What is Selling? Everything You Need to Know

Selling is the root of your business. When you sell, you earn revenue. Revenue keeps the business running. Without sales, your business suffers and could likely be non-existent. This article covers everything you need to know about sales.

What is Selling?

Selling is a transaction where money is exchanged for a product or service. Sellers are able to sell because a customer has determined the seller has what they need and solves a pressing pain point. It’s not easy selling; the buyer must be willing to part with hard-earned money and sometimes that takes some persuasion.

The Main Functions of Selling

Certain things need to happen in order for selling to take place. There are five main functions that make selling possible. They are product planning and development, creation of demand, establishing contact with the buyers, negotiations and entering into a contract.

Product Planning and Development

Any product being sold needs to go through product planning and development. The developer will need to take certain things into consideration; like the quality of the product, the standard that the customer would require in order to consider buying it, the price, etc.

Market research helps to identify what the product should be: what it should look like, feel like, does it represent the brand etc. Development should also be taken into consideration by calculating how much of the product is needed to meet the demands of the consumer.

Creation of Demand

It doesn’t matter the quantity of the product; if the demand is not there, nothing will sell. The seller must keep his customers informed and make them aware of the product. This creates demand for the product. If the customers don’t know it exists, there will be no revenue sales. To create demand for the product the seller will need to advertise and promote the product through various marketing strategies. 

Establishing Contact with the Buyers

Once the product is developed and the demand is there, there needs to be a way for the consumer to be able to access the product. This is why it’s important for the seller to establish contact with consumers. The seller needs to find out where the buyers are, establish contact with them and begin building relationships. This is an ongoing, continuous process that never stops because you always want to be finding new potential buyers.


After contact is made with potential buyers, interactions take place, and the buyer decides to buy. Terms have to be established, the quantity, the price, the quality, the product, variations of the product, the shipping, the warranty … It’s even possible to have offers and counteroffers made. The goal is to reach a common point of understanding that will be of benefit for the buyer and the seller.

Entering into a ContractEntering into a Contract

Once the agreement is reached, the products pass legally from the seller into the hands of the buyer. This is the close of the sale, the end result and the whole purpose of selling.

The 5 Basic Principles of Selling

Selling has many different nuances, but the basic principles of selling never change. These principles remain the same regardless of who the seller is and who they’re selling to. When you understand these basic principles, you can master the core of selling and have what you need to sell to anyone.

1. Relationship Sells

No matter what you sell, your ability to get the sale results is determined by building a positive relationship with the consumer. Building relationships is a mix of building rapport, identifying the needs of the consumer, showing genuine interest in the consumer, and building and adding value to them. 

Ask yourself why anyone should buy from you versus someone else if you’re selling the same product or service at comparable prices. The answer lies in who they’re buying it from.

2. It’s About Them, Not Your Product

The sale is never about your product or service but the consumer’s problem. If the consumer doesn’t see a need for your product or service, they won’t buy it. So it has to answer their pain point. The key to success in sales is identifying the pain behind the buying decision. What’s the consumer’s problem? Why do they want or need the product? 

3. Price and Value Go Hand in Hand

The price of a product or service is never too expensive if it solves the problem for the buyer. If the buyer thinks the product or service is too expensive, it’s because you haven’t created enough value for it. Price and value go hand in hand. The value defines the price. In any product or service, the price is irrelevant if you’re not able to create and sell the value it brings.

4. You Have To Close The Sale

At the end of the day, you’re in the business of sales. It doesn’t matter how big your team is or how many wonderful products you have if they’re not selling. If you don’t close the sale, there is no sale, which means the product isn’t moving. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling or where you’re selling, or who you’re trying to sell to, you will only be successful in sales if you actually close sales.

The Best Sellers Are Good Listeners

5. The Best Sellers Are Good Listeners

If you’re a good listener, you have a good chance of being successful in sales. When you really listen to the problems of others, you hear them and understand their pain points. Listening helps you build those relationships you need to gain the trust of potential buyers. 

