Sales is definitely one of those pursuits that is ‘One Part Art/One Part Science.’ The more I analyze what Sales is about, and what I’ve done in my career to be successful, the more gray areas I see.
In essence, The Fluidity Factor to me is titled that way, as I see success in selling as all about having a base of experience, having had successes, having had failures, and being able to draw on the many ways that I have successfully sold business in the past, to do so in the future. This means being open to instantaneous adjustment in your Sales process, and your Selling Cycle; it means deliberately doing things that may be totally different than you’ve done them before, all the while retaining your ethical & moral aspects in check.
You need to know in your vision that no one thing can detract you, and that by keeping your eye on the customer & your deal, no one thing WILL detract you. You need to see yourself as a guiding presence that is never seen as pushy [because you are not], but yet see your sale through. The sale not pushed; it is not pulled. It happens by your orchestrating the balance between the two, that lets it happen.
In 2009, if you are required by your company to follow a set path, script or method in how you sell, you are likely at a disadvantage. People can easily sense a ‘genuine’ approach. The days of relegating yourself to the ‘Ben Franklin Close’ approach limit your potential. Don’t let it.
Leaving the aggressive/warrior components aside, it is so easy to borrow from Sun-Tzu and his ‘Art of War’ here, as it so applicable in Sales as well. To paraphrase, he basically says that ‘the rock is hard, but the water that flows over it, in the end, wears it down. And so it is harder.’
Be the water. Be fluid. Be your own way, and be your client’s too.