Sales People – Flex to Sell Well
It continues to confound me that sales people do not totally understand what flexing their style will do for their sales results. It is a basic communication technique used to gain rapport with others. It is the key to effective communication.
Yet, every week I see sales people mismatching their styles with customers and then complain about the customer not acting upon their offer.
One sales person last week was a perfect example. An aggressive, direct and fast paced individual who usually takes no prisoners in their selling style is selling to a passive, yet friendly and slow paced customer. The sales person was talking business for the start, using logic to gain acceptance to ideas and statements. The sales person asked direct (and uncomfortable) questions to the customer and expected direct and compelling answers.
The customer was friendly and smiled some, yet, became visually uncomfortable with the barrage of direct questions. This person needed time to review the process and find out the answers to the questions. The customer listened to the logic driven explanations and was polite, but was not buying in to the pressure packed offers. Finally, the old “I’m not ready to buy anything today, let me think about and I’ll get back to you!” statement came from the customer.
The reality of the situation was the customer would use passive aggressive techniques to get rid of the sales person. Appearing to accept the logic and the pressure, while knowing that there will be not buying happening soon with this sales person.
Why does this happen? The sales person is selling the way the sales person would buy, rather than observing the style of the customer and selling to the customer the way the customer wants to be sold. This is not some type of rocket science – it is style in action – preferences of each person overriding the need for rapport and trust.
The sales person was not paying attention to the fact that this customer preferred indirect questions which in the customer’s mind are “safe” questions. And, surprisingly an indirect question will be answered with a direct and real answer. This customer needed to know that the offer was safe, “quiet” and smooth in implementation, would cause no issues for the customer in the future and that others would approve of the decision.
These are simple techniques to use, however, a sales person must take the time to learn about the styles and how to flex to the different styles effectively. This requires some training and development time, that will convert into major gains in sales results, rapport with customers and higher levels of trust.
Contact us about learning how to flex your style. Check out our Flexible Selling website and gain some insight into why it is important to understand your own style, how to recognize others’ styles and then use the most effective techniques for rapport and trust building. Call us at 901-757-4434.