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Small business sales basics

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The SmallBusiness.com WIKI Guide to Small business sales basics is a collaborative project created by users of the SmallBusiness.com WIKI. It provides an overview of basics related to this topic. Find more guides at The SmallBusiness.com WIKI Guides Hub.


The methodological approach of selling refers to it as a systematic process of repetitive and measurable milestones, by which a salesperson relate his offering enabling the buyer to visualize how to achieve his goal in an economic way. The primary function of professional sales is to generate and close leads, educate prospects, fill needs and satisfy wants of consumers appropriately, and therefore turn prospective customers into actual ones.

Research and Organization

1. Research the cost to sell or provide your service. Factor in your lifestyle budget and determine if you can afford to sell such a product.

2. Organize your time and see how it interferes with your life. Arrange plans and organize your business. Purchase a daily and weekly organizer if you do not already have one.

3. Identify your client body. How can you get to them? Face-to-face, on the phone, through e-mail or a Web site? Introduce yourself, tell them what types of customers you work with (or want to work with). Ask the kinds of questions that potential buyers would ask.

Types of Sales

Direct Sales: involving face-to-face contact

  • retail or consumer
  • door-to-door or travelling salesman
  • party plan

Industrial/Professional Sales: selling from one business to another

  • business-to-business

Indirect: human-mediated but with indirect contact

  • telemarketing or telesales
  • mail-order


  • web B2B, B2C
  • EDI


  • consignment
  • multi-level marketing
  • sales agents (real estate, manufacturing)

Different sales include:

  • Transaction sales
  • Consultative sales
  • Complex sales


Selling technique is the body of methods used in the profession of sales, also often called personal selling. Techniques in use vary from the highly customer centric consultative selling to the heavily pressured "hard close". All techniques borrow a bit from experience and mix in a bit of guesswork on the psychology of what motivates others to buy something offered to them. Mastery in the techniques of selling can offer very high incomes, while failure in it is nearly proverbial.

Good selling involves asking questions to elicit the prospect's needs and desires and finding the appropriate product or service that meets those needs and that the prospect is willing to pay for. If good prospecting (qualifying) is done, then the prospect may already be well suited to the product or service and the salesperson simply needs to lead the prospect to act on the desires and needs they have. A good salesperson is much more knowledgeable about their product or service than the prospect could ever likely be and can offer valuable information and insight to the decision making process.

  • Prospecting: Make sure to have appropriate referals and to know your qualifications, as well as the quality of the product
  • Presentation: Question and Answer session
  • Closing: Wrap up
  • Empathy: Show understanding for your customers and potential clients

External links

This entry includes content from the following Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.com/wiki/Sales