The Five Golden Minutes in Sales, Part 2

Interacting with the four communication types

roundtable_rick_smith In part one of “The Five Golden Minutes
in Sales,” we took a look at the fact that
the words we speak account for only
7 percent of what we communicate. We
learned that tonality accounts for 38 percent
of our communications and body language
accounts for 55 percent. Each of these three
elements provides a library of options to
draw upon. The real magic of communication
comes from knowing when to use which
words, what tonality to apply to them, what
body language to add to them — and with
whom — in order to truly connect and
build trust.

The other half of the communication
equation is possessing a working understanding
of the four basic personality types. Each
personality type addresses communications
differently with regards to how they process
information, the words they use, the level of
emotion expressed, their rate of speech and
what makes them reach a decision.

The Driver Personality —

Focuses on results, feels best when in control, prefers to
tell others what needs to be done and likes
to make decisions quickly.

When communicating with Drivers, it
works best to keep the meeting focused on
the project and the bottom line, keeping
things brief and to-the-point. Start out by
quickly interviewing a Driver,
seeking to identify what he or she would
like to see accomplished. Limit options to
two while providing a short list of benefits
and rationales for both options.

Example: “We can accomplish either
of these, and here are the benefits, tradeoffs
and costs for both.” Allow the driver to
make the choice knowing that either choice
is a good one. Do not ever over-promise
anything. It is best that you under-promise
and over-deliver.

The Analytical Personality —

Focuses on facts and logic, is careful not to commit too
quickly and acts only when the payoff is clear.
It is important to set an upfront contract
(agreed-upon meeting agenda) with an
Analytical, or an hour later you might feel
you have been going in circles with no
concrete decision made.

Example: “John, how would it be if
you shared with me your thoughts on
the project, then allowed me to ask a few
questions so I can provide you with a few
options? Would an hour work for you?”

With the Analytical it is important to
do your prep work and be ready to discuss
10 different options, even though you
might only touch on three. Responding
quickly to a multitude of questions and
options will contribute to the Analytical
personality’s confidence, which in turn
leads to a quicker decision. Remember,
Analyticals love facts and figures. If you
have them, their confidence levels go
way up because they know that you know
your stuff.

The Expressive Personality —

Focuses on sharing of ideas, dreams, feelings and
motivation by excitement and enthusiasm.
Expressive people are very creative and
have the ability to provide a multitude of
great ideas with great enthusiasm, although
many times they require the assistance of
someone who can pull their ideas into a
game plan to complete the project.

Expressive personalities love to socialize,
which is a key element in expressing
their ideas. For this reason you will find
it very important to balance the socializing
needs with time management and
finalizing a decision. You will know when
you have arrived at the golden plan when
the Expressive’s enthusiasm goes to new
heights. A satisfied Expressive customer will
prove to be one of your best salespeople.

The Amiable Personality —

Focuses on being a good listener and communicating
trust and confidence.

The amiable personality is easygoing
and likes things that are non-threatening
and friendly. You should provide support
to an Amiable by acknowledging that
you understand what he or she is sharing.
Cooperate to achieve agreement.

Amiable personalities love to socialize
… a lot. So plan for extra time, and if you
are a good listener, you will become one
of their favorites and the relationship will
grow. Keep in mind that like the Expressive
personality, they prefer feelings over dealing
with details and hard numbers, so be quick
and touch lightly on the numbers when
you need to. They can also be a little wishy-washy when making a decision,
so a good approach at decision
time is to take the leadership
role by saying, “What if we did
this? I am confident that it will
provide you with …” and then
restating the vision they shared
earlier in the conversation.

Assess and Communicate

Now that you understand
the different personality types,
don’t hesitate to switch to the
appropriate communication
style when meeting with two or
more at a time. Keep in mind
that most of us have a blend
of at least two communication
personalities. For example, one
might be amiable, analytical
and a driver … but when it’s
time to get down to business,
“the predominant personality”
always shows up. Know how to
communicate with any or all of
them and you’ll find a whole
new level of sales success!

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