When you actively listen, you can also know the right questions to ask because you hear them so well. The best-sellers are good listeners. But they must also know how to still control the discussion by asking the right questions and effectively listening to hear what they need to hear to know how to close the deal.

The Most Common Types of Selling

There are different types of selling styles. Some of the most common are consultative, solution, transactional, collaborative, and provocative selling.

Solution Selling

The solution approach focuses on the outcomes of the product or service. With this approach, the seller leads with the problem and uses tactics to describe how the consumer’s life would be better once the problem is solved. 

For this selling strategy to work, the seller must focus on building a genuine relationship with the potential buyer, create innovative solutions and unique value propositions, paint a clear and distinct picture of the total value of the solution the product or service will solve, and align around the entire organization, not sales team only. 

Consultative Selling

There are similarities between consultative and solution selling. Consultative selling takes the aspects of solution selling and broadens it to cater to consumers who can identify solutions to their problems. The consultative approach uses a combination of data, market research, and insights from discussions they’ve had with the consumer, and they use it to craft a narrative that puts the offer in context for the consumer. This type of approach requires the seller to be able to interpret data, ask the right questions and deliver promising insight into the discussion.

Transactional Selling

Transactional selling focuses on making a quick sale. There’s no long-term relationship and one is not desired by the seller or the consumer. Engagement is the new thing when it comes to customer and business relationships, but transactional selling still has moments when it can be effective. Sometimes the buyer is looking for a quick self-serve option like movie tickets or concert tickets, or a business sells generic products at low costs or with subscriptions.

This selling style is mostly a hands-off approach, but the overall goal is to ensure the customer has exactly what they need as quickly as possible. 

Collaborative Selling

Collaborative selling relates to consultative selling in that the focus is on building relationships to better understand the needs of the consumer. And it doesn’t stop there. The seller works to understand the consumer’s challenges and goals, and they are the center of attention. The consumer works directly with the seller to ensure they’re able to identify the problem and find the solution. This strategy sets the stage for building relationships that keep the customer coming back.

Provocative Selling

Provocative selling is similar to consultative selling in that it aims to uncover needs and pain points through market research, data analysis, and buyer interactions. Provoking your customers is the best way to get them past the buy nothing mentality. In this strategy, you create a sense of urgency with your customer base and guide them to the right solutions to fix their problem. 

This approach can be effective but difficult to do because the seller needs to be an expert in their field. They must also be able to read the room to determine when provocation will drive action or frustrate the consumer.

Characteristics of Selling

There are specific characteristics that are unique to selling: The core of marketing, basis of exchange, centers around salesmanship, means of promotion, creative function, social character, and ingredient of a marketing program.

Core of Marketing

The core of marketing is the central point of it. It’s about satisfying the needs of people by providing them with what they want. Selling products or services to them is the best possible way of doing this. 

Basis of Exchange

A basis of exchange opens the opportunity for the sale to happen. There has to be a source to provide that opportunity for the exchange of a good or service for money.

Centers Around Salesmanship

Salesmanship is one of many techniques to sell products or services. With this, the buyer’s desires and needs are identified, and efforts are made to satisfy the wants for mutual interest.

Means of Promotion

Salesmanship is a form of sales promotion, and personal selling sales promotion is a specific part of salesmanship, along with advertising and publicity. Promotion is to communicate persuasively.

Creative FunctionCreative Function

Selling generates new needs and desires, new demands, newer products, and markets. It is the selling that enables the exploration of new markets.

Social Character

Selling is an action and a form of social behavior. It’s a combination of different things like motives, practices, and activities. It is a means of social cultivation and growth.

Ingredient of a Marketing Program

The scope of marketing is broad and includes distribution channels and promotional activities, product development, and pricing. Sales promotion makes it possible to formulate marketing politics and programs.


If you’re a seller, you want to increase your leads and improve your sales. Selling Revolution can help you do just that. We build selling systems that help you get leads and improve sales.  Contact us so we can get you selling to maximize your revenue. Book a call with us today!