An Applied Philosophy of Selling

dj at light houseIt’s said that to see the future, sometimes you have to look to the past.

This quote is no exception:

The salesman is the crucial element that makes it all work.”

 American philosopher for the common man, Elbert Hubbard,wrote these words over a century ago. What really caught my attention was how perfectly this relates to the role of the salesman in society today.

Elbert Hubbard was a rugged individualist and author of over 7,000,000 words – including one of the best selling books of all time, “A Message To Garcia,” selling over forty million copies worldwide.

He also researched and wrote on the subject of truth:

“Truth can be proved in just one way, and no other – that is by living it. You know what is good, only by trying. “Truth, for us, is that which brings good results – happiness or reasonable conduct, health, peace and prosperity.”

And also on the subject of philosophy:

“The word philosophy means the love of truth or, if you prefer, the love of that which is reasonable and right. Philosophy refers directly to the life of man – how shall we live so as to get the most of this little Earth journey?

So, armed with this concept of philosophy above as a starting point plus my study and experience in the fields of human behavior generally and sales specifically, I set out toward the lofty goal of attempting to add something of lasting value to the vast library on the subject of selling.

My purpose for the book was to develop something which when used, would give excellent results; provide happiness and prosperity in addition to reasonable conduct, health and peace of mind.

It would ideally also provide a bedrock-basis of agreement about the subject of sales and selling in general and be reasonably easy to understand and apply.

Minimally, I felt that an applied philosophy of selling must accomplish five things:

  1. To isolate the natural laws of selling that could be used in every situation.
  2. Use this knowledge to help align selling methods with the timeworn, fundamental principles.
  3. To keep it real and not adopt a professorial, overly academic point of view.
  4. To keep it human and understandable so it could be applied instantly.
  5. To help working sales professionals make their job more efficient and effective.

So, as in all my studies and research, I began by consulting my trusty dictionary.

As a point of departure, I recognized one important fact:

There is a difference between a sale (a noun) and selling (an active verb)

a) Selling is an active verb, describing the series of actions that must occur for a sale to take place.

b) A sale is a noun describing a stable, static state that occurs when all the actions of selling have been brought to a close.

Selling, or “to sell” defines the actions of causing a sale to take place. You are the causative element in the equation. Good results will not occur unless you are actively performing all the actions necessary to bring about a sale. These actions are grouped under the title: Selling.

A sale is the final result of the actions you take in selling. It is a point that occurs in the overall selling cycle when your actions of selling should come to an end. This is the “close.” You sell to end up with a closed sale with the customer still smiling!

A sale means the door is closed!

The customer is happy, you’re happy, and the deal is sealed. It’s important to note, do not continue “selling” after you have closed the sale. I wish I could state that simple fact 100 times. It is possible to sell yourself out of the sale.

Important: Don’t over-sell the sale or you won’t have one.


It’s self-evident fact that the salesperson is the most important element in business. 

Without them to grease the wheels of business, it would not function. It is something you do. It is something you cause to happen. Nothing in business occurs until a sale take place.


When you have accomplished “a sale,” do not continue selling. Stop talking. Stop demonstrating. Stop doing anything.  You’re done. Just shut off the “selling engine,” take your hands off the wheel and get out of the car. You’ve arrived. Congratulations!

If you understand what is involved in selling, then a sale will be far easier to achieve.

Understanding the following six key words of selling is vital:


1.  Communication: the exchange of information between individuals, by means of speaking or writing; a sense of mutual understanding.

2.   Cause: To make something happen or exist or be the reason that somebody does something; to bring into being or be responsible for a certain result.

3.  Desire: to want something very strongly; a wish, need or longing for something.

4.  Value: the perception of worth, importance, or usefulness of something to somebody.

5.  Exchange: to give something and receive something of value different in return.

6.  Benefit: To give or receive help or advantage.

Note: A “benefit” is a subjective term, as what is considered a benefit is not common one for one. It is a function of what is considered valuable, and value is determined by what how much something is desired or wanted.

To put the above information into an “action definition of selling” that can be used and applied instantly in the real world, I have formulated the following definition for consideration:


Selling – action definition: the effective use of communication to cause an increase in desire and to enhance the value of a product or service in the eyes of customer resulting in a willing exchange of something of value for the thing wanted or needed to the benefit of both parties.

Once you see this as a tool for use – and understand each word in the definition – the more your effectiveness and efficiency will increase.

This is because all the fundamental ingredients of selling, necessary for any sale to take place, are included in the definition. It is now up to you to apply this tool of knowledge to your advantage or not.

Until you try it and see that it works for you, it’s just a combination of words and sentences, which may or may not be true.

Remember the words of Elbert Hubbard as above: “Truth can be proved in just one way, and no other – that is by living it.”

To fully test something you need to experience it yourself and this applied philosophy of selling is no different.

Any philosophy is only as valuable as it produces desirable results, and until see that it does work for you, it is just an opinion.

However, if you can see it produce good results, happiness and prosperity, then it is true for you.

Follow this path and soon you too will be standing on the solid bedrock of certainty built on the natural laws of selling, with all the stability that this provides.

I assure you it is worth the effort!

daniel w. jacobs
(c)2002-2030, all rights reserved


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: