Buyers can be divided into four different categories, according to Jim Meisenheimer, speaker, sales strategist and author of the self-published e-book, The Twelve Best Questions to Ask Customers. Meisenheimer says that salespeople must tailor their selling style to suit each category. “If you take a one-size-fits-all approach to selling, you’re going to run into some bumpy roads,” he warns. Here’s how you can identify and cater to distinct buyer behaviors.
If prospects or clients display straightforward or competitive behavior, chances are they are assertive buyers. Meisenheimer warns that assertive buyers “tend to base their decisions on results.” Salespeople should be prepared to offer hard evidence of a product or service’s benefits. Assertive buyers always want to know exactly how and when they can expect to see a return on their investment.
The telltale sign of expressive buyers is their gift for gab. Articulate and persuasive, it’s not uncommon for expressive buyers to monopolize a conversation. While frustrating at times, salespeople can turn the buyer’s chattiness to their advantage. Listen carefully for clues about the buyer’s needs and demands. Indulge in friendly chatter, but seize opportunities to turn the conversation back to your products and services.
Although low-key and relaxed, analytical buyers typically are well organized, neat and meticulous. Natural born deliberators, they take their time making buying decisions and rely on past experience to determine future actions. Never try to convince analytical buyers that purchasing from a competitor in the past was a mistake. Instead, recognize the positive aspects of past purchasing decisions. Then build on these positive traits by emphasizing what additional benefits your product or service can bring to the table.
Friendly and approachable, amiable buyers base their buying decisions on people – not products. While it’s important to highlight the benefits of your product or service, take the time to build a strong relationship with amiable buyers. Offer referrals from existing clients to build trust. Follow-up face-to-face meetings with a handwritten thank-you note, remember the names of the prospect’s children – anything that will add a personal touch to your business dealings.
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