Why Do We Need Different Selling Approaches for
Larger and Smaller Sales?


Prof. Selvalakshmi. M
Faculty Member-Marketing Area
Thiagarajar School of Management
Thirupparankundram, Madurai

According to the Principle of Pareto, "Twenty percent of your time generates 80 percent of your results." And this 80% of results are from major accounts. Selling a fan to an individual is quite different from that to an institution.  Smaller sales are the ones which involve less commitment in terms of time, money and effort by the customer. In larger sales such parameters are more and the people involved in decision making are also more.

When one understands the key differences that a sales person would face in the selling process between larger and smaller sales, he would not deny the need for different selling approaches to them.

Key differences between Larger and Smaller Sales





Decision making is fast and may happen before the sales person for which he acts as an assurance.

Decision making is time consuming and decision making may happen even in the absence of sales person.

The importance of the centers of influence is more critical in this case. It is therefore essential that a sales person has a spokes person who can do the selling on his behalf even in his absence.


Needs more exploration of Problems.

E.g. Lack of calculator in the class may give rise to several problems to the student.

Needs more exploration of the serious implications of the generic problems.

E.g. Lack of a vehicle to a student can create problems such as poor time keeping for which the other implications are poor image among friends, not able to concentrate effectively due to additional physical effort, poor impression with the faculty which ultimately has an impact on the marks awarded, not able to use time effectively like his counterpart etc.


Needs through product knowledge to impress customers

Sometimes mere product knowledge may backfire on the effectiveness of the call.

It might prevent the sales person from getting into the shoes of the customer.


Product Demonstrations are more powerful and influential at the time of delivery.

Research says if 8 key benefits are presented all of them would be remembered till the next day before which the decision is normally made.

Demonstration effect fades away slowly after delivery.

About 5.7 points remembered after a week and 2 points remembered after10 days.

As large sales proceeds for a longer time pure reliance on product demonstration might not help.


Customers are less conscious of the value of the solution.

Customers are highly sensitive towards the perceived value of the solution. So they should understand the various ways in which the solution would be of use to them.


Features based selling :

More features all at a lesser cost is the selling point.

Benefits based selling:

Matching the solution with the specific need of the customer and thereby enabling him to understand the benefits of the solution offered is the selling point.


Closing techniques such as   alternative close, standing room close etc. might be required to finish the deal.

Closing techniques might invoke doubt in the minds of the customers about the credibility of the solution offered.

It is therefore apparent from the above points that a company has to necessarily distinguish between its larger and smaller sales and clearly adopt suitable strategies to enable success to the sales call and the Sales People.


1. Sales Management by Thomas Ingram, Raymond LaForge, Ramon Avila, Charles Schwepker, Michael Williams, 4th edition, 2001, Harcourt.

2. Sales Management , Douglas J. Dalrymple, William L. Cron, Thomas E. Decarlo, Seventh Edition, John Wiley &Sons, Inc

3. Selling & Sales Management by Geoffrey Lancaster, David Jobber, 3rd Edition

4. Spin Selling by Neil Rackham, Mc Graw-Hill

Prof. Selvalakshmi. M
Faculty Member-Marketing Area
Thiagarajar School of Management
Thirupparankundram, Madurai

Source: E-mail June 27, 2006


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