More than a few years ago I received a monthly sales tip sheet called A Sales Bullet published by the Economics Press. Several times in this blog I have referred to various bits of wisdom from the sales bullet. Here is another and one that I have used over the years.
Each prospect that we meet has his or her own peculiarities. Here are some personality types and how to approach them:
The Observer has a careful approach; will “see through” anything; will watch what a salesperson does, they can be critical; they know what they want. Give this person accurate details; move methodically from point to point; if your first close does not work then give more details and try another close. This kind of prospect will convince him or her self.
The Needler will see how much a salesperson will take. This type of person will try to pick you apart looking for errors and may ridicule you. Don’t become emotionally involved, don’t argue and don’t lose your temper. Find a way to appeal to this person’s ego.
The Arguer likes to disagree. They will contest what you say in the hopes that you will debate them. Don’t try to prove this person wrong or you’ll more than likely lose the sale. Be patient; avoid head-on differences; find a way that both you and the prospect can be right. Present facts and information and let the prospect think of their own reasons for buying.
The Wandering Mind will fiddle with pencils, look out the window or introduce irrelevant topics. Try to focus this person’s attention by stopping talking for a moment. Give this person something to do-look at a piece of literature or examine a sample. Once you get this person’s attention back ask questions to hold their attention.
The Sphinx is reluctant to say anything at all. Most questions you ask will be answered by a yes or no. For this type of person ask questions that require more of an answer. Then just wait. This approach will sometimes force the prospect to open up.
Some of the terminology and language in the sales bullet is a bit dated but the principle remains valid. The number one job of a salesperson is to understand the style of the prospect and adapt your selling approach to that particular prospect.
The Final Thought: “We are like chameleons, we take our hue and the color of our moral character, from those who are around us.” John Locke