The Key to Selling to Different Senior Management Types

by | Jul 2, 2018

Frank Keogh – TAB Business Owner Dublin

Effective selling is all about the relationship between the sales executives and their customers. But relationships can only be established when people “click”. How to “click” with someone is a skill to learned and when you identify the customer’s personality type—particularly among senior management your chances of building a relationship soar. Sales prospects at this high level can’t be approached in the same manner as the purchasing manager in a warehouse.

To be successful, a sales team or you, as company owner—must be able to interact with individuals possessing dramatically different attitudes and behaviours.

Generally speaking, you will encounter four distinct personality types.  Each displays certain traits that require proficiency in adaptive selling in order to close the deal.

Here are the four types of personalities. Do you find yourself among these? What are the best ways to work with these varying individuals?

1. The Assertive Type) or driver

We’re all familiar with this personality type—forceful, hard-charging business leaders who are deeply focused on a company’s long-range goals and the state of its bottom line. Unafraid of challenges, they’re quick to take action and do so in a decisive, no-regrets manner.

Look for self-assured body language, a tendency to speak in declarative sentences and a strong competitive nature. Their office will usually be filled  with a record of their achievements  such as good deeds or certificates earned, and examples of anything they have accomplished or overcome in their careers.”

The best sales approach with Assertives is to be direct and professional. Be ready to back up your sales pitch with hard facts. It is also wise to offer them multiple proposal choices because “their other alternative is to say no—and  they’ll say no 95 per cent of the time.” Given more than one option, they are delighted in the power to choose.

2. The Expressive Type

These are creative individuals with large personalities who enjoy bonding with the sales representative. Making high-level decisions doesn’t come naturally to them. Facts are important, but so are more intangible elements like the relevance of their individual perspectives and a concern for the welfare of employees.

With Expressives, it’s often most effective to stress a strong supplier-customer relationship and partnership. Share some of your own experiences (as they relate to the specific sales situation) and describe the benefits to them and their business as a result of the sale. Be patient as they work their way towards a buying decision.

3. The Analytical Type 

Often found in positions like CFOs and CIOs, the Analytical type much prefers working with statistical and qualitative data. Before arriving at a decision, they will undertake in-depth research, verifying every sales claim you make on behalf of your product or service.

With Analyticals, a salesperson digresses from the matter under discussion at his or her peril. Be prepared for an onslaught of questions, which can be intimidating but will also demonstrate the depth of your knowledge. They will also take time arriving at a decision, so your patience (and readiness to provide more facts and figures upon request) will factor heavily in whether or not you close the deal.

4. The Easygoing Type

These individuals value being part of a team and pride themselves on their ability to get along with just about everyone. They like innovative solutions and a demonstration of your business core values. Building relationships based on trust and rapport is also important.

With Easygoing types, it’s best to emphasise your own most likeable qualities. Ask questions relating to their own experiences. Emphasise the collaborative nature of the sales transaction, while also focusing on how your solution involves little risk on their part. Try to avoid offering them too many options to choose from. Generally speaking, they want you to provide the most balanced, safe, intelligent solution for them to accept.

The more you know about the prospect’s personality type, the better you can adapt your sales pitch and presentation. This approach offers a greater chance of success than any “one-size-fits-all” sales strategy.