What Are The Different Types Of Selling?

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Pushy-Young-Salesman-BusinessBy different types of sales, we’re referring to the styles that salespeople will adopt when they are with prospects and customers. Either face-to-face or online.

Over the years the styles have changed because buyers’ needs have changed. We’ve always had to reflect these changes in the Sales Training that we provide.

If we were to sell in the same way as the snake-oil salespeople of the Wild West in 19th century America, we would be very quickly out of a job.

So, what are we referring to when we talk about different types?

Here are our thoughts on different selling types:

1) Transactional Selling

Using this type of sales technique, the intention of the salesperson is to overtly sell their product. There doesn’t appear to be much of a sales process. Any process that is in place normally follows the adage of ‘pile them high, sell them cheap’. This type of selling is reserved for the one-off sale where there isn’t much chance of repeat business.

2) Product-Oriented Selling

As you can imagine, this is where the salesperson just talks about the product and very little else. Salespeople often get roped into this type of sale when a prospect says to them ‘what do you do and why are you selling this to me?’

It revolves around the features and benefits of the product and tries to blind the prospect with science Demonstrations and examples of the product in action are the normal way of proceeding with this particular type.

3) Needs-Oriented Selling

Using this type of sales technique, a salesperson will identify and figure out the needs of a customer through different questions and then present a solution to those needs as is required by the customer. This creates a discourse between the salesperson and prospect but doesn’t go so far as to solve specific problems that the customer may have.

4) Consultative Selling

This type of sale requires an element of trust and relationship between the salesperson and the prospect.

The whole purpose of consultative selling is not to focus on just the product but to focus really on the relationship and how that is going to be established between the salesperson’s company and the prospect’s company. This type of selling is especially effective for solopreneurs and online coaches.

This requires a constant review of how the prospect’s business can be helped by the salesperson and turns the salesperson into a form of consultant to their business.

5) Insight Selling 

Lots of research has proved that salespeople who have this specific type of salesmanship do different things to the norm.

It’s based on a simple 3 level model that brings on successful results:

Level one is to connect, where salespeople connect the customer needs and their company solutions to the issues that the buyers have.

Level two is the convince stage, where salespeople convince their prospects they can achieve maximum returns with lower risk and that they are the most effective company to deal with if you want the results that have been promised.

Level three of insight selling is known as the collaboration stage, where salespeople bring new ideas to the table and have insights as to the future operations of the company they will be working with.

It’s important to recognise that each of these types of sales has their place. If you understand the type of sale that’s absolutely right for your customer, then you will be in a strong position to use the specific type in the right way at the right time to bring the right results for both you and your customer.

6) Social Selling 

Many sales professionals are moving their prospecting and selling to online methods. Gone are the days where you’d bang out 100+ cold calls all day long.

With social selling it’s mainly focused around LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook depending on what social media platform is right for your industry.

With this approach it’s all about profile building, networking, relationships, creating thought provoking content and then attempting to move your virtual relationships into the physical world via a meeting or a call.

Our Social Selling Training programmes are very popular so we know that this type of selling is becoming the norm.

Audit your sales skills…

If you’re interested in finding out the key skills required to make a success in sales then there’s plenty of further information at SalesDNA. You’ll uncover the different types of sales skills required.

Improve your sales skills further by taking our FREE online course made up of several online training sessions. It covers 9 powerful Sales Techniques to help you.

Learn more Selling Skills Training techniques by attending our 2-day course. It will turn you from someone who works in sales into a sales professional. There’s a big difference between the two.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

Sales DNA

Originally published: 26 March, 2019

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