Prepare to Sell!

Comments (19)

Prepare to Sell!

By: Audrey Burton

Sales is a critical part of any business, including non-profits. Sales is not complicated or difficult, but requires preparation, consistent action and a plan. Before completing any preparatory work in sales, consider asking yourself some tough questions.

  1. Why are you in this business?
  2. Do you believe in your product/service?
  3. What are you trying to accomplish?

When you believe in your product and understand why you're doing what you're doing, the rest of the sales process is much easier.

The first step in the plan is for the salesperson to know the features and benefits of the product or service (let's say product). For example, let's say your product is office furniture. Describing the features of your product and your company might look like this:

  • Been in business 18 years
  • Lots of variety - including home office
  • Free delivery
  • All price points
  • 7 day guarantee

While features are very important, it's even more important to identify the benefits of your product. This process involves more thought - you need to put your feet in your customers' shoes and ask, "What's in it for me? (wiifm)" For example, "Why should I care if you've been in business 18 years? How does that help me?"

To fully understand the benefits of your product, first list the features, and then answer the wiifm question for every feature. There are no rules for this exercise and there will likely be more than one benefit for some features. Getting back to our office furniture example, here are some benefits:

  • Longevity - we'll be here for you when you need us. We will remember you! You don't even have to come into the store when you need something. Bottom line - a relationship, convenience and peace of mind.
  • Variety - one-stop-shopping. No matter what you need, we have it or we will get it for you. We save you time.
  • Free Delivery - save you money.
  • All prices - you will not be disappointed. When you come to our store, you will find what you want within your budget! We save you money and minimize stress at the same time.
  • Guarantee - If it doesn't fit or doesn't look good, we'll take it back - no questions asked. This gives peace of mind and freedom in making your decision.

If you get stuck determining the benefits, ask your customers! Why did you buy from us? If the answer is vague, be willing to go deeper and deeper until you get something tangible. For example:

  • "I bought from you because I liked the furniture."
  • You go further - "What did you like about it?"
  • "It matched my existing office furniture."
  • "So, you appreciated the variety we offer? Did you look anywhere else? What did you find there - good and bad? Were there any other reasons you bought from us?"

This may be stressful for you, and you may feel like you're bugging your customers. Again, put your feet in your customers' shoes - do you think your customers want you to succeed? If your vendors called to ask you to help them, would you? If you're still uncomfortable, offer an incentive or gift to customers who help you to do this research.

Another way to define benefits that are important to your prospects is to determine their needs and define their problems. By fully understanding your potential customers' needs and problems, you can better give them what they want. Sometimes your prospects don't fully understand their needs and problems, so doing this research in advance and being prepared with this information, you can help them even more.

Now you can talk to anyone about your product!

About The Author

Audrey Burton, Business and Life Coach. Audrey is a caring, but no-nonsense coach. Audrey's ultimate goal is to help women to be happy with their work and life. She keeps you focused and motivated by helping you set priorities according to only your agenda. To sign up for her free, monthly email newsletter and to better understand how she works, visit her website at You only live once - love your life today!


alittlemorenightmusic 04.05.2007. 21:06

Where can I find information about a factory/refinery in the US that prepares and sells Zirconium? The question pretty much sums it up. I need to find a company in the US that prepares and sells zirconium and zirconium based products. Sites would be most appreciated. Thanks.


Admin 04.05.2007. 21:06

try sweets file under industrial diamonds or jewellry , imitation diamonds


J 28.08.2008. 04:21

How do you make quality prints of your own paintings or drawings to sell to the public.? I have some paintings that I'm not quite prepared to sell but would like to make prints of them to sell on sites like ebay or etsy.
How do you make prints?
How much does it usually cost to make a typical amount of prints of an average size painting?
Any advice is appreciated.


Admin 28.08.2008. 04:21


One way you could do this (as someone suggested) is by using a digital camera to take a photo of your artwork or paintings. If this all seems a little too difficult you could barter to get a photography student to help you or something similar.

