Sales is a Process of Both Science and Art

Yesterday, I closed a couple of speaking gigs.  As I thought about what happened, it dawned on me, sales is a process.  A process that involves both an art and a science.  Like following the instructions assembling a child’s toy,  we need to go step by step, one thing at a time.  When we do, it’s “Child’s Play.”

The art is simply people skills.  The science is the numbers.

People skills include:

  1. Asking great open ended questions (“How did you get started in your business?” & “What keeps you up at night?” & “What are you most proud of?”)
  2. Combine the questions with Active Listening Skills.  Listen, pause, question, paraphrase.  Really listen (as opposed to waiting to talk!)  Put your ego and needs on hold.  Hang on their every word.
  3. Demonstrate empathy.  Understand their feelings and frustrations.  Show you really care about their issues and challenges.
  4. Follow up with a thoughtful gift that is relevant to their struggles (an article, e-book, quote, idea)
  5. Ask for the next step in the process.  That might include a teleconference, face-to-face meeting, skype.
  6. Once you understand their challenges, put it in an agreement with a choice of yeses. Options. I like three.  Then ask: “Which would you prefer?”
  7. Follow up and be assertive.  “Unassertive sales people have skinny kids!”  Ask for the sale.

The science is simply the numbers.  10 leads turn into six proposals and you close three.  Fill your funnel.  Ask for referrals. Make 20 calls a day. Reach out to old customers and engage them in a discussion.

Here is an email I sent to a prospect recently”

“Did you notice how fast I turned around the agreement from the time of our conceptual agreement.  Service Sales is a complex sale but every interaction counts!  

Think about our relationship:

  1. You heard me speak
  2. We had lunch
  3. We talked after lunch and exchanged cards and had a brief discussion
  4. I gave you a book and you read it and sent me an email
  5. We spoke once on the phone
  6. We spoke again the next day and I clarified your objectives and built trust
  7. I emailed you an e-book that is relevant to our common objectives
  8. Now you have the agreement and a choice that fits in your budget
  9. I asked for the sale

A complex sale (like Service Agreement Sales) has a series of events that seemingly unfold organically.  It’s smooth, seamless and effective.  THAT is what I will teach you to do habitually, naturally, consistently.

Let’s choose a date and get this done by Friday?

Thank you for your trust.


If you are in Sales (and who isn’t) make certain you are paying attention to both the Art and the Science.  Each of us needs to understand the process of sales and be able to teach it.  Only then will you enjoy sales mastery.

Now where are those instructions?  My kids are getting restless.

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