Sales Fundamentals | Our Fail-Safe Guide to Basic Sales

3 Minutes

If you’re just starting out in the sales industry, you’re going to be confronted with plenty of advice and tips on how to be a good seller. Every salesperson out there will have a different approach, and with so many insider tips and case studies to consider, you might be feeling overwhelmed.

Thankfully, there are some basic principles that all salespeople should be aware of. These fundamentals will give you confidence in your selling career while also offering you a springboard from which to develop your skills further down the line, perhaps with some sales training.

From knowing what selling exactly is to getting your foot in the door and finally closing a deal, this fail-safe guide to sales is the place to begin. 

If you are looking for more in-depth sales training, level up your learning with Pareto in-person and online sales courses. For now, follow the tips in our guide, and you’re bound to impress at your next job interview or sales meeting.

What is Selling?

It might seem an obvious question, but clarifying what selling means is part and parcel of being a successful seller. Any sales training course will likely begin with this basic question. 

When you sell, you’re essentially giving your customer an object of value (real or virtual) in exchange for something else of value, which is usually money.  

Focus on the benefits of your product or service - this is the foundation of all sales work.

In the broader category of sales, there are several different types of selling. Transactional selling focuses on smaller, instant sales - think of buying food in a supermarket or fuel for your car. There is unlikely to be any focus on a long-term relationship between seller and client.

By comparison, relationship selling looks at building a long-term relationship with the customer by consistently communicating with the buyer over a long period of time. Sales training will cover the differences between sales types so that you can tailor your sales technique to the exact sell.

Knowing Your Customer

The next step in sales training is undoubtedly knowing your customer. Without an understanding of exactly what your customer needs, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to fulfil their expectations.

Having a thorough understanding of your ideal customer will also assist you with building long-term relationships, leading to future sales success.

Before you even start meeting your customers, you should consider these questions:

  • Who is my ideal customer?
  • What problem can I solve for them?
  • What are their biggest challenges?
  • What brought the customer to me in the first place?

This will help you to create detailed buyer personas. These are semi-fictional representations of your customers, which you can use to relate to your buyer and provide a better sales pitch. 

Creating a Sales Plan

A sales plan is crucial to understanding how and where you’re going to sell. This document should contain details of your buyer personas, sales trends, and any sales goals you want to achieve

You should quantify these goals with data. For example, you could track the number of successful sales, the conversion rate, or the total amount of profit from new sales.

If you’re managing a sales team, ensure that creating a sales plan is part of your sales training. Creating tangible targets is the only way to ensure consistency with your selling and ultimately make you and your team better salespeople.

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