You’re sure to increase sales if you use our suggested strategies when interacting with buyers who have one of these four communication styles.
- The Aggressor-Asserter: Confident, fast-paced and quick to react against perceived “sales spin,” this type of communicator is direct – sometimes abrasive. For these results-focused buyers, time is truly money: When they set a 30-minute meeting, they expect a 30-minute meeting. “To them, you’re there for a reason: to solve their problem,” says Ted Gorski, president of Get Your Edge, an executive coaching firm.
To please this communicator, get to the point quickly. “Don’t offer laborious details,” says Gorski, a certified executive coach. “If they want more information, they’ll ask for it.” In your presentation, be sure to focus on the positive results your solutions will deliver for this client and their organization. Also, provide several solution options. “The asserter values having control, and when you give them options, you’re giving them that control,” says Gorski.
- The Socializer: Enthusiastic, positive and always up for small talk, this communicator wants to connect on a personal level. “They’ll ask how your drive in was – about you and your family, if you want a cup of coffee,” says Gorski.
With these buyers, it’s important to engage in chit-chat before delving into business. “You have to warm up to them,” says Gorski. “They evaluate whether they want to do business with you based on how they feel about you. If you’re impersonal, they’re not going to have a good feeling.”
Since enjoying a positive social experience with potential partners is necessary for these communicators, it’s often advantageous to hold meetings in less formal settings – say over lunch at a restaurant. If you are in the office, use samples, a whiteboard or PowerPoint, as socializers tend to be visual. Still, refrain from sharing a lot of data. “Too many details will make them glossy-eyed,” says Gorski.
- The Mediator: Composed and friendly, mediators are about relationships. They desire dependable partners that provide value over the long haul. “You need to prove your trustworthiness if you want their business,” says Gorski, noting reps who project a warm, calm demeanor have the most success with these buyers.
After beginning with small talk, ask mediators what’s important to them – what their concerns are and what they’d like to learn from you. Such questions show you’re genuinely interested in helping them, which establishes trust. Further build your credibility by sharing stories about your most successful client relationships – relationships that have lasted years. Any securities or guarantees you can offer will be welcome, too. During the discussion, proceed methodically. “You don’t have to saturate them in detail, but you need to build the presentation logically for it to appeal,” says Gorski.
- The Analyzer: Process-oriented and highly attentive to detail, this communicator desires data and lots of it. “They’re going to want to know about your process – step 1 to step 25,” says Gorski.
To impress this buyer, send them a meeting agenda in advance. “They like the chance to write down questions and notes so they can be sure they get the information they need,” says Gorski. When the meeting starts, eschew the small talk and get down to business. Win points by asking these clients about their buying process. “You have to honor their process,” Gorski says. “If you try to deviate from that, they’re not going to work with you.”
Through the discussion, provide ample information, including statistics and supporting visuals and analysis. Be prepared to answer a lot of questions, and make sure that any information you give corresponds to what is on your website; the analyzer looks for discrepancies.
Watch this video where Marie Forleo, bestselling author and personal development trainer, provides insight into how to improve your communication skills. http://goo.gl/Fq8MaH
Conversations That Win The Complex Sale by Erik Peterson & Tim Riesterer.
❑ Write down ideas for how you can more effectively communicate with your top clients based on what type of communicators they are.
❑ Identify which communicator you'll have the most difficulty reaching based on your particular selling style. Strategize ways you can consistently bridge potential communication gaps.