Just a good quality camera would do the trick. You do, as was suggested here, need to get focus right, angle and lighting. But it is do-able. Also if you have an image editing program like PhotoShop you can use that to tidy up your digital image, make sure it's sized correctly, and burn it onto CD.

If that does seem too much work then you could try this technique:

I use that to sell my photos using CafePress. That might be a good option for you...

Failing all that I would suggest getting in touch with art or photo students and getting their help to photograph your prints or artwork. You need a good quality 'original' - then you can take that digital image and duplicate it hundreds of times, sell different sizes on eBay, etc.

Hope that helps... :)


Peacefield 11.01.2010. 18:46

Is it illegal to not disclose problems with a car when selling to a private party? I'm preparing to sell my car. It's an excellent automobile, but does have a problem that only occurs intermittently on hot days. Ethically, I know I should disclose this to prospective buyers. But am I legally bound to do so? Could the new owner sue me and would they have a case?


Admin 11.01.2010. 18:46

This is more of a moral dilema rather than a legal one.

All used cars are sold AS-IS so the buyer will not be able to get his/her money back even if they sue... UNLESS you make a guarantee or a warranty or deliberately misrepresent the condition of the car. But the latter is difficult to prove. All the seller has to say is that it was reliable while they owned it and that they are not a mechanic. As long as you don't claim all the parts are new and replaced a week ago, the problem will become the buyer's.

Anyways, if they don't hire a mechanic to inspect the car then they sorta deserve anything bad that happens to their cars.


ddrogba11 15.03.2012. 20:14

How much should I sell my Ipod Touch 4th Gen 8 gigs for? I am prepared to sell this Ipod to my older brother to use the money to buy the iphone. It will have all the music and apps that are on it and he will use my apple id to buy and get stuff for free on Itunes. I have used it for a year and is in good condition still. How much should I sell it for?


Me Me 12.08.2007. 12:46

What is the best way to market and sell a fixer-upper? My house has several big things wrong with it (foundation, electrical wiring, plumbing), and a lot of little things (siding is ugly, windows are decayin, many of the doorknobs don't work properly, the front door is beat up, cracks in the walls around windows, no light fixtures, no bathroom exhaust fan, the list could go on). I'm prepared to sell my home for much less than others in my neighborhood, but I want to get the best price possible without being dishonest.

I've never sold a house, let alone a fixer-upper. I know that I should sell it "as is" but don't know much more than that. Can someone with experience please advise me?


Me Me

Admin 12.08.2007. 12:46

Its very easy to market your type of prorperty the hard part is keeping dishonest people from making offers. Investors love these types of houses as long as they only cost a certain percentage to fix up. This on sounds as if its not that bad the only concern would be the foundation. If the foundation is cracked it could be cosmetic and that is an easy fix. If it is structual then it becomes more of an issue. The marketing aspect of a fixer upper is like other houses except you may want to show a couple of fixable areas along with the good areas on your flyers. Keep in mind that the details can be disclosed in the Purchase Contract and not in the marketing.
I can help you through the entire process if you like, just email me. There are certain things that need to be done and others that don't necessarily need attention. Always stress the importance to the buyer to have an home inspection done. It is an upfront cost to them (sometimes they ask the seller to pay) but it helps both the buyer and seller in the transaction and is well worth it.


smb 30.04.2007. 09:49

I would like to sell my shares in a private corporation registered in the Philippines. What should I do? What are the things to do and documents to prepare before selling?


Admin 30.04.2007. 09:49

well make sure the corporation is big enough and earns enough and does good in the market. then you could but there are lot of risks. but be careful no stress no pressure just take a little time about it.


