I mention the importance of communication a lot, and here’s another point - asking prospects about their preferred sales technique is vital in developing a consultative sales process.
Trouble is, what people say in a controlled environment doesn’t always reflect what they’ll do in reality. To quote Voltaire: “One great use of words is to hide our thoughts”.
This is why good sales managers shouldn’t rely solely on group feedback to determine how their teams deal with prospects. Yes, it’s a good starting point – a basis upon which to build a successful sales strategy. But remember that every prospect is unique, and that salespeople need to adapt their behavioural style according to how each individual communicates with them.
Want some practical examples? Here goes…
The analytical prospect
Their Style: Cool as a Cucumber, the analytical prospect is task-oriented and will ask for facts and figures during a pitch.
Selling approach: Use quantitative and qualitative data to support the pitch, and deliver it logically yet impassively. Avoid pressurising them, and be prepared for a slow decision.
Their style: The driver likes to control a pitch. They’re results-focused, opinionated, and make quick decisions.
Selling approach: Small talk irritates these guys. So be direct, talk fast – but clear – and substantiate any claims you make. Also be prepared for quick-fire questions.
The amiable prospect
Their style: People-oriented, the amiable prospect is sensitive, takes time decision-making, and would rather watch a month’s worth of back-to-back “10 Years Younger” than face conflict.
Selling approach: Build rapport by emphasising how you can help them and, crucially, their colleagues. Avoid pressurising them by suggesting their colleagues get involved in the decision-making process.
Their style: The ultra-animated expressive frequently uses stories to express their opinions, often going off-subject. But beware: they’re also highly impulsive.
Selling approach: Active listening is key (more on this next time), alongside lightening-speed reactions. Use stories to emulate their style, expect interruptions, and be prepared for a quick decision.
Introducing the concept of personality types and the differences between each, leads to increased self-awareness and greater acceptance of differing viewpoints. Understanding the different customer types and how to ‘behave’ when selling to the differing types increases rapport building and trust in the relationship. To learn more try this eLearning Module 'Know Yourself, Know Your Customers' because one size does not fit all.