Positive Polarity
by Dave Molenda
January 6th, 2014

Selling to your Audience

As we start a new year, 87 percent of adults will have at least one New Year’s resolution. By the end of January, only half of those that started it will continue into February. I love that statistic for a couple of reasons. First, I know that in the past, I was not alone as I drudged through January trying to change something about myself. But more importantly, it shows that success can happen with determination.

This month, I want to share with you a well-kept secret in the world of sales. And it again has to do with the DiSC Assessment. Recently, I wrote about how taking a DiSC Assessment can help you better understand what motivates you and what stresses you out.

If you are involved in any way in sales for your company, whether internally to your team, or externally to your clients, then read this next part and prepared to be challenged.

Most salespeople sell to their audience their way, without much consideration for the audience. I liken it to a meeting in which one person speaks English and the other person speaks Russian.

“Zdravstvuj,” he says as you walk in his office; Russian for “hello.” You stare back at him with concern. You flew halfway across the country or drove across town to see this guy that you have been waiting months to get a meeting with. An uncomfortable feeling is in your gut telling you that you did not do your homework on this prospect, as he is speaking in Russian to you.

“Kak dyela,” he says wondering why you did not answer him; Russian for “how are you?” Here is where it gets interesting, when a Russian person asks you how you are, they are interested in something other than a one word answer. So if you want to offend him, say “terrific” without any further explanation … good luck selling that one!

Take this into your own personal experience. You finally get in front of that prospect that you have been waiting to see for months. He welcomes you and you typically would immediately go into your sales routine. What should you do? Think of this: The more flexible you are in making your style match the other person’s style, the more they will perceive you favorably.  If he is methodical in his approach, don’t rush in and talk fast. If he is a to-the-point person, then it would do you well to not talk about the history of the company that you represent.

I heard from a peer recently about a meeting that she was in with a technical salesperson and the owner of a company. The technical salesperson spent 45 minutes talking about non-essentials and finally the owner asked, “When are we going to get to the proposal?” Needless to say, that sale was not successful and, primarily, it was because the sales team did not match the other person’s style.

So, if you want to improve your success in your profession of sales, then I would suggest that you consider a DiSC Assessment and begin to learn for yourself how to be flexible to match the style of the person to whom you are trying to sell.

I am confident that it will help you get to your next level of professionalism. Either do that, or brush up on your Russian!

Until next vryemya (time) …

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