While some people consider selling to be art, others think of it as science. In truth, selling is both art and science. To be successful in sales, you need the fluidity and finesse associated with art but the practical skills backed by research that go hand in hand with science. Regardless of what you sell or the position you hold, combining the two will prove more effective.
Blending Art and Science
When two people first meet, both parties are judging different aspects of the other’s personality. The two most important characteristics are competence and warmth. When someone has the perfect balance of competence and warmth, he or she becomes charismatic. Being only warm makes you appear sweet as opposed to being powerful. On the other hand, if you are only competent, you come off as being highly intelligent and unapproachable.
When looking at the art and science of selling, it comes down to producing admiration in and mutual respect with prospects. Studies show that you have a mere seven seconds to make a lasting impression after meeting someone. Within that small window of time, a person will decide if you are trustworthy. Therefore, you need to demonstrate competence and warmth.
First, consider the selling concept as art. Typically, prospects see your activities as somewhat mysterious. You teach your sales team a specific management style that emphasizes personal development. In this case, your sales managers are viewed as coaches and people who can find top sales staff with incredible skill.
Second, consider the science side of selling. In this case, your activities are viewed as replicated behaviors that any other employee with basic social skills can learn. A science-based management style emphasizes a specific sales process. Your sales managers are considered administrators who measure sales activity followed by taking any necessary corrective action.
To be victorious in sales, you need to find the perfect balance between art and science. Ultimately, you will find that your sales team is more motivated and inspired to succeed. If you were to ask a room of sales trainers what selling is, the majority would agree that it is both art and science. Merging the two is something that usually takes time and practice. However, this provides your sales team with a solid foundation to work from while empowering them to close more deals.