Ryan 29.07.2012. 00:06

How much each should i sell these video games for? I'm preparing to sell some of my ps3 games because i have the same games on xbox 360. Please tell me how much each should I sell these for on ebay. Thanks

Red Dead Redemption (very good condition)

Call of Duty: Black Ops (very good condition)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (great condition)

Batman: Arkham Asylum (barely used, great condition)

Madden: 2010 (very good condition)

These are all playstation 3 games


Admin 29.07.2012. 00:06

do it as a bundle and sell the lot for 35-45


CATheist 12.02.2009. 19:50

What is the easiest way to clean silver? I have a whole lot I need to polish up and prepare to sell. I tried some polish I bought from the store and that is extremely messy and requires way to much elbow grease. Is there an easier way?
Hi John, that's funny. I have a temporary job opening for a butler, would you like to apply. lol
thanks pebblespro, I will try that.


Admin 12.02.2009. 19:50

Take an aluminum pan or if you do not have one line a bowl or pan with aluminum foil. Put about 1/4 cup water softener and 1/8 cup of salt. Can be approximate does not have to be exact. Add warm water enough to cover the silver. (If you want to clean a large item you can line the sink with foil and do the same thing.) Put the silver in the pan and let it sit. Usually about 15 min. is enough time. If the silver is very tarnished you can take a piece of aluminum foil and crumple it up and rub the silver with it like you are scrubbing it with the foil and let it soak longer. When it is silver again rinse the silver in warm water then dry with a clean soft cloth. Take a polishing cloth (you can buy these at a jewelry store) and rub the silver to shine.


Cengiz 17.10.2011. 16:52

What to prepare with our quality cloth/material as a fundraiser? We have 70kg of quality material now. We are planning to prepare things and sell them to raise funds for being able to go to a conference at a major institution in US. We had ideas of preparing ties, canvas bags, scarfs and stuff from material, but we are not sure about it. Do you have any ideas about what we can sell in streets to raise funds, whether it is from cloth or something else?


Admin 17.10.2011. 16:52

Try by getting a free fundraising kit from various websites. It's a great way to learn more about the fundraising options they offer. With the right information and the right tools they can help you make your next fundraiser a success.

All fundraising groups are going to have to sell their items to generate money. Everyone starts with selling to mom and dad then moves on to friends. The more successful the campaign means the more people you will actually have to talk to. Here are a collection of sales tips you can use to help you while you are raising funds.

- Have fun and enjoy what you are doing. It is not necessary to have a canned speech and perform it by memory. You can talk to people and have fun with your campaign, the donors will pick up on this and sales will increase.

- Be honest while making the rounds for sales. You are a representative of your school group.

- People do not want to be told what to do. Your job is to make people feel good about donating to your school group.

- When you get a no, don?t take it personally. The donors are not saying they don?t like you; they just may not care for the product or have the money available at the time.

- For people who are nervous about selling a little preparation is key. By practicing your sales talk it will bring confidence. Again the goal is not to recite something word for word but to talk about your fundraising campaign with confidence. It might sound a little funny but try role-playing if selling is an issue with you. Spend time with people rehearsing just talking and getting past an objection or two.

- Avoid hard selling. There is no need to be pushy while fundraising. People like to help out and also enjoy buying. You may even be able to offer them the chance to show up to school to check out the new equipment, or the new uniforms for the baseball team. By being friendly and a good representative you just might pick up new volunteers along the way.

- If possible get a booth or a table in a high traffic area. Places like malls or local events. This will get you lots of traffic and potential donors that you can approach.

These sales tips are good for whatever sales you might find yourself in. You might even consider these tips good advice for talking to people and relating. Remember interacting with people will serve you better than just about any learned skill taught. A little preparation with these tips will insure that your fundraising campaign is both fun and profitable.


marmitageca 12.09.2008. 13:11

What can I do if my neighbor built a fence on my property? My husband and I have a house in California we're preparing to sell. We no longer live in it. While being away, our neighbor tore down the old privacy fence, and put up a new one. Much of the fence has been moved over several inches on to our property. What would we have to do if we allowed the neighbor to buy the property he has encroached upon?


Admin 12.09.2008. 13:11

Why would you sell it to him? Tell him to move the fence. If he wants to buy it, make him pay for the survey and all legal fees as well as the property.
What was his intention, to claim the property through squatter's rights, by not telling the future owner?
Make the creep pay up or move the fence.


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