Before I start writing this down, it is imperative to define what sales is. The definitions could vary from “a transaction between two parties where the buyer receives goods (tangible or intangible), services and/or assets in exchange for money” or “the exchange of a commodity for money” to “the action of selling something to someone”. Or it could also be the process where the ownership or the title to a property is transferred in lieu of something, generally money. Or simply put, it is just bringing together 2 parties, generally wanting to exchange what each has, with what the other has. And why this exchange? Because each is interested more in what the other person has, than what he/she already has. It could be goods for goods (barter) as in the old times, or goods for money.
The next part is to understand why a sales transaction takes place. Simply put, by definitions above, a sales transaction between two parties happen when they exchange goods or services with good, services or money. They do that because of their want of the other thing. For example, if you have money and I have a dozen apples. The sales transaction will happen because you want the apple more than the money that you have, and I want the money more than the apple that I have. Some people might claim it is an exchange of something that I have in abundance, with what I don’t have at all. Meaning, I have many apples but no money, and you have enough money and no apples, hence the exchange. But a sales transaction could have been achieved even without the money involved, if you had, say, oranges, and I wanted them more than my apples. As it is, I will buy something with the money that you give me for my apples. Could it not be that we could have done a “SALES” with goods exchanged only, as it happened in the old times, where you give me what you have and I don’t, and I do the same for you?
The above being true, should it not be easy to sell. It is just about finding out what the other person does not have that we can offer, and bingo, we have a closure. And has it not been always the case with humans. I remember an old couplet, which goes as:
As a rule, man is a fool. He wants it hot, when it is cool.
He wants it cool when it is hot. Always wanting what is not.
Going by the above, sales should be only about identifying what the other person not have, and give it to him in exchange of what he has. But anyone who has spent any amount of time trying to do sales will know from experience that it is not true. So where does the above hypothesis fail?
Once you step out of the texts and step out into the real world, the above changes. There are many people trying to sell the same products to one person with money. For example, extending the example above, you have money and are looking to buy apples, and there are multiple people like me, trying to sell you our apples. Now which one would you buy from? The one with the best apples? Or the one with the cheapest apples? Or maybe the one who convinces you about his apples being the best? Or the one who talks the sweetest? I think you will buy it from the one who convinces you that what you really need is his apples. And that, my friends, is the art of selling, after having discussed the science above.
The capability to convince a potential customer that he / she wants what I am selling, is what it takes to be a great salesman (Or saleswoman. Believe me, I have seen women do much better than most of their male counterparts). Remember the serpent selling the idea of eating the forbidden apple to Eve, in the Garden of Eden? Eve was convinced beyond doubt that the apple is what she needed the most, irrespective of the fact that God had instructed them not to eat it. This ability to convince a customer, beyond any reasonable doubt, about the need of the product being sold, is what makes Sales an Art. Whereas the science can teach you the process of sales, its your artistic ability that will help you become a great sales guy. And an art, as we all know, cannot be learned. It has to be practiced, continuously and rigorously, with an aim to perfect it. And a good sales guy can excel at almost any field that he chooses to. So, keep selling, and be happy. After all, no matter how great a product or service you have, you will need to get that transaction to gain what you want in exchange of the same.