wardell books

Chapter 1: Introduction to Sales

lemonade stand

All meaningful development and growth in our society comes as a result of sales. It’s a bold statement to be sure, but once you understand the relationship between business and society its meaning becomes clear. Business is little more than a series of fair exchanges of value for value, and sales activities are the sparks that ignite these interactions. Sales are where the “rubber hits the road.” After all, your business is little more than a good idea until a sale is made.

From a customer’s perspective, products and services are simply tools we use to build and shape our lives. The more we have to choose from, the greater the possibility we have of locating exactly what we are looking for. Think of it as a smorgasbord with an endless and constantly changing variety of foods. No two people will put exactly the same combination on their plates, but everyone will take something to eat.

For example, a woman might assemble a wardrobe that reflects her personality by making purchases from a variety of clothing stores. Or, a business might manufacture a unique product using a variety of raw or prefabricated materials purchased from other businesses. My point is simply this. Sales give us access to products and services we would otherwise have to live without.

From a business development perspective, Sales are a subcategory of Marketing. While Marketing activities align your business with your unique market position, Sales activities provide your customers with the means to acquire your specific products and services. Specifically, they use your market position to attract qualified prospects, and ultimately, to convert them into customers.

It is a common worry that this aspect of business has infiltrated too far into our daily lives; that we are surrounded by too much advertising, harassed by too many telemarketers, and inundated with too much junk mail. But sales activities are not the real culprits. After all, they make it possible for us to receive the fruits of the labour of others. Without them, society would evolve at a much slower rate. Someone somewhere may have a brilliant solution to my greatest problem, but unless it is promoted I may never know about it, and without a sales process I may never benefit from it.

No, sales are not harmful to society. Indeed, they are essential. But just like anything else, they can be misused. They can infiltrate areas of our personal lives where they are unwanted and they can become aggressive and rude. The purpose of your sales activities should be to inform your prospects of your solutions to their needs. The moment they begin to evolve into coercion they cease to fulfill their natural function and start to become tools for greed.

For the customer, sales should satisfy needs and expand potential. If I am introduced to and ultimately purchase a new computer, for example, my business may become more organized and efficient as a result. For the entrepreneur, sales represent an opportunity to enrich their society while building their business. So if you sell computers, not only do you help people improve their efficiency, you make a profit, allowing you to improve your business as well.

When developing your business as a whole, your sales activities should typically be tackled last. If you pursue these activities prior to developing the rest of your business, you risk growing your business too quickly. This, of course, is the problem of unmanaged growth we have been tackling all along.

By now, however, your business should be fully prepared and ready to grow. Everything we have worked on so far has been designed to get you ready for this. If you have followed through with your efforts to set up your business properly, then you may now look forward with anticipation to the growth that is coming your way.

“If a tree is given minimal nourishment, it will live, but will not grow. If nourishment is given over and beyond what is needed for life, the tree will live and grow upward, downward, and outward. But if a tree is given nourishment over and beyond what is needed to support life, needed for growth, and more, it will produce fruit. Fruit is the overflow, a surplus of excess nourishment.“