The Essence Of Selling

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Scientist In the recent posting entitled, “Is Selling an Art, a Practice or a Science?”, I offered some justifiable points on why each opinion had merit.  Selling could be considered an art, a practice or a science.  However, as promised, here is my take on this…

Selling is First and Foremost a Science
Selling is first a science, and for more reasons than the math.  Consider this:  The word “science” comes from the Latin “scientia,” which means knowledge.   Is not everything we do as professional sales people about knowledge?

The objective of every true professional sales person is to become a trusted advisor to their clients.  The only way one can be an advisor, is to be an expert, and the only way to be considered an expert is to possess an overabundance of knowledge in a chosen field.

Science is “knowledge attained through study or practice,” according to Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary.    Selling is an applied science in that it involves the application of research and scientific data to solve practical problems and human needs.   Yet, selling is also a pure science; a social science in that it entails the systematic study of human behaviour and societal performance.

The Laws
In addition, selling also demands an understanding, if not, the full utilization, of the numbers; the laws.  A professional sales person works with a closing average, an appointment setting average, an average commission, an average sales price, and dozens of other factors to predict and control future outcomes.

Selling is indeed, first a science.


Practicing the Science
However, once the true professional and modern–day sales person understands the science, it is time to practice that science.   Like the scientist, it is time to turn practical theory into actionable results.  Like the medical doctor, it is time to use science for the betterment of mankind.

Knowing the numbers, knowing the science is not enough; nor is the rudimentary or inconsistent application of the science.  Now, the sales professional must practice the craft; practice the science until it becomes perfect.  Remember that it is not practice that makes perfect.  It is perfect practice that makes perfect.

An Art Form
Finally, when the modern-day, sophisticated and educated sales professional has mastered the science of selling and practices art pallattethat science with the relentless pursuit of perfection, it is time to elevate that practice to an art form.

The true professional now adds the element to personal style, passion and creativity to the practice of the science, creating a genuine empathy for those he or she serves.   The sales person, turned artiste, now enhances the practice, combining the flair, grace and elegance of the ballroom dancer with the laser-like precision, timing and effectiveness of the brain surgeon.

Is selling an art, a practice or a science?

Selling is a science.

Selling is a science in which some practice.

Selling is a science in which few who practice are Sales Artists!

Happy Selling


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 26 October, 2011

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