One of the most brilliant individuals from history is Leonardo Da Vinci, Best described as the archetypal Renaissance person, he had passion, drive, and a boundless curiosity that led to his many incredible works of art and an endless array of ahead-of-his-time inventions.
Throughout his lifetime, he developed a sense of wisdom greater than most and he has inspired artists, scientists, and inventors throughout the years with his determination to discover and create.
Many of the life lessons he espoused are still being taught today, with a few of them even being applicable to sales. Now, it may sound like a stretch to try and apply the teachings of one of history’s greatest minds to sales, but that is only if you think of sales from the corporate level.
For many people, entrepreneurship and trading are about sharing what you’ve discovered with others. That sense of discovery, creation, and connection is sales in its purest form. Here are the Top 10 sales lessons you can learn from Leonardo:
1. Be Curious
One of Da Vinci’s most famous qualities was his relentless curiosity. His insatiable desire to know as much as he could about our world led to him study and excel in multiple fields including art, science, engineering and architecture.
That desire to understand how everything works bled into his art and design work, causing him to garner a lot of support from fascinated clients. This level of curiosity helps drive a salesperson in their work, pursuing information and learning more about the industry, their clients, and how to be the best salesperson they can be.
2. Seek Knowledge
Much like Da Vinci exploring fields that interested him, a salesperson should look to better understand their product and seek out information that may benefit their pitch. Da Vinci was a man who constantly sought information to know as much as he could and put what he knew into his work, developing a strong understanding from which he could communicate its value.
In his paintings, he developed a strong eye for the human form and understood how well his art was able to replicate it. A salesperson should constantly seek to understand their industry and their field, so they can have a better understanding of what they are trying to sell and better communicate its value.
3. Be Observant
Da Vinci’s strong observation skills were critical to his success in both his art and when he collaborated with his patrons. He paid attention to the complex ways his clients interacted and developed an understanding of what their preferences were so that he could better cater to them.
These skills are a vital part of every salesperson’s toolkit. They are necessary for understanding what a customer may be trying to communicate without directly saying anything and so the salesperson can better connect with the customer.
4. Pay Attention to Detail
In both his art and his sketches of his invention and of human anatomy, Da Vinci’s attention to detail was a cut above. His detailed studies and his willingness to go far greater in depth than most is what allowed him to create his artist masterpieces, with their complex integration of human anatomy, and the discoveries and ideas he was able to conjure in his scientific and inventory sketches.
These qualities are what attracted patrons to him, thus being able to be detail-oriented in your own sales approach can help build a loyal clientele. This includes knowing the details of your product or service, the various ways they can help certain clients, and even what deals may correspond with them.
5. Be Creative
Da Vinci’s creativity and inventiveness goes without saying, along with how they changed the landscape of both art and science. His ability to come up with unconventional ideas and groundbreaking concepts were able to redefine what was possible and cultivation of that level of creativity, or even just half of that level, can be a strong push as a sales person.
This does not mean making things up to try and convince someone to buy, rather it means finding new ways to sell your product and even pitching ideas that may improve your product if you’re in a position to do so.
6. Be Honest and Accurate
One reason Da Vinci’s legacy is so well respected is because of his dedication to intellectual integrity. He sought the truth in his scientific endeavors and did not allow himself to fudge results to come to the conclusions he wanted, nor did he try to trick anyone else.
Honesty and accuracy should be the cornerstone of any good salesperson. Many of the greats became great because they were honest about their work, thus it is important for a salesperson to be honest about their product and be accurate about what it can and cannot do.
7. Integrate Multiple Disciplines
Da Vinci is one of history’s most famous polymaths i.e., someone who studies and excels in multiple fields. He was deeply curious and eventually became an expert in multiple areas, from which he was able to cross-integrate them into his work. For example, his love of human anatomy was integrated into his art.
Thus, being able to integrate other disciplines into your sales career is something that can give you an edge over others who may not be as well rounded as people. It also provides the added benefit of preventing your work from becoming rigid and boring.
8. Think Outside The Box
Da Vinci was an unconventional thinker leading to an unorthodox approach that helped him solve issues in ways foreign to most people. He sought answers beyond what was given to him, and that ability allowed him to see boundless possibilities when it came to his art and inventions.
Thinking outside the box and developing a mindset of going beyond conventional means allows salespeople to come up with innovative solutions to common problems.
9. Work With Others
Da Vinci did not just work by himself. Over the course of his life, he had many proteges, students and collaborators with whom he shared his ideas and work. The ability to collaborate is essential for success, both back in his day and especially nowadays.
Working with other sales professionals can help leverage the strengths of each team member to provide solutions to a variety of problems while providing the best service possible to your clientele.
10. Take Notes
Finally, Da Vinci is well known for the copious amount of notes he took. In fact, they are probably the greatest remnant of his genius as they are filled with sketches, observations, and ideas.
They allowed him to channel his thoughts ore effectively and the act of writing them down helped him remember them. Effective note taking can allow a salesperson to do the same which is particularly valuable when creating a sales plan.
Conclusion: The life of Leonardo Da Vinci has influenced thousands of leaders across a myriad of different fields. By following his example, many of Da Vinci’s lessons can be incorporated into your sales career to help you become more successful.