You’re on a sales call and the prospect says take a seat. You thank her and immediately ask how her weekend was. Her response; what can I do for you today? You want small talk and she wants to get right down to business. Typically, not the way you like to start a sales call. So, what’s next?
We need to understand that it’s not about our style and approach that matters, but about the client’s preference. Not everyone’s alike. I’d like to address three areas that can cause a disconnect with prospects and clients when we aren’t flexible to adapt to their style.
The first are is open versus reserved. This is better known as extroverted versus introverted. Open is more initiating, engaging and a fast-paced style. They are typically louder and prefer to do the talking. The open style being the extrovert gains their energy being around people. When they meet someone who isn’t as engaging as they are, their perception might be that they’re not interested. That’s not the case. It’s just a different style. Reserved or introverted types are lower key and more inspecting than initiating. They will do more observing than acting like the open style. This person has a slower pace and tends to ask more questions. They gain their energy when they are alone. You can see how these types can disconnect.
The second area to consider is the direct versus the indirect style of communication. A direct style gets right to the point where the indirect will take a longer approach in getting to the bottom line. Here’s an example: An indirect style would ask someone if by any chance, if you are free, would you be available around 4:45 or 5pm to have a meeting. The direct style would say, meet me in my office at 5. Direct styles are explicit while indirect are implicit. Direct styles like to tell others what to do. They prefer to order and act. Indirect styles, observe and wait before suggesting or conveying their view. Direct styles are less patient than indirect. Directs are more aggressive. As you can see this can be a huge area for disconnection.
The last area to be aware of is those that are task focused and those that are relationship focused. Tasked focused people are into details and focus at the business at end as the top priority. Relationship oriented focus on the people aspect. They are more subjective while task focused are more objective. Task focused styles are more interested in the facts and the tangibles, the evidence. Relationship oriented people are more interested in the intangibles and feeling versus facts. Task oriented folks are more serious minded and relationship oriented are more jovial. Task is left brain dominant while relationship is right brain dominant.
When you make your next sales call the best thing you can do is ask yourself, who am I meeting with and what is their preferred approach to connect. Daniel Pink mentions in his book, To Sell is Human, that extroverts sell just a little more than introverts, but ambiverts sell around 40% more than extroverts. Ambiverts are those that adjust their style to those they are meeting with. When you are with a direct, open and task focused prospect, adjust your style accordingly to make the connection. Selling is relational. It’s all about connecting.