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Many of us sell in a way that feels natural and comfortable to our style. You may be an outgoing salesperson who is talkative, enthusiastic and energetic. That’s great when you’re working with a decision maker who is talkative, enthusiastic and energetic. But what if your customer is more reserved? What if they are analytical in their decision making, but you approach them with anecdotal information?
Sales is based on understanding. Understanding our customers and their needs. Through this understanding, you build trust. Trust is earned when people see eye-toeye through behaviors and communication. The best salespeople adapt their style. When we adjust our style and approach to match the customer, it sets us apart from competitors and establishes a relationship based on trust and credibility.
How can you gain insight into your customer’s style? Here are a few tips that build stronger relationships, AND help you understand your customers.
1) Actively Listen
Listen to solve instead of sell. Listen to discover alignment between the customer’s pain points and problems with your solution and services. Most people will tell you who they are and what their style is if you truly listen to understand (not just respond). In their own language or style your customer will share their priorities and concerns. And the more you understand their priorities and concerns the better you can target your conversation and solutions.
2) Ask Powerful Questions
Great salespeople actively direct the conversation with their customers by asking astute questions. If your customer or prospect has objections, rather than pitching them, ask more questions. Asking questions will give them a chance to expand on themselves and their needs. The more your customers talk about themselves, the more you will:
• Build rapport
• Establish trust
• Justify their time investment in you
3) Check Your Understanding
One good way to check your understanding is by rephrasing or restating the information that you have gathered in your own words. While restating the information, develop alignment and connection points to your solution and ask if those resonate. You can also check your understanding by asking follow up questions. Ask them to tell you more about an area that could use further clarity. And, don’t miss the opportunity to ask “Is there anything else I should know?”
Regardless of your style or the style of your customer, everyone likes to be heard and understood. Make your sales conversations worth the time of your customer by actively listening, asking powerful questions and rephrasing.
Psychology tells us that we’re more at ease with those who mirror our style. We turn toward people we think will understand our priorities and validate our own choices. So how comfortable are you with adapting your selling style to the way your customer behaves? How comfortable are you in identifying other styles? Do you know your style?
We can help.
The FCCS’ Leadership Academy program, Everything DiSC Sales, is a one-day
interactive workshop, that can help you learn more about yourself, your selling
style, and the buying styles of potential and existing customers. You’ll receive
The Everything DiSC Sales Profile® which is a research-validated online profile
assessment, that is sales-specific.
Who can benefit? Sales teams, sales leaders, customer relationship managers, branch managers, loan officers. Those who are responsible for business development, and customer contact. Interested in bringing Everything DiSC Sales to your association?
Contact FCCS’ Director and Senior Leadership Consultant Jeannie Clinkenbeard at Jeannie.Clinkenbeard@fccsconsulting.com.
Click here to learn more about this powerful program.
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