Read the previous installment: Understanding Personality Types to Increase Sales Part 1
Most salespeople make the mistake of treating every potential customer the same. In doing so, they reduce their chances of closing more sales. Our job as a professional salesperson is to quickly assess the customer and adjust our presentation based on their needs.
It’s important to understand that not all people are the same. However, all people can be categorized into four basic personality types:
The dominators and influencers were discussed in Part 1.
Steady Seeks Trust, Reliability
Our next customer style, the “steady” is also our largest customer style. Close to 40% of your prospects will have the steady customer style. Think about people you know that are friendly, loyal, there when you need them, etc. That is the steady customer style. Unlike the dominator or the influencer, the steady does not make quick decisions and is not someone interested in impressing other people. They are looking for companies that have a history of quality and success. They want to do business with a dealership and a salesperson that can be trusted to take care of them if a problem arises.
As with both the dominator and the influencer, the steady has unique facial characteristics. For just a moment, consider what a happy contented person might look like. If you start with their smile, you would tend to picture someone with a nice smile, but not a big ear-to- ear grin. Using that same logic, think about their eyebrows and eyes. Again, it is probable that you would envision their eyebrows up slightly with eyes that were open, but not wide open like the influencer.
From a selling perspective, you will find that the steady style is not a big fan of change and tends to purchase the same thing over and over. If they have purchased from you in the past and the model is no longer available, they are going to want something as close to the older model as possible. You will also want to emphasize words like “proven” and “reliable” when you talk about your dealership and the products you carry.
Family and relationships are very important to the steady customer style, so it’s important that you spend time learning about them personally during the qualification process. As you share with the steady about the brands you carry, focus on their history, other customers who have purchased from you and how the dealership treats customers like family.
The steady style prefers security. They prefer to invest in products they can count on and working with dealerships and salespeople that do not change. You will find that this customer style has a bit more difficulty making decisions because of their need for security.
If you are meeting with a steady for the first time, don’t expect a decision to be made right away. It’s best to not push them. Instead, encourage them to take their time to ensure they make a good long-term decision for themselves and their family. This less aggressive approach will create the level of comfort that you will need to close the sale.
The steady style isn’t going to give you trust, you will need to earn it from them. Again, you won’t typically find the steady making a decision to invest the first time they come into your dealership. The sale will happen over time as they build trust and confidence in you and your store.
Unlike the influencer who wants everyone to like them so they won’t say “no,” the steady will tell you “no” if they aren’t interested. If you haven’t heard a “no,” you are probably still in the game. With continued, gentle follow-up, you may have a high probability of closing the sale.
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The great part of selling to a steady is that once they do business with you and if you follow through and maintain the relationship, they will be a repeat customer and tell others to buy from you.
Thinkers Are Skeptical
Our final customer style is one that we call the thinker. This style represents the smallest percentage of the four styles, with about 14% of the customers falling into this category. They are still an important group and easy to sell to if you understand the basics of what motivates them to buy.
Think about people you know who tend to question things instead of just accepting what is told to them. If I had to pick one word that would define the personality of a thinker, it would have to be skeptical.
Regarding their facial features, consider what a skeptical person would look like. The eyebrows would be down just slightly, but not tightly, like the dominator. The mouth wouldn’t be smiling, but it wouldn’t be tight or ready to fight. It would be more neutral in appearance. A thinker tends to be more need-focused rather than want-focused.
It’s not that thinkers won’t dream a little on buying more than they need. However, in their mind, they would have to go through a rationalization process before they spend the extra money. While their desire in life is to be right, their biggest fear is to be criticized. They will spend a lot of time making sure that the purchase is everything it was promised to be.
Although the internet makes it easy to do research and to compare different brands and models, the thinker will go to the extreme in reviewing every option. They do this to ensure they make the correct decision. Your role is to help them validate information or help them gather more information so they can make the right decision. Much like the steady, the thinker doesn’t want to be rushed into a decision. If you rush them, they will be skeptical and you may lose this sale and future sales.
Patience is key in working with the thinker. Talk with them about warranties, guarantees and the follow-up that you and your dealership will provide. Help them understand that your goal is to answer any questions that they might have to ensure they make the right decision.
As you relax your selling style and begin to take on the characteristics of the thinker, you will find them fair and easy to work with. Money is seldom the issue for thinkers as long as they understand the added value they get from you and your dealership.