The Three Categories of Selling

Selling can be classified into three broad categories:

  1. Transactional selling
  2. Relationship selling
  3. Added value selling

Transactional Selling

Transactional Selling is the simplest way of selling, it is a short-term sale in which the customer already knows what they need, so there is little sales skills or knowledge needed. This strategy is all about selling a short-term solution. Neither the buyer North the seller has much interest in extending the relationship. Transactional selling strategies tend to be more common for a business that offer a fairly generic product, or service, with the object being making profit out of high-volume sales. Availability of product at lower competitive price are the main criteria for being able to generate sales. Example of this type of selling is high street fashion, groceries and any fast-moving consumer goods.

Relationship Selling

Relationship Selling refers to the sales technique that focuses on the interaction between the buyer and the salesperson rather than the price of the product. The objective of the salesperson in this type of selling is to become the preferred supplier and to build strong and long-lasting relationships over a period of time. The foundation of relationship is based on trust and commitment. The salesperson needs to fully know and understand the buyer. The goal of relationship selling is to have a large enough group of customers so that all the sales are directed at the salesperson instead of them having to go out and find them. They will still need to generate new business but the stronger long-lasting relationships they have the more sales come from that group. Examples of this type of selling could again be groceries and fast-moving consumer goods but in this example, you are the preferred supplier, making this less transactional and generating return customers. Other examples are service driven businesses who offer a service to a client that could be taken elsewhere but the relationship is strong enough for you to be the person of choice when they need that service.

Value-Added Selling

Value Added Selling refers to a sales technique that provides a product of service to customers that allows them to know fully how that product is of benefit to them. This technique combines relationship selling as you’ll need a strong relationship to be able to value add with potential customers and clients. In this type of selling the focus is on correctly establishing the present and future needs of the customer and meeting those needs better than any of the competition, so as to obtain a maximum share of the customer or client’s business. Quite often the product has few differences to that of the competitor but it’s the salesperson that provides potential customers with a feature or an add on that gives it a greater sense of value. The greater sense of value is based on fully understanding the customer’s needs and delivering your sales pitch based on those needs and not the product itself. Examples of this type of selling are services that create value to an organisation and are often found in highly competitive markets where the buyer has multiple choices over similar products; Such as creative services, marketing, design. Quite often a higher price can be paid over a competitor and this is based on the value that is added by your particular organisation.

The biggest thing to remember in any type of selling is that people don’t buy products, they buy the results that the product will give them. So, no one ever bought an alarm clock because they wanted an alarm clock, they wanted the result to be alarmed at a specific time. They wanted to be woken up and the result of that, the added value, could be that they get to go to work on time and don’t lose their job.

When creating value added selling, you need to be able to clearly define in the eyes of your customer what that value add is for your product. Remember to think right outside of the box because what you see is the value of your product is quite often not what your customer sees.

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