The Four Social Styles

The Four Social Styles

When it comes to selling, it’s important to know what social style your prospective client is. By accommodating your prospect’s social style, you will not only effectively capture the prospect’s attention, but you will connect with the prospect on a deeper level, improving your sales. There are four social styles, with two dimensions: responsiveness and assertiveness. Responsiveness refers to the degree to which people display their emotions while assertiveness refers to the degree to which people express their opinions to others. Amiables are high in responsiveness and low in assertiveness. They are people-oriented and value relationships and cooperation. They tend to be slow when it comes to decision-making and dislike conflict, preferring unanimous decisions. Expressives are high in both responsiveness and assertiveness. They are people-oriented and task-oriented and are often the most visionary of the social styles. They make quick decisions and appreciate new and bold ideas. Analyticals are low in both responsiveness and assertiveness. They are task-oriented and value facts and logic. They take more time in the decision-making process because they want to be absolutely sure of a right decision. Drivers are low in responsiveness but high in assertiveness. They are task-oriented and value time and efficiency. They make fast decisions and prefer to work at a fast...
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

When it comes to selling, it is important to make a connection with the prospect. One of the best ways to understand the buyer is to uncover his wants and needs. One of the most frequently referenced models is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. A staple in the field of psychology, Maslow’s hierarchy is easily applied to selling and understanding consumer behavior as well. Starting with the most basic needs on the bottom of the pyramid, Maslow says that each level of the pyramid is dependent on the previous level. It is important to cater to the prospect’s different levels of needs when interacting with them. • Biological/physiological needs- These are the needs for basic necessities: food, water, oxygen, etc. These are the needs that are vital to survival. • Security/safety needs- These are the needs that come to the surface in a time of crisis or disorganization in the social structure. • Social needs- These are the needs that involve emotions such as love, affection, and belonging. Amiables, in particular, have stronger social needs that are often manifested by a need for a consensus. • Ego/Self-esteem needs- These are the needs that people have for stability, high level of self-respect as well as respect from others. When it comes to key decision-makers in an organization, it is important to cater to their ego and show respect for their authority and position. • Self-actualization- This is an ongoing process of doing good that leads to a feeling of fulfillment. This is the pinnacle of the needs’ hierarchy. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs can be used parallel to a hierarchy of information...
Pursuing Excellence

Pursuing Excellence

Excellence begins with people who engage in building and growing their characters. Pursuing excellence means engaging in backward planning—the salesperson must begin with the end in mind. Salespeople must ask themselves where they want to be and then decide how to get there. Excellence for salespeople is about “being all that you can be” within the bounds of doing what is right by oneself, one’s organization, and one’s customers. To achieve excellence, salespeople must manage themselves and their time. Managing oneself consists of developing habits that are conducive to success. Managing one’s time requires efficient and effective use of the time available. A person’s agility is enhanced by the discipline to manage oneself and one’s time. SELF-DISCIPLINE Learning to manage oneself and one’s time requires self-discipline, which in turn requires determination. Determination begins with a purpose or a “calling”—the creation of passion, which drives one toward reaching specific goals. William J. Bennet, author of The Book of Virtues, defines self-discipline as making a “disciple” of one’s self. In other words, one becomes one’s own teacher, trainer, coach, and “disciplinarian.”1 Becoming disciplined helps salespeople develop and manage their personal and professional goals (their purpose), thus creating order and...
Sales Objections – Gotta Love ‘Em

Sales Objections – Gotta Love ‘Em

We, who are in the sales profession, face objections.  Yes, I know they are just part of the deal, yet I wanted to touch on them in this blog post.  While we all know they are out there, lurking, we often are not prepared to address them in a way that makes sense both the customer and the sales professional. In my sales experience, I can say I’ve been at this for 27+ years.  I can state that “I’ve heard most of the common objections” and yet, there are a few that come up which I’ve not heard or perhaps they are shrouded in a veil of the more common objections. I’ve studies sales books, I’ve asked other sales professionals, and I’ve asked the sales training world how best to respond to objections and I get very similar feedback.  So, here are some thoughts on the subject from my perspective.  Note, this is my perspective which is part practical, part academic, and part armchair-quarterbacking as you cannot truly respond to an objection unless you are directly in the sales call.  Note:  I friend of mine, John Jeffery, an expert sales profession has a cliché which applies to objections; “When you’ve seen one, you’ve seen one!”  Thanks John! Objections can be anticipated based on the amount of time you have been in the sales profession, how long your product or service has been in the market, and how familiar people are with your company.  Often, these can soften some of the blow, just due to common sense and direct application of the sales process.  Jim Jacobus, another great Sales Trainer...
The Big 5 Personality Traits

The Big 5 Personality Traits

Psychologists have studied the impact of certain personalities on job performance. The “Big Five” factors, as psychologists have called them, are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Conscientiousness is exemplified by being disciplined, organized, and achievement-oriented. Neuroticism refers to the degree of emotional stability, impulse control, and anxiety. Extraversion is displayed through a higher degree of sociability, assertiveness, and talkativeness. Openness is reflected in a strong intellectual curiosity and a preference for novelty and variety. Finally, agreeableness refers to being helpful, cooperative, and sympathetic towards others. How do you rate yourself on the “Big Five” personality traits? Do you agree or disagree that these traits affect sales...

Little Things, Part 11

Finally, another little thing that works if practiced consistently is to “run your traps.” Bill Plaster lived across the street from my parents. Mr. Plaster was an elderly geologist when I first began seeing him downtown after I started practicing law. He had been developing oil and gas prospects and selling them for many years. He was a fixture in downtown Shreveport, always in a suit and tie, with his Fedora tilted slightly on his head. On a weekday morning, you’d see him check his box at the post office and make the rounds of one or two downtown coffee shops.If you asked Mr. Plaster what he was doing, he’d tell you, “I’m runnin’ my traps.” A trapper sets traps in locations that have proven successful in the past, and he checks those proven locations regularly. That’s what running traps is. Mr. Plaster knew that the same principle worked to stay in touch with his network of friends and contacts. We all have “traps.” They are our circle of friends, our social affiliations, our community work, even the places we frequent. In today’s world, our “traps” may (perhaps should) include Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, the world of social media. It’s part of staying in the game. Run your traps. Good...