by Guest Blogger – Alf Foster
Recently I wrote two blogs about selling using personality type theory – Selling using MBTI Personality Type Theory – Can This Really Work? and What is your Buyer’s Personality Type? This blog will explore selling something to a valuable client in a way that plays to their personality.
I want to stress the importance of having a sales process, and that the intention of combining personality type theory with selling is to reinforce your existing sales process in a way that works best for you rather than to replace it.
To reinforce your sales process by accommodating the customer’s preference you must have a good understanding of your own type. Your personality type preference will have a unique influence on the application of your sales process, as people tend to develop behaviour and skills that are associated with their personality type. Understand this by using a valid and reliable self-reporting personality type instrument like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) through a person who is certified. This will ensure you use the tool correctly , your results are interpreted well and the indicated type reflects you.
Once you have an understanding of the elements of your personality type you need to assess your selling process to understand how your type influences what works well with some customers and not so well with others. Jot down each stage of your sales process and next to each stage record what happens when your process works well and when it doesn’t. How well you accommodate and adapt to your customers personality type is directly proportional to how well you understand your own type, so it’s a good idea to spend as much time as you need getting to know your type and how it typically plays out within your sales process. If you don’t know this, how will you know if the customer’s preferences are directly opposite yours? Choose a customer you know well and think through some of the cues they give. My blog on What is Your Buyer’s Personality Type? gives you some examples of personality type cues. You will be surprised how easy this is once you are familiar with the way your preferences affects your sales process. Certified practitioners can also provide more examples of signals given off by the different types.
Now you have thought about this, it is time to practice by listening to what your customer is saying as they move through the different preferences. The types of words they use are one of several indicators about what preference is being used. Type specific verbal cues also allow you to identify these preferences during a telephone conversation.
Once you have reflected upon your customers cues you will be able to respond to them in a manner that accommodates their type. Remember in my previous blog – the extravert likes to think aloud so let them talk. The introvert will want to think so be comfortable with the silent pauses as they consider what you are sharing.
Extraversion/introversion preferences are most in play during the first stage of the sales process, where the buyer is deciding if they are going to be at ease with the salesperson or not. All the different parts of the 4-letter personality type come into play during the other stages as discussed during my first blog on MBTI.
A sales person who has mastered this will provide the customer with reason to believe that “this salesperson is thinking of me and my best interests”. Salespeople who achieve this will also be focused on the long-term needs and the lifetime value of the customer rather than a short-term win.
The customer (regardless of ethnicity or culture) will know and feel this. They will then become more open, trusting and willing to work towards the conclusion of the transaction.
Practice makes perfect so go for it and enjoy the pay off!
Alf is presenting a free afternoon seminar on the MBTI tool this Thursday 25 September 2014. At this seminar, Alf will give you an insight into your own personality type, how this instrument strengthens teams, develops leaders and gives organisations all around the world a competitive advantage. Find out more and register here, it’s not too late to register!