Sales in general refers to the act of selling something, it could be goods (tangible or intangible), services, and/or assets in exchange for money. It can also be a termed as an agreement between a buyer and seller on the price of a security. A sale functions as a contract between the buyers and seller with regards to the selected goods or services.
What is a sale? Let us break it down further. In exchange for a certain amount of money or a particular asset, a sale dictates that the seller must provide the buyer with the mentioned goods or services .Most importantly in order to complete a sale both the parties must be equally competent, which means the seller should be able to deliver the goods or services as desired by the buyer and the buyer too should be able to make the necessary payment as per the terms set forth between the two parties. Additionally, the seller should have the authority and eligibility to transfer the goods or services that he has received payment from the buyer.
Moreover, for any transaction to be considered a sale there must be an exchange of goods, services or money between the buyer and the seller. If either party provides money or goods and services without getting anything in return it can only be deemed as "gift" or "donation".
Everyday all across the globe millions of people participate in countless sales transaction, which is creating a constant flow of assets forming the backbone of the associated economies. There are different forms of sales, while sales of goods and services in a retail market is the most common form of sale transaction, the sale of certificates of deposit or bonds in the financial markets represent highly refined value exchanges.
Sales take place between different entities. When people purchase items from a yard sale it would be considered as sale between individuals while in case of a person purchasing a personal vehicle from a dealer would be a sale between an individual and a business. Sales also take place between businesses, such as in the case of a raw material provider selling his available materials to a business that uses that raw material to produce some type of consumer goods. Say for example a farmer selling his produce of tomatoes to a ketchup manufacturer.
Then there are cascading sales. For an example when a home buyer purchases a home, the first sale occurs when the real estate sells the home to the buyer. However, there are many layers of sale surrounding this deal such as a lending institution providing financial assistance to the home buyer in the form of a home loan or mortgage.
Why is Sales so important? Sale covers many aspects and plays a very important role in running an organization. Sales equates to revenue, this revenue is what covers the expenses of running the organization. The ability of a business to cover its expenses enables it to create stable operation and also builds a firm ground and opportunity for growth.
Sales is not just about placing a product in front of the buyer, sales is a spectrum and most selling is a performing art of convincing the buyer of the product and how it is or will be of benefit for him/her. Some people have a natural flair at directing and persuading.
How does one achieve a successful sale? Whatever product or services one might be selling the focus of the selling effort should be on communicating the benefits of the product that is being sold either tangible or intangible, because until and unless the individual buyer is convinced that he or she will personally benefit from buying the product the sale cannot be taken to a successful closure. It is very important to know what the buyer is actually looking for. One needs to hone the ability to listen and understand the needs of the customer. One needs to be an active listener. Never promise what cannot be delivered, nothing is more turn off for a customer than a broken sales promise. Tenacity is a yet another quality that a sales person should have. One should know that all sale pitches do not necessarily end in successful sale closure. At times a sales person needs might need to follow up with a phone call or an email. A good sales person also understands were to draw a line between pursuing a potential sale and pestering the customer.
It is hard to imagine in this age of technology, however, there was a time when products were just sold in a physical sense and sales person were the experts that people turned to before any sale took place. Things have changed and so have consumer habits. Today 75 percent of buyers use social media to research the products that they are trying to buy. This also means that today’s sales person should keep themselves well informed about the product that they are selling as well as that of their competitors to be able to deliver the right message about the product that they are selling.
Most often people think that Sales and marketing is one and the same. However, Marketing is a overall organizational activity which involves, planning, production, pricing, packaging, advertising and finally selling the product. Hence sale is just a part of the overall marketing. However, good marketing planning, production, pricing, good advertising does have very positive impact on sale.
A sales job does not end behind the counter. Sales professional s is much sought after in all kind of organizations. The job is challenging and exhilarating. A sales professional needs to be go getter.
So how does one study to become a successful sales professional? Students interested in pursuing a major in marketing and sales should enroll in Bachelor's Degree programme in marketing. Apart from the usual course they can also additionally study other relevant and ethical issues which are covered in the following courses;
1. Strategic sales management
2. Understanding consumer behavior
3. Promotion design and management
4. Marketing practices and techniques
5. Global marketing
6. Market research and strategy
Several colleges across the country offer courses in Sales and Marketing. One can also take advice from the Career counselors to get a sound idea about the courses. There are several Career Counselors that one can go to including Online Career Counseling as well.
Apart from these there are many Career Guide Services available online and one can go through those websites to get a good understanding of the Course. Many Career seminars also are held to help students select the course most suitable for them. The counseling also helps students understand their strengths and weaknesses and can work accordingly to better themselves.
One can log on to the links listed below which will provide one with a good understanding of the courses available and how to go about cracking the exam:
By: Madhuchanda Saxena
Posted By - Assistant Editor