Monday, May 19, 2008

Selling Options

Have you ever noticed that sales people are among the most highest paid within many organizations? The reason is fairly simple: selling is crucial AND difficult to master. As a new business, one of the first decisions you need to make is your selling strategy and which route(s) make most sense to pursue. outlines the following different options:

Direct Sales: involving face-to-face contact

  • retail or consumer
  • door-to-door or traveling salesman
  • party plan

Industrial/Professional Sales: selling from one business to another

  • business-to-business

Indirect: human-mediated but with indirect contact

  • telemarketing or telesales
  • mail-order


  • web B2B, B2C
  • EDI


  • consignment
  • multi-level marketing
  • sales agents (real estate, manufacturing)

When you are developing your sales strategy, it is helpful to see what avenues your competitors are taking. However, it sometimes can give you a competitive edge to go against the norm. A good example is Cabi, a custom-designed clothing line for women formed in 2001. Instead of selling the traditional way via retail stores, Cabi sells exclusively through home-based consultants (i.e. the Tupperware way) and appears to be very successful thus far!

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