You identified and subsequently met with a potential customer but the meeting did not result in a sale. Perhaps, the failure was due to a conflict between how the client prefers to be communicated with and how you communicate.
When it comes to making a good first impression, most salespeople practice the basics: dress neatly, show up on time, and be prepared. However, differing communication styles can hinder developing a business relationship.
Communication/behavioral styles can vary wildly and become a basis for conflict when it comes to salespeople and their prospects. Imagine a salesperson who likes to work quickly, even if not thoroughly. Now imagine a detail-oriented ‘perfectionist’ buyer who wants to ensure every detail is just so before completing a task. Chances are these two will find it difficult to work together.
The key to avoiding conflict with people having different behavioral styles is to identify the different styles and then be very aware of the other person’s communication preferences. Just as speaking a common language is necessary for understanding, communicating in a way that people are comfortable with makes life easier and will likely help to gain an advantage when working with them.
For example, when presenting to a prospect who is a “people person,” a salesperson should be personal, friendly, slow down, joke around and allow the other person time to talk.
However, when presenting to a prospect who is concerned about security, the same salesperson needs to adopt a different communication style—build trust, slow the process down, provide a logical presentation, listen carefully and try not to close too fast.
The first step in understanding another person’s preferred style of communication is to understand your natural behavioral style. For example, if your natural behavior is compliant, you may have a tendency during a sales presentation to overuse data. Being aware of this propensity, you know when dealing with a naturally dominant person to deemphasize data.
One online dictionary defines self-awareness as “Knowledge and awareness of your own personality or character.” Self-awareness is all about being conscious of your own feelings, motivations, and desires without being absorbed with them. When you are self-aware, you know your strengths and weaknesses, and how to manage them in the workplace.
Once you are aware of your behavioral style, you can begin to look for clues leading to an understanding of other’s styles. As an example, a person who is extroverted, people oriented and talks with his hands, more than likely possesses a natural influencer behavior. When dealing with this person you want to be friendly, allow them to talk and follow up often.
Becoming more self-aware isn’t as easy as flipping a switch.
Using an assessment to understand your natural behavior is an extremely effective way to become more self-aware. When recruiting sales talent, our firm utilizes TriMetrix DNA Sales. This assessment reveals a salesperson’s strengths and weaknesses within each of the six phases of the sales process. Additionally, the results of the assessment lend to creating self awareness within three other key areas: Behaviors, Motivators, and Competencies.
To identify unrecognized weaknesses, which may limit your success, I encourage you to complete this objective sales behavioral assessment. The resulting report will heighten your self-awareness by helping you to understand your tendencies, behaviors, motivators and competencies.