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Sales, or the activity of selling, forms an integral part of commercial activity. As a practical implementation of marketing, it often forms a separate grouping in a corporate structure, employing separate specialist operatives known as salesmen (singular: salesman or salesperson). The primary function of sales is to find and close leads, turning propective customers into actual ones.

From a marketing point of view, selling is one of the methods of promotion used by marketers. Other promotional techniques include advertising, sales promotion, publicity, and public relations.

Moral strictures applied to marketeers often apply even more vigorously to those in sales. People selling second-hand cars, real estate or encyclopedias (of the non-Wikipedia variety) often come in for particular disdain. Sellers of snake oil have become stock figures for mirth at their quackery: they merge with the category of the confidence trickster or the carny. Small wonder that many organisations contract out sales to end-users.

Forms of selling include:

Compare : trade, merchant

See also : marketing, promotion, Contract of sale, list of marketing topics, sales techniques

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