Today’s guest blogger is Tony Alessandra, CEO of Assessments24x7, a company that equips coaches, trainers and consultants with dozens of assessments (DISC, Motivators, HVP, etc.) from one, easy-to-use online account.
Contrary to what passes for age-old wisdom, customers do not buy because they are made to understand; they buy when they feel understood. That is where the salesperson’s knowledge of the behavioral styles comes in. The savvy salesperson knows the High ‘D’ (Dominance) Style wants more control. The High ‘I’ (Influence) Style cries out for more recognition and excitement. The High ‘S’ (Steadiness) Style wants more support, and the High ‘C’ (Conscientious) Style more logic. The most successful salespeople customize their approach and follow-through for each type.
A Matching Process
A sale is a matching process. You match the right product or service to your customer’s needs…and you match your selling style with the customer’s buying style by adapting your style to the style of your customer.
Of the four styles, the ‘D’s and ‘I’s are both fast-paced and assertive. ‘C’s and ‘S’s, by contrast, are slower to decide and less assertive.
But it is not quite that simple. ‘D’s and ‘C’s also both tend to emphasize the need to accomplish tasks. ‘I’s and ‘S’s put a higher priority on personal relationships.
So, as a salesperson first try to determine which style your dealing with, then adjust your pace (faster or slower) and your priority (task versus relationship).
Adjusting Pace and Priority
If you are a ‘D’ or ‘I’ salesperson, and you want to deal better with ‘S’ or ‘C’ customers or clients, try to be more relaxed, listen more than you speak, do not interrupt, challenge, or push the process along faster than they want it to go.
If you are an ‘S’ or ‘C’ selling to a ‘D’ or ‘I’, pick up the pace, initiate conversations, give recommendations, and avoid beating-around-the-bush.
As for priority, if you are an ‘S’ or ‘I’ selling to ‘D’s or ‘C’s, focus more on the task than the relationship, get right to the bottom line, and use facts and logic. If possible, prepare an agenda and stick to it. Keep your meeting focused and short.
Conversely, if you are a ‘D’ or ‘C’ salesperson, put the relationship first when dealing with ‘I’s or ‘S’s. Show an interest in them: their job, family, or hobbies. Speak in a friendly, informal way. Be flexible with your time, tolerating digressions.
The point is: Everybody is easy to please, if you know how.
With ‘D’s, be efficient and competent. With ‘I’s, support their ideas or dreams. With ‘S’s, stress your warmth and sincerity, and with ‘C’s, be thorough and prepared.
Working Toward a Win-Win
Selling customers the way they want to buy is a strategy that can positively change your sales career. Thousands of salespeople have successfully applied these techniques. They have experienced dramatic increases in sales as well as greater awareness of their own personal strengths and struggles. You become a salesperson who “consults” and “solves problems” based on your knowledge of both your customers’ personal needs and behavioral styles.
To hear more from Tony Alessandra, join him for our Soundview Live webinar on August 27th: Turning Every Business Encounter into a Mutual Win.