In this session, participants will learn about the selling process, whether it involves selling an actual product or convincing others to see your point of view.


  • Business
  • College and Career Prep


By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the different elements of the selling process.
  • Develop selling skills that can be used productively on a wide variety of people.


  • Paper
  • Writing utensils
  • Empty consumer product packaging, such as for kitchen appliances, electronics, etc.—one item per pair of Explorers


Text in italics should be read aloud to participants. As you engage your post in activities each week, please include comments, discussion, and feedback to the group relating to Character, Leadership, and Ethics. These are important attributes that make a difference in the success of youth in the workplace and in life.


The Listening Quiz

Distribute a pen or pencil and a sheet of paper to each participant.


Say: Print your name in the top-left corner of the paper. I am going to read seven questions. Your job is to listen, write down the question number, and write down the answer to the question. I will read each question only once, and you may not take notes. This quiz will serve as an assessment of your listening skills.


  1. You need to travel to trade shows in California, Florida, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and Maryland. Which of these states contains the letter S? Wisconsin and South Dakota.


  1. You work for Big P Food Distributor. You sell potatoes, potato chips, pretzels, pop, peanuts, popsicles, and posies, and you promise next-day delivery. On Thursday, one of your customers orders pop, peanuts, popsicles, and potatoes. True or false: You’ll be able to deliver this complete order. True.


  1. You sell various types of rides to amusement parks and carnivals. The Ferris wheels in your product line have catalog item numbers of F-443, F-1668, F-235, F-126, and F-37. How many catalog items have two numerical digits? One. The F-37.


  1. How do you say J-O-K-E? (Ask for verbal response.)

How do you say P-O-K-E? (Ask for verbal response.)

How do you say B-L-O-K-E? (Ask for verbal response.)

How do you say S-M-O-K-E? (Ask for verbal response.)

Write down what you call the white of an egg. Albumen or egg white. The white of an egg is not the yolk (or yoke).


  1. You sell class rings and graduation invitations. While exhibiting your wares on campus one day, several students placed orders. The first one was Susan, then Johnny, Penny, Malcolm, Larry, and Amy. Who was the fourth student to place an order? Malcolm.


  1. You sell irrigation equipment to farmers. Farmer Fred in Omaha said that he had an acre square of land that needed to be irrigated. Farmer Frank in Tulsa said he had a square acre that needed to be irrigated. True or false? True or False: Their property is the same size and shape, and you can sell them both exactly the same irrigation system. False. Although the area may be the same, there may be a difference in shape. An acre square is square. A square acre may be square, it may be long and thin, or it may be broken into parcels.


  1. You sell fruit to fruit stands. During your calls today, Mr. Cherry bought some oranges, Mrs. Lemon bought some pears, Mr. Fig bought some apples, Mrs. Kiwi bought some grapes, and Mrs. Berry bought some bananas. Who bought the apples? Mr. Fig.


Go over the answers, then say: Listening also involves retaining information, not having expectations about the message, and not being limited by your own frame of reference. Finally, how many of you PRINTED your name in the top-LEFT corner of the paper, as I had asked?

Activity 2

Overview of Selling

Present the following overview of selling to participants.


Personal selling is the process of engaging customers, making sales, and building customer relationships.


The selling process consists of seven steps:

  1. Prospecting and qualifying
  2. Preapproach
  3. Approach
  4. Presentation and demonstration
  5. Handling objections
  6. Closing
  7. Follow-up


The first step is prospecting and qualifying—identifying qualified potential customers. Salespeople want to call on those who are most likely to appreciate and respond to the company’s value proposition—those the company can serve well and profitably.


Preapproach is the stage in which the salesperson learns as much as possible about the organization (what it needs, who is involved in the buying) and its buyers (their characteristics and buying styles).


During the approach step, the salesperson should know how to meet and greet the buyer and get the relationship off to a good start.


During the presentation and demonstration step of the selling process, the salesperson tells the “value story” to the buyer, demonstrating how the company’s offer solves the customer’s problems.


In handling objections, the salesperson should use a positive approach, seek out hidden objections, ask the buyer to clarify any objections, take objections as opportunities to provide more information, and turn the objections into reasons for buying.


Closing refers to a salesperson asking the customer for an order.


And finally, follow-up refers to a salesperson following up after the sale to ensure customer satisfaction and repeat business.


A company may have an outside sales force (or field sales force), an inside sales force, or both.


Outside salespeople travel to call on customers in the field. In contrast, inside salespeople conduct business from their offices via telephone, online and social media interactions, or visits from buyers. Technical sales support and sales assistants are other examples of inside salespeople. For example, technical sales support people provide technical information and answers to customers’ questions. Sales assistants provide research and administrative backup for outside salespeople. Telemarketers and online sellers use the phone, internet, and social media to find new leads, learn about customers and their businesses, or sell and service accounts directly.


The sales force serves as a critical link between a company and its customers. They represent the company to customers and also represent customers to the company.


Most companies want their salespeople to practice value selling—demonstrating and delivering superior customer value and capturing a return on the value that is fair for both the customer and the company. Value selling requires listening to customers, understanding their needs, and carefully coordinating the whole company’s efforts to create lasting relationships based on customer value.


(Activity 1 content from Marketing: An Introduction, 13th ed., by Gary Armstrong and Philip Kotler, ©2017 by Pearson Education. Used with permission.)

Activity 3

Sales Presentations

Divide Explorers into teams of two and give each team one of the consumer product packages. (Note: You can also use actual products.) Review the various steps in the sales process and have the teams develop a sales presentation for their products. They will work together to develop a sales pitch and then will have to decide who is going to be the seller and who will be the buyer. Have each team present in front of the larger group, with participants providing constructive feedback, both pros and cons. Use the following list as a guide:


  • The approach (why would a potential customer want to listen to you?)
  • The sales presentation (presenting to the potential customer)
  • Handling objections (responding to potential customer’s concerns)
  • The close (the handshake and agreement)


Some sample questions are below. They are designed to help the participants apply what they have learned to their own interests. You are welcome to use these questions or develop your own questions that relate to your post or specific focus area.


  • How can your knowledge of the selling process make you a better consumer?
  • What was the most difficult part of the sales presentation activity?
  • Is there anything that you need more information on or were unclear about?

Why is this topic important?


After the meeting, address the following:

  • Identify what was successful about the meeting.
  • Identify what needed improvement.
  • Schedule an officer and Advisor planning meeting to prepare for the next post meeting or activity.
Selling Activity Guide
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