Selling Styles for Successful Salespeople

Posted on 06/20/2008 in Selling Skills

Selling Styles  - Varying Your Selling Style

What Do You Think?

A good salesperson asks questions and listens to the customer. Most people would agree, but does that mean that you will succeed with all customers if all you do is ask questions and listen?

A good salesperson knows how to "ask for the order" and is good at closing. Most people would agree, but does that mean that you will succeed with all customers if all you do is close?

A good salesperson knows his or her products and services, and can describe the features and benefits to customers in a persuasive manner. Most people would agree, but does that mean that you will succeed with all customers if all you do is increase your product knowledge?

Should salespeople use the same approach with all customers?  No!  In our experience the best salespeople vary their "selling style"depending on the other person and the situation. Yes, questioning and listening,  asking for the order, and product knowledge are all important. But, what is MORE IMPORTANT is knowing when to use each of these skills and techniques. That is what we mean by selling style flexibility.

Selling Styles

There are four distinct selling styles. Each style is characterized by certain behaviors and tendencies. Keep in mind that successful salespeople can and do use all four styles, but they primarily use a combination of the first three styles.

  • Collaborative Sellers tend to ask questions, listen actively, brainstorm with the customer, strive for partnerships, and value long-term relationships. They genuinely solicit input and suggestions from the customer. In a phrase, "We are in this together."
  • Technical Sellers view themselves as the expert, like to talk about features and benefits, make recommendations, problem solve and are perceived as rational and objective. In a phrase, "Let me tell you about my product or service."
  • Closers are good at closing and generating results. They tend to make aggressive offers, like to wheel-and-deal, sometimes try to close too soon, and are satisfied to make an immediate sale even at the expense of a long-term relationship. In a phrase, "What do I have to do to get your business today?"
  • Reluctant Sellers are sensitive to signs of rejection or failure and will err on the side of ending a sales call too soon rather than create hostility or risk rejection by the customer. If Closers are at one extreme on the fight-or-flight continuum, Reluctant Sellers are at the other extreme. In a phrase, "Look this over and we'll talk again next time."

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