We all have a preferred Social Style that drives our behaviours and approach to different situations and of course, these preferences will dictate how we will approach a selling situation. Unfortunately, our own preferences do not always match those of our customers. In fact, the odds are 3-1 that the person to whom you are selling has a different Social Style to you.
For example, what might be an effective approach to one sales situation could be perceived as aggressive and inappropriate in another. Most people would agree that a good sales person is one who can pick-up on all the signals a customer may give, be that body language, voice tone or eye contact. The question is: have your sales people been trained to interpret these signals correctly?
Social Style training helps to improve our understanding of ourselves and others. There are four Social Styles: Amiable, Analytical, Expressive and Driving, and the training shows what happens to us when we are put under pressure or something is not going as we had hoped. In this type of scenario, ‘back-up behaviours are then exhibited. These are like a default behaviour which could be badly received by the recipient.
For example, a ‘driving style’ person will have a strong need to achieve results and they will try to satisfy this need by taking action. These people are seen by others as active, forceful, determined and direct and they will often initiate social contact. However, when under pressure, their back-up behaviour is to become autocratic, perhaps by dominating situations, meetings and conversations, sometimes ‘steam-rolling’ over others’ ideas in the process.
Taking a further example from a sales environment, imagine that your sales person is selling to a customer who is slower paced but very detail focused. The customer avoids eye contact, and any attempt at small talk by the sales person is not reciprocated. This customer is an Analytical Style customer, and whilst some customers might appreciate the ‘look and feel’ of your product, an Analytical Style is more interested in reducing any risk to them associated with buying your product. They will be more concerned with guarantees, delivery dates and comparing the specification of your product with others. Any attempt by the sales person to rush the Analytical Style customer into a decision would make that customer very uncomfortable: even if they did buy, they might never buy from you again.
A sales person, or anyone else, who can read these types of situations correctly and adjust their approach accordingly, is seen as having high Versatility. Sales people with a high Versatility score are typically top performing sales people.
The Social Style and Versatility Model from TRACOM will help you improve sales by giving sales people a better insight into how they appear to others. It will also them a better understanding of what their customers’ behaviours are really telling them.
To find out more and discuss it with one of our TRACOM Certified Social Styles Practitioners, please contact Sales Tec.