This week I want you to think a little differently and twist the focus of this article from your client to you, at least for a minute.
Way back in episode 22 of the Sales Made Simple Podcast, I talked about selling to different personality types. Today, I’d you to think about what your sales personality type is. More specifically your sales communication style, and how it relates to how you sell.
Be sure to take the quiz to learn your own Sales Communication Style!
Are you a Director, a Socializer, a Thinker or a Relator, or a combination of some or all of the sales communication styles?
If you learn what your personal sales communication style is, you can learn how to use it to relate better to your prospects. Even if your prospect has a different communication style than you do, so that you can adjust your approach and be more relatable.
You may find yourself using different communication styles for different phases in your selling process.
For example, when I am prospecting, or in the “discovery stage”, I definitely become a Socializer, Most people love Socializers. They are fun to be around, always make others laugh, and they thrive on being the center of attention. Charismatic and energetic, they always want to be where the action is. They are eternal optimists who are good at selling others on their vision and goals.
As a Socializer, take time to build a relationship and socialize with a new prospect. Create a fun, lively atmosphere with new and diverse elements. Help them make a list of priorities, but try to skip the unimportant details and boring material until later. After a meeting, be clear about who is going to do what and by when. Put everything down in writing. Make them look good in front of others. Motivate them with praise.
Or I take on the role of a Relator. Relators are warm, nurturing individuals who value interpersonal relationships above all other things. They are very loyal, devoted, and excellent team players. Peacemakers by nature, they often avoid conflicts and confrontations. They are also ideal team players since they are always willing to build networks and share responsibilities.
You can see how these two communication styles would work for getting to know someone quickly. As a Socializer, I try to be upbeat, energetic and charismatic – someone that my prospects might want to meet and learn more about me and what I can do for them.
As a Relator, I try to find a common ground and show interest in a prospect as a person – really get to know them. Who they are, what makes them tick. While being inviting and non-judgemental.
Once I get to know them a little, and they feel comfortable with me, I may adopt the sales communication style of a Thinker. This communication style is very analytical and geared toward problem-solving. Methodical and detail-oriented, I am prepared to help guide them towards their goal and purchasing decision. I am ready to overcome any objections they might have.
And when we get to the part about closing a sale, I move to the sales style of a Director. This communication style is driven by two things: the need to get things done and the need to control. They are most comfortable in settings where they manage others and take control of situations. Fast-paced and goal-oriented, Directors are focused on bottom-line results and achieving success. Because a Director can come across as impatient and insensitive, you want to make sure you are not overwhelming your prospect and that they feel in control of the final decision-making process.
Once the sale is closed and the deal is made, I revert back to that Socializer again, fun and friendly.
Learning and understanding your prospect’s communication style, in a “meet and greet” stage, will help you to know how to relate to them as the conversation continues.
By knowing your own sales communication style, you will be able to identify the prospects that may be uncomfortable and turned off by you. Your prospects send you signals about how they prefer to communicate. Do you hear them? It’s just a matter of learning to listen.
Prospects will tell you, with their words and their actions, (check out my podcast episode on Body Language), what they are interested in learning from you. Including what they want to buy from you. They will tell you if they are interested in the value, the cost, or in being the first or the best.
Our job a salespeople is to learn to pick up on the signals they’re sending and to respond in a way that makes a personal connection easy with that person.
I thought it would be fun to give you something so that you can find your own communication style. So I’ve designed a quiz for you! Click on the picture and learn your communication style today!
It is important to understand your prospects and how they think. But when you learn about yourself and your strengths, you can use your unique self to provide that personal experience to your clients.
Some people think that their sales communication style is determined by our individual personalities.
However, there is a lot more to it – like using what has worked for us in the past and other life experiences.
The words we choose, how loudly we speak, and the way we use sales strategies to guide prospects in making a sales decision. When you make poor choices in your communication approach, prospects may feel unheard, frustrated or even disrespected. The communication channel is quickly closed, even if your solution would be the best one for them!
Ultimately, understanding the communication style of the prospect and how they feel comfortable communicating will make you more successful in your sales.
Here are the four communication styles, and how to work with them
• The Director
This communication style is driven by two things: the need to get things done and the need to control. They are most comfortable in settings where they manage others and take control of situations. Fast-paced and goal-oriented, Directors are focused on bottom-line results and achieving success. This go-getter mentality makes them innate leaders, but it also means they can come across as impatient and insensitive.
How to Communicate with a Director – Be clear, brief, fast, and precise. Be well-prepared to provide solutions to their problems. Skip the small talk and get down to business. – Highlight key points. Avoid going into too much detail. Find out their goals and provide options with clear costs and benefits. Supply concrete data to back up claims of progress. Show how goals have been obtained.
• The Socializer
Most people love socializers. They are fun to be around, always make others laugh, and they thrive on being the center of attention. Charismatic and energetic, they always want to be where the action is. They are eternal optimists who are good at selling others on their vision and goals. Although their enthusiasm and charm make them influential people, as leaders, they can sometimes be impulsive decision-makers who take risks without verifying information. They listen to their intuition–which can be a good thing–and what their “gut” is telling them. On the downside, they have short attention spans, and they find it hard to be alone.
How to Communicate with a Socializer – Take time to build a relationship and socialize with them. Create a fun, lively atmosphere with new and diverse elements. Help them make a list of priorities, but try to skip the unimportant details and boring material. After a meeting, be clear about who is going to do what and by when. Put everything down in writing. Make them look good in front of others. Be slow to criticize them. Instead, motivate them with praise.
• The Thinker
This communication style is very analytical and geared toward problem-solving. Methodical and detail-oriented, Thinkers are usually slow decision-makers who are very deliberate about the choices they make. Before taking a specific route, they do their homework by weighing pros and cons and looking at problems from every angle. Their high expectations of others and themselves can make them come across as overly critical and pessimistic. They are perfectionists by nature and can easily fall into the trap of “analysis paralysis.” Since they tend to be skeptical, they usually want to see promises in writing.
How to Communicate with a Thinker – Avoid too much small talk and socializing. Go slow and give them time and space to think things through. Be well-prepared to answer their questions thoroughly with precise data. Put everything down in writing. Make good on your promises.
• The Relator
Of the four communication styles, this one is the most people-oriented. Relators are warm, nurturing individuals who value interpersonal relationships above all other things. They are very loyal employees, devoted friends and excellent team players. Peacemakers by nature, they often avoid conflicts and confrontations. They are also ideal team players since they are always willing to build networks and share responsibilities. Like Thinkers, they are thorough planners and highly risk-averse. They value reliability, balance and sincerity.
How to Communicate with a Relator – Be patient and show sincere interest in them as a person. Build a relationship and learn more about their personal lives before getting down to business. Reduce their fears by clearly explaining how a certain change will benefit them and those around them. Be predictable and follow through with your stated promises. Be warm and inviting. Focus on their feelings. Don’t ever push them into a corner to get what you need.
Do you recognize any of these communication characteristics in yourself? Take the quiz. Then evaluate how you can use your strengths and weaknesses to become more efficient in your sales.
If you would like to learn how to use your Sales Communication Style with Non Verbal Communication Skills to improve your sales communication skill even more, check out my articles about How to Use Non Verbal Communications Skills to Increase Your Sales, and Using Listening Intelligence to Increase Your Sales.
The more you understand about yourself and your sales communication style, the more successful you will become in your sales.