I first heard that statement, or something similar, 20 years ago I heard it a lot and read it a lot. So much so that I took it for granted that everyone else had too and today assumed it to be so basic that it was covered in Sales 101 classes. My apologies.
Oh gosh--no. I didn't take that the wrong way. I think the reason that I was unaware of the idea for so long was that I was too busy thinking in the wrong direction. Sometimes we lose track of our priorities. As you may have guessed, I'm no spring chicken, and if there was a mistake out there to make, I made it. It wasn't about making sales. I always made sales. But, if we're not careful, we can win a thousand battles and lose the war.

I think Sun Tzu said that too. - by Gary Boye
Oh gosh--no. I didn't take that the wrong way.
Thanks for being gracious. ;) - by Jolly Roger
My pappy used to say that a salesperson need only concentrate on 2 things; finding someone to tell your story to and telling someone your story.
Classic! Maybe I will use that as my signature :) - by AZBroker
I'm quite confident that "selling" means different things to different people. So... in your opinion, what is selling?
As Jolly Roger stated, everyone will have a different definition of selling.

I have a simple definition of selling that has served me well over the years and it is:

"Helping the prospect make an informed buying decision."

I've used that simple philosophy for over 30 years now and it has served me well. You'll almost never annoy a prospect when you're trying to help them. Do you get every sale? Of course not, but every sale you do make is a win-win one.

How one executes this simple philosophy is the art and skill of selling. - by Saleswizard
Weekly Updates!
Questions and Answers about Selling
Subscribe to our mailing list to get threads and posts sent to your email address weekly - Free of Charge.