Maybe you’ve seen one; maybe you’ve even been lucky enough to hire one. There are some salesmen who seem to do everything right, from getting the right leads to closing the deals. It seems like magic; it’s like they have a crystal ball that tells them which clients to go after and how to approach each one.

The truth is, it’s not magic—not really. It’s sales intuition, and it’s how rock star salesmen are always getting better and better sales.

Although intuition is not something that can be identified on a DiSC assessment or the Values or Styles Matrices used in the AHS sales hiring system, any salesman who has strong intuitive skills is going to bring better sales to your company. By definition, intuition is the ability to know or sense something without the use of logic or rational processes. In sales, intuition tends to tip the scales, smoothing out most facets of the process. Basically, it’s selling by gut feelings.

Yes, we know. We’ve addressed the issue of how gut feelings can steer you wrong in sales hiring, but now the game has changed. Now the salesman is on the hunt—tracking down the client, discovering his problem, offering a solution, dealing with objections, and closing the sale. Let’s see how intuition will work each part of the process and create the potential for better sales.

First, finding the client. Whatever process the salesman uses to acquire leads, sales intuition can save him a lot of time if he can isolate the prospects that offer him the best chance for better sales. A little research to gather information about the prospects, and he will most likely develop some rational ideas about which ones are more open to dealing with him. But if he has a good sense of intuition, he’ll be able to use the facts to “sense” the right person to approach as well as the right style to adopt in making the initial contact.

Once contact has been made, intuition helps a salesman understand the best time to make the presentation as well as the appropriate method. When the prospect raises resistance or makes an objection, the salesman uses intuition to gain insight into what might be behind the objections and creates alternative solutions to dispel the prospect’s reservations.

Sales intuition enables a salesman to manage the delicate balance of knowing when to be assertive and knowing when to back off and give the customer some space. With intuition, he is confident that the sale will go through; he just needs to listen to the inner voice that tells him where the customer stands in relation to making the commitment, and wait for the appropriate moment to guide the prospect toward closing the deal.

To clarify, intuition is not something that just happens. It develops as the salesman focuses on what he sees, hears, and experiences as he communicates with a customer. Learning to read between the lines and interpreting body language are key in developing these magical insights. So it’s no crystal ball, but sales intuition is an invaluable tool that ultimately leads to better sales.