How to sell to the big business buyer(s).
If you haven’t done so, download the template here to map out various buyers. Note the section titled “Personality Type.”
Here’s why personality profiling matters:
Imagine I’m working with you to help win a consulting sale. (Yes, I do this for some of my clients).
Before we call on a prospect, I typically will ask for a “call plan.” To do that, I’ll need you to size up the “buying team.” And to do that, you typically gather facts, figures, history, as well as plan your sales approach. Using the spreadsheet template gets you started.
Eventually, I’ll ask you, “What is Jane Doe really like?” Is she somber and serious? Is she lively and funny? Is she competitive and driven?
Profiling gets to the heart of your prospect’s motivation as well as their personality. Why do some people drive pickup trucks (even though they live in the center of a city), while others drive convertible sports cars (even though they live in a rainy climate)?
People have different values for style, quality, and price. And people tend to do business with people they can relate to.
If we can anticipate their behavior, then we can modify our own to be more compatible with them. That is, don’t treat people the way YOU want to be treated. But how THEY want to be treated.
So, let’s first define some personality traits:
Drivers are determined, demanding, and decisive. They are independent and know what they want. Their focus is on facts and logic. They can be risk takers and can make decisions more quickly than the other behavioral types. So, they are action/results oriented. Drivers might come across as stubborn and impatient. They also tend to seek power, control, and authority. They comprise about 15% of the population.
Analyticals tend to be objective, deliberate, and cautious. They are serious. They like order, structure, and procedure. They tend to focus on facts and are especially interested in good planning and problem-solving. They can be reserved, impersonal, and detached. They make up about 35% of the population.
Amiables are warm, friendly, and dependable. They are loyal, dedicated, and cooperative. They tend to be team oriented. They are also good listeners and focus on the feelings of others before their own. They tend to avoid conflicts. It may take many contacts to sell to an Amiable. They’re likely to want some low-risk, guarantees. Amiables comprise another 35% of the population.
Expressives are dramatic, enthusiastic, and frequently inspiring. They are fun-loving, flamboyant people. Many of their actions are impulsive, and they significantly rely on intuition. They are innovative, creative, and dreamers. Expressives tend to focus on the big picture, not details. They can make snap judgments (especially about others), without gathering all the facts. They represent the remaining 15% of the population.
Now, before I get any email about stereotyping, please keep in mind that we’re focusing on their one dominant trait. These traits can shift depending on the role, age, and cultural context. However, I’m trying to keep things short and simple for this message.
As you read about these traits, did you see yourself? If so, good! I was going to ask you to do so. Plus, you should’ve completed Step 1 which would also help you learn about your personality profile.
If you accept my thesis that people tend to buy from others who are like themselves, clearly we have to modify our behavior to complement their behavioral style.
Let me repeat that point. To be a successful consultant, one of your fundamental skills has to be “high interpersonal versatility.” That’s consultant-ese for being able to build a connection with someone.
All of us modify our behavior to some degree. We engage in small talk with John because he enjoys it, but we get down to business with Joe because we know he prefers it that way. You’ll have to practice this over and over to get good at it. For many people, it’s easier said than done.
The implications for your consulting/coaching/freelancing business can be dramatic.
Attached to this post here are charts to help you conduct the call based on the behavioral style you’re encountering. For each style, I make suggestions about:
- How to open the call
- How to carry out the call
- What to do
- What not to do
- Their probable business reasons
- Their personal buying reasons