Selling! It’s such a loaded word. And it’s surprising how many people hate the thought of doing it. Which is fine, unless your livelihoodnothing happens without a sale depends on it. And as a business owner, it probably does.

So if you do need to go out and “sell”, and find the thought of it distasteful, realise that successful salespeople actually don’t “sell” anything.

“Huh?”, I hear you saying… “What do salespeople do if not sell? And you’ve obviously not met any of used car salesmen I have!”

So let me explain…

Great salespeople don’t sell. They encourage their prospects to “buy”. And there is a crucial difference.

Bad salespeople thrust their wares upon you – whether you want it or not, and then succumbing to the pressure and parting with your money, just to get rid of them. And then feeling the classic symptoms of “buyer’s remorse” – and wondering why you succumbed, and wanting your money back.

Really effective sales people take the time to understand you, where you’re coming from, what you’re looking for and then present a solution in a way that resonates with you – allowing you to see the value so you happily part with your money with no regrets.

In short they treat you in the way you want to be treated. Not how they as salespeople feel most comfortable.

In this series we’ll be looking at some ways you can do exactly that no matter what you’re selling.

We’re going to concentrate on personality styles and how you can relate to four common variations so they feel comfortable dealing with you.

We’ll base these styles on the DISC model of Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. While there are stacks of different models out there, DISC is an easy one to grasp. Bear in mind that while it provides a basis for understanding personality it’s just a model and every human being is unique.

So let’s begin with the Dominance type.

Do you know anyone, maybe you, someone you work with, or even a family member

who you’d describe as: demanding, forceful, egocentric, strong willed, driving, determined, goal oriented, ambitious, aggressive, and pioneering. Someone who has a “take no prisoners” approach, doesn’t suffer fools gladly, likes to get to the point quickly, leads from the front etc. They often act like a “bull in a china shop” and bulldoze their way through life.

These people are not interested in fluff. They want the big picture and details often bore them.

So when dealing with them be direct, brief and to the point. Focus on the task, stick to the business at hand and use a results orientated approach. Don’t engage in a lot of small talk. They’re really not interested in the weather!

Highly dominant personalities like to identify opportunities and challenges and solve them. So touch on high points and don’t drown them with lots of facts and figures, spread sheets and copious pages of data. Believe me, their eyes will glaze over.

They like to win – sometimes at all costs. So if you’re similar, don’t try and dominate them. A fight will ensue – and if that happens, you may well win the argument, but lose the sale.

These people tend to act quickly and make snap judgements. So you need to be prepared to take action fast as well.

When they want it, they want it now. So don’t put roadblocks in their way.

Reminds me of a story of a friend of mine buying a new car.

He knew exactly what make and model he wanted, and was going to dealers to see if

a) they had it in stock for immediate delivery, and

b) the best price.

The first dealer he walked into insisted on showing him other models and demonstrating all the features of the various cars. Friend walked out.

Second dealer did the same. He walked out again.

The last dealer was smart. He said, “Here are the keys – why don’t you take it for a spin while I get the paperwork ready.” He got the deal.

Understanding my friend’s personality at a glance was instrumental in having him buy. The car dealer didn’t have to “sell” him the car. He bought because he was treated in the way he wanted to be.

I have no idea what the salesperson’s intrinsic personality traits were. He did however understand that he couldn’t necessarily act in the way he felt most comfortable. He had to adjust his style to one his prospect felt comfortable with.

These principles are a small portion of what we teach in our advanced sales skills workshops.

Other aspects of persuasion include how to rapidly gain rapport, elicit buying criteria (so you know what really motivates them to buy) and navigating complex, high value sales.

Over the next weeks we’ll go through the other personality styles to highlight how they want to be treated and how you can adjust your own thinking to do so. We’ll also show you how to relate to combinations of different types so you can get your message across more effectively.

Learning how to swiftly recognise styles and adjust your delivery to suit is one of the keys to successful persuasion.

Like to know more? Call us on (02) 9499-7958 and we can help rapidly improve your (and your team’s) sales skills so you have more people willingly buy from you, faster.

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