When you meet a prospective client for the first time, what runs through your mind? Do you wonder whether or not you’ll be greeted warmly? Will they engage in small talk or will they prefer to get right down to business? Will they be serious, skeptical or will they embrace what you have to say?
Most people have that small bit of tension when we go on a new sales call. It’s natural since we are meeting someone we know very little about, even though we’ve visited their website and LinkedIn page. We plan our call by preparing our objectives, the agenda and what key questions we want to ask. But, the bottom line is this; most calls rarely go as planned. Why is that?
Because the world is full of different styles of people and we are often so focused on ourselves and what we want to accomplish that we fail to fully anticipate the needs and styles of the prospect.
It’s human nature to look at situations, meetings and interactions from our point of view. However, in most cases, it becomes so important to consider the personality styles of others.
In my book Four People You Should Know, I say this:
“How a person behaves and reacts to you gives further indications of their personality type.”
Instead of being surprised by someone’s reaction to your statement or question, you should consider asking yourself, who I am dealing with? This will help you take the focus off of you and your priorities for the meeting and help you better connect from the prospect’s perspective.
Here is what you can expect from each personality style:
Blues are warm and friendly and respond warmly to small talk about people and situations. They will try to make you comfortable.
Gold personalities are structured and schedule oriented – typically formal and serious. Golds will take positions of power or dominance.
Greens are succinct in conversation, liking debate and stressing logic. If you ask them about a product or service, they may respond with a fact or opinion.
Oranges are action-oriented and position themselves as the center of attention. They respond to small talk about sports or events by engaging with a challenging response.
The three most engaging questions you can ask that will help you uncover the personality style of the prospect, are the following:
- What is most important to you?
- What do you see as your greatest challenges?
- What are your top priorities?
Not only will this help you understand who they are and what they value, it will help you position your products and services in a way that is most attractive to their personality style. When you present in a manner that matches what each personality style values, they more readily see the benefits of your solution. Remember the formula:
Value = Benefit/Cost.
The more benefits the prospect sees, the less cost it is per issue.
The next time you prepare for a new sales call, remember the first two questions you should be asking yourself; with whom am I meeting, and how can I adjust my conversation to have a maximum impact from their perspective.
Good selling for 2016!