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Monday, December 11, 2023

Is Sales an ‘Art’?

Before becoming a fully-fledged salesperson, you typically go through a variety of training and courses. While Sales as a profession may seem easy, those who are veterans of the role will tell you how hard it has become to sell in the 21st Century. There’s more competition than ever, higher prospects and customer expectations, and a faster pace.

A good salesperson today needs to not only have the gift of verbal communication but be a researcher, writer, idea generator and psychologist. It’s a profession that requires a serious amount of mental strength. With so many bows to the modern-day Sales string, should salespeople see selling as an art? Skills that need finessing, and natural talent underpinning it.

The influencing, subtle factors

Salespeople should pride themselves on their ability to sell. As mentioned, it requires a wide set of skills, and it’s not for everyone. Here are some of the subtle factors not many salespeople consider.

There are various factors that can either more effectively or less effectively influence someone. Three to think about are language, perception, and imagination. When a prospect processes information, they relate or associate it to a previous experience. For instance, when something thinks about orange juice, that person imagines drinking the orange juice – the taste, texture, and pleasure. The trick to influencing is to find a way to create an association in the back of the prospect’s mind to want to buy from you. Your use of language, which is a skill, the way you position what you are selling, and the way your sales pitch is received is all an art.

Honing in on perception, think about the basic human emotions that drive decisions. Love, fear, hope, jealousy… As well as the senses. Sound, smell, taste, touch, sight… If your sales messaging can evoke those powerful influencing emotions and senses, you’re more likely to succeed. Tailor this around what you know about the prospect, their likes, and dislikes.

If you can find out what the dominating perception channel is to get the reaction from the prospect, use it and focus everything on that aspect of your selling. As they say, you don’t sell a painting to a blind man who can’t understand the benefits of it. And the benefits are what you should focus on. Without properly understanding the benefits, your prospect will only be getting half the value from you. People don’t buy things for the sake of it, they buy things because of the benefits they get from it—whether that is pleasure, doing something easier or faster, or something else. Find out what the need or want is, and satisfy it.

Imagination comes into it when you are trying to learn the behaviours and habits of people. Imagination is what you use to activate the senses. You need to determine the mimics and gestures that are typical for each prospect in the various emotional states. Find out how they behave when they are happy, and how that differs when they aren’t. Remember it, and use it the next time you speak.

Mastering the arts

Selling today isn’t a simple game. The best salespeople take their profession seriously and are always fine-tuning their approach, methods, and tactics. The ‘influencing factors above go far beyond a cold call. They delve into the depths of psychology. The art of persuasion.

Sales in an ever-changing and adapting industry that requires constant modernisation and updating to its approach. But these updates should be chosen thoughtfully and developed carefully. Master the subtle skills, and you’ll give your efforts an extra shot of success. It’s an art, no doubt. Treat it that way.


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