For many learning how to close a deal more effectively, whether closing is an art or a science is an understandable confusion. Some salespeople rely strictly on their processes and systems to bring buyers through the sales funnel, while others prefer to engage more organically with prospects and improvise as they go along.
There is an article published on SaleGravy, written by Jon Gilge, which does a good job addressing both sides of the equation.
In the article, Gilge makes a comparison between selling and art. He begins:
“While one can scientifically analyze music or visual art and break it down into its constituent parts; the notes, the rhythm, the contrast, the color, it cannot be recreated from those parts except through the skillful manipulation of the artist.”
He explains without the art of a skillful sales professional, the individual parts of a sales process do not engage and cause a buyer to decide. I agree with him. This is why two different salespeople could apply literally the same exact processes and say the exact words to the same exact prospect – and each come up with a different result. Because the art of application matters.
In fact, you could sum this up by saying the elite artfully apply the science of sales, while the average focus too much on rote procedures (science) or simply wing it (pure art).
How to become a true artist in sales
For those of you who have studied under me, you probably will guess what I will say next: In order to become a true artist in sales, you must know the science down pat.
This means knowing how to close a deal with specific phrases that you practice. It is understanding cognitive biases, body language, and buyer types. It includes leveraging technology to surface prospects and methodologies for best approaching them. Handling objections has an entirely different set of procedures.
Knowing how to close a deal has a lot of moving parts! And when you master each of those parts in turn, you can become a great artist in the sales profession.
Natural talent counts
One last thing: while everyone can learn the science, not everyone can translate that knowledge into artful application. The missing ingredient for those who cannot is natural talent, or aptitude. There has to be a certain something, an “X” factor, which you are born with in order to reach the top of the sales game. This goes for musicians, artists, professional sports stars, auto mechanics, and even politicians. All of them require a natural aptitude beyond simply knowing the science behind the profession.
I don’t mean to discourage anyone, but it is provable beyond a doubt through our extensive testing over the years using the APQ, supported by correlation studies.
To sum up, every salesperson should learn ALL the processes and procedures until they flow naturally, which will translate to competent application and eventual artistic mastery. Before this, they should ensure they have the special knack that sales requires.
Because if they do, they can eventually create a masterpiece of a career.