Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Understanding Their Personality


Understanding, recognizing, and responding to the decision maker's personality is important for a variety of reasons:
1. It allows the conversation to continue. You can stay on phone with the contact or keep the face-to-face meeting alive.
2. You can appropriately establish rapport with your contact at the beginning of your sales call. How well you establish rapport depends on how well you recognize and respond to the contact's personality.
3. It leads you to establishing a relationship with the contact. People buy from people they know, like, and trust. A contact won't give you any business information until you establish a personal and/or professional relationship with them.
4. You can effectively identify and influence decision makers or those in the decision-making loop to advance a sale.
5. You can effectively steer the conversation toward a sale.

During a sales call with a contact, you can recognize their personality by:
* How did they greet you?
* How did they answer your first few questions?
* How did they interact with you or others?
* Were they responsive?
* How well do they progress the conversation? Do they stay on business topics or stray to personal topics?
* Do they have high drive or low drive?
* What questions do they ask?

How To Respond
Mirroring is the act of tailoring your response to a contact and presenting in a way that does not offend them. Your initial goal is to recognize how the contact is behaving so that you can mirror your response and have an effective conversation. Your longer-term goal is to have an idea of their personality tendencies to that you can influence them appropriately.

To work effectively with a dominant personality, you should be direct and succinct, deliver value as soon in the sales call as you can, don't waste their time on non-business topics, and stress their agenda and how you can help them.

For a more influential personality (high drive and highly responsive), you should be direct with your questions and be sure to speak to their agenda. Let them drive the conversation as long as they stay on the path towards a sale.

For a personality with more social tendencies, you may need to keep pulling the contact back to the business topic, but you'll need to do it without being pushy. Let them talk about what's important to them, but don't let them get too far off the path. You may need to spend more time in the warm-up.

For more compliant personalities, such as an engineer or accountant, you will likely need to emphasize detailed, specific data points, using statistics where possible. You should be more to the point, be specific and detail-oriented, and be prepared to give them time to consider the data you supply them.

The Erie Sales Club is a joint effort of three leading local businesses: Jameson Publishing, Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services, and VertMarkets.

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