Selling is both an art and a science. I’ve written extensively on sales metrics and KPIs, dopamine in sales, and other scientific topics. But today I want to make the case that sales is an art form. In fact, it’s more of an art than you could ever imagine.
And that’s not all — I want you to lean into B2B sales as an art form. Because here’s the thing, if you master these aspects of sales, you will take your sales game to the next level and beyond.
Ok – so how exactly is sales like art?
Good question. Both art and sales require a certain sensibility and creativity that most other professions don’t require.
Sales demands an understanding of your body and mind. Everything from how you hold yourself with an air of authority during a sales demo, to how you think strategically about your prospect and how your offer is the best solution for them. Yes, even human psychology!
Both the artist and salesperson must appeal to human emotions and pull on heartstrings to evoke a positive response. Both artists and salespeople must resonate with their audience. And the ones who resonate most are the ones who make the biggest impact on the world.
So… how do you resonate in B2B sales? Well, let’s unpack that by digging into the art of sales.
Artists and salespeople both work with the human heart and mind as their medium. So they have to constantly innovate to break through old patterns and capture the attention of their subjects. Boring art doesn’t sell. Neither does a boring sales script. You have to take a step back and innovate new ways to connect with people on a deeper level. Move hearts, and the needle will follow.
Don’t think you can be creative in sales? Tell that to the AE who created and sent his prospect bite-sized videos to showcase a few case studies and current client transformations. Oh, and he customized the videos with the prospect’s brand in mind. That’s both creative and effective. This also allows him to show off his personality and self expression.
But like the artist, you don’t want to overdo it. Think of this as a dance back and forth with your prospect; don’t pull too hard, don’t push, but lead them and prove that you can be trusted on the proverbial dance floor.
Self Expression in Sales
Only YOU have the ability to be you and show true self expression, character, and personality. This holds true for your content creation efforts as well. This is why AI will never replace you. Get AI to create your content and you’ll quickly become lost in the crowd, drowned out by the noise, and you’ll have no resonance whatsoever when you need it most. Both art and sales demand authenticity. This is one lesson you don’t want to learn the hard way.
One other aspect of self expression is your voice. Just like the singer/songwriter, you have to have a unique voice. That’s why I always preach about the power of tonality and vocal inflection. If you make cold calls with a monotone pitch, you’re toast. Your audience needs a confident and dynamic voice to pull them in, they hunger for it. Thankfully, I wrote a guide on How to Master Tonality that will help you win big in this critical area of sales.
Storytelling in Sales
The art of sales also comes through in storytelling. Remember, you don’t “pitch” your offer, but you weave it into a story that casts your prospect as the main character. There’s a problem, a solution, and a transformation that takes place in this story. And your prospect is always the hero in the story — not you, not your company, not even their company. It’s them who storms the castle and saves the princess.
So turn your pitch into a compelling story (drawing on their current situation and how it can/must be improved) and you’ll have your prospect hanging on your every word. This is absolutely a form of art!
Emotional Connection in Sales
How do you get your prospect to connect emotionally so that you can close the deal… or at least get a meeting on the calendar? You take a four-pronged approach: Adopt my S.A.L.E. methodology, offer a tailor-made solution (never one-size fits all), craft engaging content, and follow up!
First things first, S.A.L.E. stands for Speak Authoritatively, Listen Empathetically. This goes back to tonality and speaking like an expert or trusted advisor. You must also listen with empathy… a long-lost art form. Top sales pros always listen to gain understanding.
Then, just like no two art pieces are alike, neither should your deals be structured the same from prospect to prospect. Or, if they are, it must seem like it’s unique to your prospect. If they wanted cookie-cutter, they’d go with a cheap subscription-based model.
When it comes to crafting engaging content, this is primed for your artistic touch. Don’t get too avant garde, but definitely push the envelope where it makes sense. Let your personality shine and craft interactive content (think quizlets, polls, videos, etc.) whenever possible. And finally, follow up in sales! By following up with your prospect, you’re showing that you care. And truly caring is the single best way to form the emotional connection that’s required in sales.
I’ll say it again, if you lean into the art of sales, you’ll be better positioned to close more deals and make a bigger impact.
It takes innovation, creative self expression, storytelling, and finding new ways to connect with your prospects on a deep level. But I know you’re up for the task.
Just don’t think that this is set-it-and-forget-it. It’s a lifelong effort that you must be intentional about. The professional artist doesn’t just paint or sculpt or sing only when they feel inspired. No! They are disciplined to practice their art form on a daily basis, rain or shine. In the same way, you have to have the discipline to implement these sales methods consistently over time.
The salesperson who does this is almost guaranteed to increase their sales numbers and leave a lasting impression on prospects, customers, and clients. So get out there and practice your art form until you’re a regular Picasso on the phones.
Until next time…