I have a new favorite word lately. It is “Dichotomy”. The dictionary defines it as “division into two mutually exclusive, opposed, or contradictory groups”. The reason I like this word so much is that is embodies the concept of balance. Balancing two opposing forces and finding that middle ground.

If you master the skill of finding the balance in things, it helps you enormously. Sales is no exception. Without balance, you may find yourself following advice or coaching to excess, and you’ll see sales results suffer as a result.

For example, how often have you been told to be “confident” in your prospecting and selling. “Confidence inspires confidence”, they’ll say. Lack of confidence will certainly make many a prospect doubt the validity of your argument, but the flip side of that coin is that too much confidence equals arrogance, and that turns off prospects as well. Confidence is key (in fact, in annual studies on human attraction, confidence is often the top quality people find attractive in others. Yet arrogance is one of the top turn offs from the very same sample audience. So what gives? How do you make sense of that?

The answer is that you have to find the dichotomy of selling in the balance between opposing poles. The balancing force for confidence is humility. So the trick is to be confident, but not arrogant, humble but not pathetic. Extremes on the scale alienate many people. Balance is healthy.

Let’s glance at some “world of sales” examples of polar forces you need to navigate:






Do you see how any of these taken to the extreme becomes harmful, but in balance with it’s opposing pole becomes a viable tool?

Now let’s bring this concept down to a tangible and tactical reality. Have you mapped out a sales process with your dichotomies in mind. When you prospect, are you being aggressive in reaching clients, but respectful in how you reach them? Is your sales presentation well planned out and structured, but built and trained in a way that allows your sales team to pivot when a client reacts differently. Success comes from preparation (but balanced against it turning into analysis/paralysis). Identifying these polar dichotomies and making sure you and your team determine the balance between them, and then train and practice tactical approaches to maintaining the balance in. daily/weekly/monthly manner.

Many companies don’t even consider these elements. When was the last time your and your sales team sat down and discussed these things. If the sales manager says, “We need to be more aggressive”, are you sure that everyone knows what that means?