The Green Sheet Online Edition
July 10, 2017 • Issue 17:07:01
Making use of personality types
As professionals building strong merchant portfolios, you know preparation is paramount. You have a business plan, short- and long-term goals and action steps written down. You have objectives for each workday and for each appointment. Before each sales call, you make sure your industry knowledge is updated, gain mastery of your own products and services, research your targeted verticals, and learn everything you can about your prospects.
Preparation lays the groundwork for success. However, it doesn't guarantee success. Every situation has an element of unpredictability. You must be ready to think on your feet and respond appropriately as your presentations unfold. This can be extra challenging when you're meeting a potential customer in person for the first time.
In Good Selling!SM: The Basics, Paul H. Green wrote, "[H]ow do you know how to present yourself if you are meeting this person for the first time? Well, upon introduction, take a few minutes to size up the merchant and figure out what makes him tick. Then you can gear your presentation to be the most effective for that 'type' of person."
Three personality types
Green identified three personality types: the Coordinator, Manager and Associate. He described their traits and how to work with them, as follows:
- Coordinator: At first glance, Coordinators may appear to be Managers, but upon closer examination, you will recognize Coordinators because they are charismatic and generally well liked, Green noted. They prefer to be active, rather than sit behind a desk, and enjoy the thrill of the chase. "Lucky for you," Green wrote. "Coordinators are usually drawn to calculated risks, so position your service as a well thought out risk, such as 'gotta spend money to make money.'"
- Manager: Like Coordinators, Managers are take-charge people, but unlike Coordinators, Managers may put some people off because they can be controlling and obsessive, Green said. "They like to feel in control; therefore, don't pressure Managers into a decision," he added. "They may become defensive. You will need to be flexible and make Managers feel that they are controlling the meeting. A key is to focus on how your service will help them stay in control."
- Associate: Unlike Managers and Coordinators, Associates tend to focus on the company as a whole and are usually trusted by co-workers, Green observed. "When calling on an Associate, you may find that he is polite and sensitive to your feelings, but that doesn't mean you have an easy sale," he wrote. "Associates need to feel that you are considering the feelings of the individuals in the company and that your service will help everyone." He added that Associates will need to consult with others before making a buying decision, and being patient will give you a far better chance of getting the sale.
So when you meet someone for the first time, adapt to the person's speech and body language, and use your knowledge of personality types to help make your strong portfolio a reality.
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