Society is seemingly conditioned to view art and science as diametric opposites, and never the two shall mix. But when it comes to how to sell effectively, this couldn’t be farther from the truth: In order to successfully sell, you must master the art and science of selling. The science of selling includes understanding how people make purchase decisions, and as a salesperson, what steps you must guide the prospect through in order to solve their problem and produce a sale.
The art of selling includes the creativity you use to make this process happen. For example, take the process of establishing a relationship with a prospect. Any sales person worth their salt respects this indispensable part of the sales process – part of the science of selling – and wouldn’t dream of moving the process too quickly until they believe they’ve built a sufficient level of understanding and trust.
But how to establish trust? There are many ways to do so – and this is part of the art of selling. It is the most creative and empathetic of salespeople, the ones that learn how to truly understand a prospect and communicate this understanding who will be of the most value to a prospect, and accordingly, the most successful.
Another example comes further into the science of the sales process: communicating facts, features, benefits and value. Anyone can simply rattle off a list of facts from a spec sheet, but features don’t sell on their own until the prospect pictures them in context. So the best salespeople employ the art of selling by again using empathy and creativity to communicate logical advantages and psychological value that are relevant to the prospect.
Can you exist in sales without combining the art and science of selling? Maybe, but to be a truly effective sales person, to stand out at the top, you’ll learn how to employ the two together.
Nick represents The Fortune Group, which provides leadership development, sales training and change management solutions for management, sales and business teams. Integrated programs combine customized workshops with in house coaching tutorials to reinforce and accelerate the learning process.