The Basic Tool of Selling

In job interviews for prospective salespeople, I was always surprised at how few knew anything about the fundamentals of selling, despite past successes. When I asked about the basic tool of selling, most of them had no clue about what it was.

So, what is it?

The basic tool of selling is communication.

Apparently it is taken for granted and used without any real understanding of the word.

Yet there is a direct correlation between success in selling and your ability to understand and use the tool of communication effectively. Every successful salesperson instinctively knows the truth of this statement, and some even have an intuitive knack for using it correctly.

Too many, however, do not.

They assume that because they can speak, that they are communicating. This is a false assumption that can undermine your success.

So, can we all agree that if communication is the basic tool of selling, you should know as much about it as possible?

Now, operating on the concept that words have meaning and actions have consequences, there is a benefit to knowing exactly what the word means and how the actions of selling can bring about desirable consequences when done correctly.

To begin, the word, selling, is an action verb?

 And as such, we need a definition that incorporates this fact.

 So, here is an action definition of selling:

The action of causing a communication between the seller and the buyer that will increase the desire, enhance value, and facilitate a willing exchange to the benefit of both parties.

Note that there are six key words in the above definition.

  1. causing
  2. communication
  3. desire
  4. value
  5. exchange
  6. benefit

The meaning of each word is:

Causing: The action of bringing about or making something happen; bringing into being or being responsible for a certain result.

Communication: The activity of conveying thoughts, feelings, and information; from the Latin word “communis” – meaning to have in common” or “to share.”

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

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

Exchange: To give something and receive something of value in return.

Benefit: A personal consideration of help or advantage.

A full understanding of each of these words (communication, cause, desire, value, exchange, benefit) is vital to your success in selling.

Each word plays a vitally important role in the action of selling.

As every experienced salesperson knows, causing something to happen is the most important element in success.

If you are willing to show up, be there, prepared to cause a communication that builds agreement and action between you and the customer, your chances of success are increased exponentially.

daniel w. jacobs
(c) 2012 – 2013, all rights reserved


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