Here is an excerpt from the workshop/class series: Career Development in a Mosaic Economy. This is from the part of the series on skills for a mosaic economy, from the unit on Marketing & Sales Skills.
Presentation #1: The Sales Cycle: The sales cycle is a model for understanding how sales work is done. Suppose you are a salesperson working in a shoe store, a sporting goods store or a hardware store, a waiter working in a restaurant, or a sales representative working for a software company. In each of these settings, there is a similar process:
THE SALES CYCLE
Step 1: Find out about customer wants and needs.
Step 2: Draw on your knowledge of the product line to present options.
Step 3: Assist the customer in exploring and evaluating the options.
Step 4: Based on the customer choice, suggest any accessories or add-on options that the customer might also want.
Step 5: Complete the sale. Or, if there is no sale, suggest next steps.
Discussion: Ask students to think of examples of the sales cycle. Think of various types of retail stores and non-retail settings. What are some of the factors that make a sales person successful? What are some of the challenges? Have you done this type of work? Were you successful? Did you enjoy it?
Of course, some businesses have more of a self-service model, in which customers can select and purchase the products they want with minimal assistance from staff. But even in these businesses, there are staff who can help the customer find products and make choices if needed, and there is an overall marketing strategy that helps customers identify their wants and needs and select and purchase products.
Presentation #2: The Marketing Process.
Marketing is the term for the overall strategy promoting sales of your product or service and meeting customer needs. Marketing also has a five-part model:
THE MARKETING PROCESS
1. CUSTOMER. Identify customer wants and needs.
2. PRODUCT. Develop your products and/or services to meet customer wants and needs.
3. IDENTITY. Develop an identity for the product or service, including name of the product, packaging, pricing strategy and special features of the product or service.
4. COMMUNICATION. Develop channels of communication to promote the company and the product, including signs, advertising, social media, community events and community sponsorships, and other strategies.
5. DISTRIBUTION. Develop channels for physical distribution and sales, including selling through stores, catalogs, online, and other channels.
Discussion: Think of some examples of products and services. Discuss how these products and services are marketed. Consider the various aspects of the marketing process. What customer need is being addressed? What is the image or “identity” of the product? How does the company promote and distribute the product?