Matching Your Selling Style to Different Customer Personality Types

Posted on 09/01/2016 in Online Sales Training

How you sell is often just as important, or more important, than what you sell.  The concept of selling styles, or how you sell, is a crucial selling skill and can set you apart from average sellers. 

The best sales professionals vary their selling style to fit different types of customers. For example, how you sell to a customer who is very sociable and relationship-oriented should be different than how you sell to a customer who is very direct and wants to get down to business.  This may sound obvious but it is not common practice – average sellers tend to use the same selling style with everyone, which limits their effectiveness. 

In general, a sales call tends to go well when your selling style matches the personality type of your customer.  If you sense that the conversation is not going as well as possible, be flexible and switch to a different Selling Style that is better suited for the other person.  

You should consciously adjust your selling style during each sales call.  In order to do this effectively, you must be able to assess what type of personality style you are interacting with, so that you can then flex to the most appropriate selling style. 

The Interpersonal personality type enjoys small talk and wants to be assured that you care about him and aren’t going to vanish after the sale.  You will do well if you use a more Relationship style of selling with an Interpersonal Personality Type.  

The Need Fulfillment personality type is most concerned that the products and services are going to meet their critical needs. If you can customize a solution that matches their needs, it will have high value.  You will do well if you use a more Collaborative selling style because the Need Fulfillment personality type wants to interact with a sales professional who asks questions and offers appropriate solutions. 

The WIIFM personality type (What’s In It For Me?) likes to know how your product will benefit them, and how it is superior to the competition.  You will do well if you use a more Technical selling style with the WIIFM personality type because he likes a salesperson who  is knowledgeable and can factually describe the various products and service options.  

The Director personality type typically is a busy decision maker and wants to quickly and clearly hear how you can improve her bottom line and bring her tangible results. You will do well if you use the Closer selling style with the Director personality type because she prefers that you get to the point and make a decision quickly.

NEW! Visit the Essential Selling Skills series page to learn more about this 12-part online training series containing over 6 hours of sales training.  Module 12, Varying Your Selling Style is dedicated to selling styles and how to vary your style with various customer personality types.  Email if you are interested in learning more.