No doubt you've heard the expression: "People buy from people", no news there.
But why is that the case? Exceptional sales people understand that in order to make sales, it is imperative that you earn your prospects trust.
Basic sales lessons will advise you of acronyms like A.L.F.: Always Listen First, A.B.C. - Always Be Closing, F.A.B. - Features, Action and Benefit or K.I.S.S. - Keep It Short and Simple.
All of these have their place, but in this article I'll outline another method to adjust your approach to dealing with prospects. You need to understand that each prospect you interact with, will be a different person, so you need to adapt to each and every one.
How should you adjust your approach?
The simplest way to engage with your prospect, is to try and identify what sort of sales approach will complement their buying style. It’s no secret that we all have different buying styles, some people like to browse and make an informed decision over time, others like to 'smash and grab' and know exactly what they want before they speak to a sales person or enter the shop. The skill lies in being able to identify which category your prospect is, so you can mirror that sales style and lead the customer through your sales funnel.
To help me explain, I have assigned each category a colour to identify them (Red, Blue, Yellow & Green) but the personality traits of people in each 'colour category' should be obvious.
The Red Group
The direct group of customers, people who conform to the 'smash and grab' style of shopping. These people typically live fast paced lives, and usually know what they want to buy before its offered to them. To illustrate imagine somebody who works in the stock exchange on Wall street, who only takes a 15 minute lunch break and who gets irritated by long answers to their questions. You wouldn’t try to dissuade this customer from what they want to buy, you don’t need to try hard to sell something to people like this, with maybe only a quick attempt at an upsell. Just allow the sale to progress, complimenting it by answering questions briefly.
The Blue Group
The methodical group of customers, best illustrated by a scientist who spends a lot of time wanting to soak up the detail. This group needs lots of time spent with them, as they can be indecisive and will want to know every intricate detail and ask lots of questions before they make a decision. Dealing with these customers is best done by slowly taking them through the sales process, and explaining everything clearly, so leaning on a strong product knowledge is crucial.
The Yellow Group
The chatty, happy & bubbly group, the group of customers that can walk into a room of complete strangers and can start a conversation with almost anybody. These customers can tend to be easily distracted, and will often change the subject from talking about the sales process. Complimenting this style of personality involves a lot of patience, and the 'signposting' technique to guide the customer back to the topic of conversation i.e.: Your sale. It is important not to rush this type of customer, but ensure that you remember your sales 101 skills: A.L.F and K.I.S.S (see above) to keep on track - particularly if you are measured by your sales over time!!
The Green Group
Our final group of customers tend to be very calm and don’t make decisions hastily. They don’t need the most showy product, and maybe don’t even want or need to make a purchase, but that doesn’t mean you can't sell to them. You just need to engage with them, and complement their buying style!! Dealing with these customers involves asking a lot of effective questions, listening to the answers (SALES 101: A.L.F above), and taking the time to really tailor your product to the customer’s needs. The important part is not to rush these customers, because they will lose interest if you push them.
Once you have identified what customer type you are speaking with, it is important that you adopt the corresponding style, it is no good to try and sell a sports car in 15 minutes with a 'red style' pitch with all the decisions pre-made to your best friends grandmother, who fits in the green category.
Nor is it likely to go well if you tried to explain all the settings and options from every page of the manual, for the same car in intricate detail in your 'blue' pitch, to an abrupt busy 'red' business executive who buys new cars every time the latest model comes out and is all about the image...
Increase your sales by Engaging with your Prospects and Tailoring your approach, it may be that your customer fits in more than one of these groups, but usually one will be dominant, that’s the one you should identify and complement.
Listen, Engage, Complement, and your chances of closing the deal will increase dramatically.