Yin-Yang in Selling: Win-Win…

Underlying every sales engagement must be a commitment to a Win-Win selling philosophy. In Win-Win selling, both the buyer and the seller come out of the sale understanding that their respective best interests have been served; in other words that they’ve both won. Over the long run, the only sellers who can count on remaining successful are those that are committed to balancing the “Yin and Yang” and developing a Win-Win relationship.

In this era of intense competition and sophisticated customers, the success of a sales professional cannot rely, practically speaking, on “taking the order and run”. It’s doubtful that it was ever enough simply to “win the order and leave”, but certainly it’s not enough today. Today, to ensure that your success will last from customer-to-customer and order-to-order the sales organization must have a greater outcome:

  • Satisfied Customers
  • Long-term Business Relationships
  • Solid, Repeat Sales
  • Customer Referral

If you don’t consistently and predictably get these four outcomes from your sales calls, then sooner or later your business will be nothing but a series of one-night stands. You may be writing orders at a record pace, but in today’s market that pace will not last. That’s major paradox of modern selling: salespeople who “take money and run” eventually finds themselves running in-place. The salesperson who knows that getting the order is only the beginning finds not only that he’s writing more orders but that those orders are the foundation for a solid relationship.  In fact, these orders are linking him up to an ever expanding network of future business.

The reason is implicit in the nature of selling itself. In selling, two parties; a buyer and a seller, have to come to an agreement. This means every sales transaction involves a mutual dependence. The philosophy of Win-Win selling or balancing the Yin-Yang recognizes the mutual dependence and gives you a reliable method for building on it for the long term.

“Yang” in martial arts refers to the hard, rigid and aggressive (or assertive) style of action, and “Yin” refers to soft, flexible and receptive behavior… In sales, the traditional aggressive sales person or “Yang” using the old “show & tell the features & benefits”, grab-bag of hooks, lines and clinchers and the time-worn approach of “get the order at any cost” are becoming extinct. Increasing customer demands for sales people to be more attentive to their needs and more responsible for valued results. That requires sales people to adopt a selling process that is customer-focused and fully consistent for developing a Win-Win relationship.

Enter the “Yin” sales person. Unlike the “Yang” sales person who is all about pushing products and services, the Yin sales person is attentive to customer’s needs and strives to fully understand all of their problems, issues, and expectations. The Yin sales person will not suggest any solution until and unless they can fully identify what the needs are, and how they can help package the right solution to meet those needs. In fact, rather than saying this is a sales person; Yin is more like a business partner and actually facilitates buying, so that it becomes an easier and smoother process for the customer. Small wonder that most customers love to work with the Yin personality.

As a martial art, Yin is similar to Aikido (Japanese art of self-defense) which is great for self-defense, but there are no offensive moves. So the Aikido students and the same for Yin don’t know how to initiate an attack, especially in situations where being the first-mover is necessary, and in this situation they are at a disadvantage.  In sales, while being receptive and attentive to customer’s needs are important, the sales person must be proactive and must engage the customer in order to solicit the information required to full understand the customers needs. As such the Yin sales person, who is more passive, may not get the required amount of attention or access to the customer’s important buying influences in order to effectively service their needs.

Ergo: To be successful, you must have “Balance of Yin and Yang in Selling”. The aggressive nature of Yang and the receptivity of Yin provide the combination to effectively engage and service the customer’s needs and develop a Win-Win relationship.


In Chinese philosophy, concept of yin-yang ([yin –simplified Chinese: 阴; traditional Chinese: 陰;pinyin: yīn] [yang -simplified Chinese  simplified: 阳; traditional Chinese: 陽;pinyin: yáng] sometimes referred to in the west as yin and yang) is used to describe how polar or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other in turn.

The concept lies at the origins of many branches of classical Chinese science, philosophy, as well as being a primary guideline of traditional Chinese medicine, and a central principle of different forms of Chinese martial arts and exercise, such as baguazhang, taijiquan (tai chi), and gigong (Chi Kung) and of I Ching divination. Many natural dualities — e.g. dark and light, female and male, low and high, cold and hot — are thought of as manifestations of yin and yang (respectively).