Learning how to communicate more effectively with people who have different communication styles than you do will lead you to more prospects, more productive discussions, and more sales.
Think about it. What is the basic premise of sales? Communication. Sales is two or more individuals communicating with each other, trying to discuss what the issues are, and then discussing potential solutions to those issues from the seller's side. But here’s the challenge. Most salespeople make the mistake of only describing their products and services exclusively from the position they’re most familiar with. They communicate in the way that has instinctively made the most sense to them. They look internally for their communication model. I would suggest that you look externally: that you identify what your prospect’s communication style is, and that you switch your communication style to match the style of the person you’re interacting with. Learn more about this method of communication here.
Prospects don’t get paid to change the way they buy. To the contrary, they’re likely to stay with the process that’s already familiar to them! Therefore, it's our responsibility as salespeople to communicate in a way that will make it easier for a buyer to “lean into” our conversation, to gravitate towards us quickly. That’s actually what we get paid to do!
Why is this important? Well, assume I am the buyer, and assume I’m a classic “big-picture” person. I communicate in terms of. And assume you, the seller, are a classic “detail-oriented” communicator. Assume you come out to meet with me for the first time, and you spent most of our time together describing all of the details of how your product works, breaking down all the specifications and giving me all the minutiae. How likely would you be to connect with me on a personal level?
Not likely at all. I think there would be a disconnect. And the real tragedy would be me as a buyer saying “no” to you, not because of your product, but because we did not connect.
Most people will naturally connect with about 18% to 20% of the population. Guess what? That leaves 80% of the population that we as salespeople need to change our communication style for if we want to make sure that we match up! If we're not communicating properly with 80% of the population, we can't expect to be competitive in in our sales role by imagining that 100% of the 20% we connect with naturally will want to buy.
How do we begin? By paying attention to our own communication style. We really need to understand how we communicate with the world instinctively – who we bond with easily, and, just as important, who we are likely to turn off. Once we’re aware of that, step number two is to be able to identify the behavioral traits that our prospect is exhibiting, and respond appropriately to them.
The truth is, everyone is sending us signals about how they prefer to communicate, all the time. It’s just a matter of our learning to listen. People all around us are telling us constantly, with their words and their actions, that they’re interested communicating with us about the big picture, or about social relationships, or about getting the facts and figures right, or about being part of a group. Our job is to learn to pick up on those signals they’re sending, and to respond in a way that makes person-to-person connection more likely with that particular individual. As anyone who has spent any time parenting can attest, there’s no one-size-fits all model when it comes to effective communication. The bottom line is: flexibility works. There are quite a few ways that we at Sandler teach you how to identify and respond flexibly and effectively to different communication styles.
The way to have more prospects – and earn more commission dollars – is to have more good connections and conversations!