If you ask 100 people this question, my guess is you could get 100 different answers!
Some say it is about making products available for people to buy; convincing people to but something they don’t really need or want; the act of persuading people to buy something plus a host of other ideas.
Searching the Internet, the definition I liked the most was “To persuade (another) to recognize the worth or desirability of something”. But even that doesn’t really get to the real definition of Selling.
To me selling is all about providing a solution to a need or requirement and then adding value to that solution to ensure you get the customers business.
For example, somebody needs something to put on their feet to protect them from the elements. They go to a shop where someone can sell them a pair of shoes. Logically, they don’t need anything fancy. A basic plain pair of shoes or boots that will protect their feet is all that is required to solve their problem or need.
The real art of selling comes into play, when a sales person can demonstrate a pair of shoes that not only protect their feet, but will also last longer than the basic ones, look better and be more comfortable. Once the customer has fallen in love with these great shoes, then the price is revealed, a price that is higher than the basic pair.
Then the customer has to make the decision. Logic dictates that they go for the cheaper plain shoes that will satisfy their needs and solve the problem of having protection for their feet.
But then the Emotion kicks in! These shoes are going to last longer, look good and make the wearer feel great. What do you think the decision will be?
A good salesperson understands how we make all our decisions and choices in life based on, not just Logic but also Emotion. Understanding that fact and knowing how to build on Emotion, whilst not ignoring Logic sets the good Sales People apart from the Order Takers!