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Business Operations

The art of the sale

May 18, 2011
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Selling is both an art and a science. High achieving companies have a detailed, thorough selling process that still allows their sales team members some flexibility to drive creativity. One important part of any selling process is the interaction through which customer needs are revealed and understood by the sales professional.

Many sales persons have an agenda and are charged to “sell the special” rather than slow the process down and understand customer needs. When I say this, I’m talking about both present and potential future needs that could be met by your products and services. In my selling model, I emphasize the importance of asking appropriate questions with sincerity, in a genuine attempt to understand how to meet relevant customer needs. This resonates a lot more with a frugal customer than an effort to “sell the special.”

When times are tough, we sometimes assume that all our customers are becoming especially thrifty. This way of thinking does not allow for the possibility that the customer may indeed want to buy. It essentially paralyzes the salesperson. If you are convinced that customers aren’t going to buy, change your thinking to: “How can I help educate my customers now so when they are ready to buy they can make a more informed decision?”

Educate your current customers on your entire product and service offering. If done well, you may even garner additional referrals that you would never have received without using this kind of process.

Charlie Fewell has over 30-years working as a trainer and management head for AC Delco and now runs his own business consulting firm Charlie Fewell & Associates that specialize in transitional leadership and business development. For more information visit

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