A few years ago I was working with a salesperson whom we shall call Pete. Pete liked to talk and talk and talk. Luckily he was a very good guy and people loved him even though, on occasion, their eyes might glaze over when they listened. Pete did okay in spite of the handicap but……
Pete and I had several come to Jesus meetings about his propensity to ramble ad nauseum. My question to him was, “How does the prospect communicate?” Do they like to argue a point? Does their mind wander? Are they the reincarnation of the sphinx? Do they bore a hole into your head listening? Each one of these styles means that you have to adjust how you conduct the sales call.
- The observer might want details
- The arguer may want details that can’t be debated. Let them think of reasons to buy
- The wandering mind needs to be brought back by being silent
- The sphinx needs to be asked open end questions
Back to the call a few years ago. I was along with Pete when we made a call on a current customer who was a combination of the observer and the sphinx. The gentleman spoke softly and used his words with an eye on economy. All of a sudden I noticed that there was a rather long silence. Holy vocal chords Batman! The silence lasted about 45 seconds, which in Pete’s world of yak-yak must have seemed like an hour. The outcome was very cool. The customer agreed (with what Pete had last said) and decided to replace a competitor’s product with Pete’s. Pete’s smile showed all 32 teeth. End of anecdote!
Be patient! Observe the prospect to see if they fall into a certain communication style and adjust to that style. There are only so many personality styles. Research styles on line and document 4 or 5. Have a game plan ready for how you are going to react to prospects with a specific style.
The Final Word: Mediocrity can talk; but it is for the genius to observe. Benjamin Disraeli.