The Essence of Selling
Although human beings like to insert boundaries just about everywhere, these obtrusive dividing lines hardly exist in nature; rather, what one finds in nature’s museum are transitions between extremes. Often, the valley is a transition between two mountain peaks; and the valley itself is really the base of the mountains. The same thing holds true in the realm of the human cosmos. Selling and marketing are really the same thing manifesting itself in different ways; accordingly, it is quite difficult to separate the one from the other; but for convenience sake, such division is often necessary. Selling is really the end product of the business machine. It is the final element in the carefully and closely coordinated system of business production. The business process begins with an exquisitely assembled machine of ideas, raw materials, human operatives, and mechanical devices that produce a carefully planned and thought out product (good and service). Physical machines are not always needed for the production of products. Sometime—and especially in service-oriented societies—the main productive machinery involved are carefully trained, highly skilled human operatives. Irrespective of the mode of machinery used to manufacture the product, the end product is a commercial entity that has to be sold in the marketplace. It is at this juncture where selling needs to be fully understood and executed with the utmost efficacy.
Once the product has been produced, it must then be moved on to the marketing department; which is responsible for conducting the necessary research about the area’s demographic nature and habit. This crucial information enables the company to create products that cater to the community’s needs. The marketing department’s critical research findings are handed over to the sales department where the actual exchange process is activated. Hence, one sees the consummate interlinking and interaction between the various business segments in order to produce and promote a finished product to be sold by the company’s sales team. This broad overview is intended to spotlight the role of a company’s sales component and the people who are involved in that process. Obviously, the principal goal of any sales department is to simply sell its companies products and services to consumers. In essence, the company is selling a product that meets human needs. Whether the product is solving a practical problem such as building a dam, digging a well, producing baby diapers, or curing a human ailment; it is meeting human needs. The essence of its value is its ability to solve human problems. Somehow or other, though, merely having products that can alleviate or fix human problems does not necessarily translate into sales being made.
Nowadays, the delicate process of selling goods and services to society’s masses has been rigorously fine-tuned in view of helping business people to understand the mechanics and dynamics of selling and meeting customers’ needs in the new fast-paced world society. Obviously, the brash, in your face approach to selling is to merely sell the product to whoever would buy it. Unfortunately, that pushy, naïve approach to selling by trying to shove one’s products down another person’s throat does not quite work in this new sophisticated age of well-educated, slippery clients and customers! Today, quite evidently, consumers want more than just what one is selling; and the whole idea of merely selling has gone over the hill. Today’s dashing and polished consumers simply want more than the product that is being sold, and salespeople must learn that times have changed and that consumers are looking for more than just the product that they are selling. In essence, postmodern selling has become a delicate system of guardianship where the seller of the product adopts the customer’s business-related problem—and sometimes even more than that—and solves them through the agency of his expertise with the customer’s full cooperation in the process. In essence, selling today has turned business people into quaint servants who analyze their clients’ (customers’) problems; excogitates the best solution to the problems, in view of their expertise; and execute the solution in as timely a manner as possible. In the process, the client receives genuine help with, and solution to, his problem and a veritable sense of satisfaction with the transaction. That thorough sense of satisfaction that he derives from doing business with his business partner builds trust—the main currency of exchange here—which stemmed from the seller’s profound sense of caring for his client. The deep sense of trust and bonding that result from the seller’s intense thoroughness and caring build value into the business relationship. The sum total of all that guardianship that the seller has displayed produces a firm sense of meaning to the customer; accordingly, the client now becomes a permanent customer of his kind new business partner who went out of his way to solve his customer’s problem and make things happen for him.
From this point of view, it is not hard to see why straight buying and selling do not work anymore. People who have been exposed to this kind of guardianship have become spoilt and have come to expect this kind of service wherever they do business—and they would only do business where this kind of guardianship is available. In this Age of the Internet where one can simply Google his way to this new kind of service, it is not hard to understand why straight up selling hardly works anymore. The world has become a very stressful place and is undergoing change overload: This unimaginable stress has forced consumers to change their consumer behavior and to find business operatives who are willing to either help them solve their problems or solve the problems for them in exchange for their business. There are still quite a few ‘old heads” that have not caught on to the new way of doing business in the Internet Age, but in time, they will.