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Here's my point: All of us in sales are really in the personality business. You just read a description of my own personality, using exact words and phrases from my McQuaig System personality test result. According to the test, I'm a High Dominant, High Sociable personality type, and I'm willing to bet that most sales reps are the same. We all like the spotlight, and we like convincing others of our point of view.
Like any relationship, though, a sale isn't done in a vacuum. At least two people come to the table, you and the prospect. If the prospect isn't your "type," you can't just move on to the next one. You have to be willing to hang in there, to accommodate and adjust.
How do you do it?
First, follow the old dictum: Know thyself. Either through honest self-reflection or maybe through your own personality test figure out what motivates you in a sale.
Finally, learn to read your prospect. All of us in sales need a quick, accurate way of observing another's personality and buying style. When we know whom we're dealing with, we can adjust our own styles to make others comfortable with us. Rather than try to push along an analytical prospect, for instance, we can choose to slow down and listen more carefully in order to get the results.
Each prospect, of course, is unique and complex. But by and large, all of us in sales deal with four basic personality types: sociable, dominant, relaxed and compliant. According to McQuaig, here's a quick primer on how to recognize each type, along with suggestions on and how to deal with each. See if any sound like the clients you know.
The Dominant Type.
This prospect is a big-picture thinker, technically oriented, thriving on change. The good news is that she's confident, resourceful, and willing to listen to new ideas. The bad news is that she can be arrogant, belligerent, and insistent on having her own way.
You'll recognize her by: Expensive but casual dress (dominant types dress to please themselves, not others). She wears little jewelry, but she'll probably have a black or silver high-tech watch. You'll find high-tech gadgets and award and trophies in her office. Expect her to control the conversation, interrupt and want to get straight to the point.The Sociable Type.
He's a friendly, talkative prospect who's enthusiastic, gregarious, and socially poised. This prospect is usually a real pleasure to visit, the kind who'll pat your back and make you feel at ease.
You'll recognize him by: Stylish, status-oriented designer clothes, impeccable grooming, expensive jewelry (particularly gold) and a Mont Blanc pen. Family photos abound in the office, as do fine murals, views and other visual stimulation. This prospect will remember your name, ask about your family and make jokes while ferrying a dozen phone calls.The Relaxed Type.
This is a patient, methodical, change-resistant type who can be a real challenge to a dominant, sociable salesperson. He's relaxed, passive and unhurried, but the good news is that once you win over a relaxed prospect, you'll likely have his business for years to come.
You'll recognize him by: Comfortable, familiar clothes, a watch he's been wearing for 20 years straight, and a briefcase that looks handed down from his father. He might even be wearing the company ring or badge, and he'll likely have some kind of Rotary Club plaque on the wall. The office is comfy and well-worn, and if your prospect likes to have lunch at 12:35, don't expect to set up a 12:45 appointment. Once you do get your appointment, don't be in a hurry. A relaxed prospect needs time to loosen up.The Compliant Type.
She's a by-the-book prospect who's accurate, careful, disciplined and dutiful. She's typically smart and thorough, someone who not only wants all the I's dotted, but knows just how they should be done.
You'll recognize her by: Clean, tidy grooming, conventional clothing, and traditional office d