Please enjoy this blog written by guest author, Leroy Hamm. Leroy is the President of IHD Corporation which specializes in pre-employment screening and testing, employee assessments, and management training. IHD Corporation is an inaugural member and sponsor of CLN. In addition to presenting his research and findings at the annual CLN Conference each year, Leroy provides valuable resources available in the members only e-forum.
Why Your Sales Approach May Be Failing
Have you ever noticed that you have chemistry with some people, yet your relationship with others is awkward at best? When my brother, who oversaw sales and marketing for Sherwin Williams Co. for 34 years, was asked why he thought people "bought," he said, "For the most part, I buy from people I like."
It only makes sense that the success or failure of a salesperson in selling to a prospective client is the result of their knowledge of people as well as their knowledge of the product. Mistakes in this "relational" area are made every day and often without the salesperson even knowing the real reason for losing the sale.
Understanding the basic differences in others can make a big difference in how you relate to your clients. Assuming that "one size fits all" puts you at a disadvantage with your competition who may have learned how to adjust their negotiating style to work effectively with others to get what they want.
The following descriptions will give you insight into each of the four temperaments and how to successfully negotiate with each of them.
The High D (aka The Street Fighter)
"Get it done."
- Views negotiating as a win/lose event.
- Their goal: Plain and simple, is to win.
- Negotiation style: Threatening, hard, domineering and implies that if you don’t go along with what they want, “It’s going to get uncomfortable around here, and you’re not going to like it.”
- Weakness as a negotiator: Tends to dig in to a particular position. They are bound and determined to get something out of the negotiation even if it would be better for them to adjust their position.
The High I (aka The Cheerleader)
- They get so excited about things that they tend to lose perspective. They can be so optimistic that negotiations may fall down around them because they didn’t realize there was a problem.
- Their goal: To influence and change others’ minds.
- Negotiation style: Excitable. Wins others over with enthusiasm and sways them over to their side.
- Weakness as a negotiator: Because of their intensity and excitement, they can ignore others and not listen. They make promises they cannot keep and can lack follow‐through on the details.
The High S (aka The Pacifier)
- They prefer peace at all costs. The problem is that the cost to them—and even to others—can be high. Peace and harmony may be more important to them than candid and honest communication.
- Their goal: Not to win, but to make sure everyone is accommodated. The goal is agreement and to have everyone’s satisfaction with the results.
- Negotiation style: The High S tends to think “If we all like each other enough, we’ll agree.” This can sometimes lead them to give in too easily. The believe that if they give in, the other party will give in too.
- Weakness as a negotiator: They can be too passive. They will strive to play the “nice guy” to avoid conflict unless they stand to lose the status quo. They can become aggressive in order to maintain the status quo.
The High C (aka The Thinker & Analyzer)
"Get it right."
- Their thinking and their world must have a sense of order. They are conscientious and expect others to adhere to their standards. Negotiations can be a little too disorderly and uncertain for them. The High C doesn’t like the emotion inherent with the push and shove of negotiation.
- Their goal: To keep the process organized and ensure everyone is playing by the rules.
- Negotiation style: They ignore relational aspects and operate mainly on facts.
- Weaknesses as a negotiator: Inflexible and rigid. They operate from the “it’s the principal” approach.
Using Temperament Knowledge vs. Traditional Selling Approach
Now that you have a basic idea of what makes each of the temperaments tick, let’s take a look at a couple of common sales scenarios. Not surprisingly, training in the temperament concept of negotiating is often contrary to what is taught in traditional sales training.
The Law of Averages
Traditional sales training says: The Law of Averages implies that the more prospects you reach, the more sales you will make.
The Temperament Concept of training says: Remember the Law of Averages but be flexible and adapt your sales presentation to the temperament of the person you are dealing with. Your prospects will feel understood and your closing ratio will increase.
Traditional sales training says: People buy on emotion, not logic. And, the only reason they would want facts and logic is to justify their emotional decision.
The Temperament Concept says: People buy on emotion, but it is the emotion driven by their own unique set of needs and fears.
The High D fears being taken advantage of. With this in mind, the negotiation must include guarantees that secure their interests. The High D buys because they need to achieve results and win, and the product or service will or will not help them do that. If he sees that it will help him achieve his objectives, he will buy it.
The High I fears being embarrassed and will stop a sale or negotiation in its tracks if they get the idea that it will not put them in the most positive light if they continue with the sale. The High I is the most intense of all the temperaments. They are, by nature, the most excitable of the four temperaments. They need to look good and the purchase of a product that will help improve their status or position is often an easy sell.
The High S fears dissension and disharmony and need to feel “safe” when deciding. Being aware of this necessitates that the other party confirms the details of the agreement and reassures the High S of the logic and rationale of making that decision. The emotion of the High S is much more low‐key and subdued. However, still waters run deep, and the High S will make decisions carefully.
The High C fears being viewed as incompetent and will do everything possible to avoid the appearance of such. Because of this, you must be aware of the need to reassure them of the logic in making the decision. A list of pros and cons can work well with the High C because of their need for logic, order and clarity. The High C appears to rely on logic and facts to back up their purchase decision. However, this need for logic and detail is driven by the need to do things right and to keep their world in order.
Basic Communication Skills in Negotiating
One of the final points in negotiating effectively is to remember the most basic of communication skills, which is to always clarify. It is the key to all effective communication. In clarifying, you become an empathic listener. It ensures that you hear not only what the other person says, but also what they mean and in many cases what they did not say.
Did you find this information helpful? This is just one of many thought provoking pieces of content shared during the annual CLN Conference and through the members’ only e-forum. Expose your company to new educational and networking opportunities by becoming a member.