The most successful sales people have learned how to balance the art & science of selling but most create ceilings for career advancement by choosing either art or science of sales. Those who excel in the art of sales are effective in the interpersonal aspect of selling such as developing rapport, listening, giving a great tour and being present with the families. They are creative, personable, nurturing, solutions oriented and are well known at networking events. Sounds perfect, right? Unfortunately, the artistic sales people are generally disorganized, resist embracing data, are undisciplined and bored with follow up, prefer to do “muffin marketing” rather than scheduled sales call and you cannot get a report out of them to save your life.
On the other end of the spectrum there are sales people who thrive on the science of selling. Sales Scientists plan their work and work their plan, they look for trends in sales data to improve results, are disciplined in their lead base follow up, are organized and produce perfect and timely reports. What a dream, right? While the scientific sales person is surely easier to manage, they usually have to work harder to achieve successful results because their sales conversion ratios are generally lower than the artistic sales person.
Both of these sales personalities can be successful but neither one will be a true superstar until they learn to embrace the ying & yang of selling. The artistic seller will be a hit with prospects at the beginning of the sales process and it will be all smiles and hugs at the end of the tours but if there is no disciplined follow up behavior, these “hot leads” will fall through the cracks and the artist will go back to the web waiting for the next “hot lead” to drop into the web.. They will do well with the urgent leads who close quickly (although the move-in and transition process will be messy). The scientific seller will be slow but steady with a focus on sales behavior using consistent follow up and finding additional opportunities by mining their warm & cold lead base knowing that “ there is gold in the colds”. They will continue to nurture older leads long after others have given up.
By nature I started out as an artistic sales person and I struggled mightily with a Regional Director of Sales who was a true sales scientist. She taught me, pushed me and challenged me to not only pull reports but to truly understand them and use them to recognize patterns that were impacting closing ratios and results. Once I “got it”, I was able to work smarter not harder and advance consistently in my career.
The bottom line is that our sales team need and deserve consistent training and coaching on both the art & science of selling. Professional sales people are like professional athletes, they are never trained but are always in training. At Senior Living Smart, we offer all the tools needed for sales teams to achieve success in delivering results. Check us out at www.seniorlivingsmart.com.