I talk a lot about how important it is to conduct an interview to establish a diagnosis to determine the pain points and needs of buyers early in the process. That of course begins with identifying and mirroring your prospect’s temperament, but maybe I haven’t been clear enough about how to conduct the mirroring. I say that because folks often tell me they understand that mirroring is important, but don’t really know what to say. It’s important to note that folks typically put up natural barriers to salespeople when they are approached by them, so let’s look at some examples of what I’ll call temperament-centric mirroring during initial approaches with unfamiliar buyers.
I’ve included a temperament review for you here including two audio posts and a printable pdf chart:
Remembering that people buy from those they like and trust, it’s very important for salespeople to begin every new buyer meeting by making them feel special and encouraging them to talk about themselves early on. After reviewing the temperament types it’s easy to see that Greens are doers and achievers, Reds are friendly and social, Blues are security oriented and are not risk takers, and Yellows are task oriented and perfectionists. That said, your approach should be designed to encourage each type of buyer to talk about themselves in the light of their temperament, for example:
REDS – “What do you like to do when you’re not working?”
“What are your plans for vacation this summer?”
“What do you enjoy most about the people you work with?”
YELLOWS – “What’s your trick for being so focused?”
“What’s your preferred technique for dealing with problems?”
“How did you get so organized?”
GREENS – “What are some secrets you’ve learned to get where you are today?”
“How do you juggle all your responsibilities?”
“How do you manage your time to ensure everything gets done?”
BLUES – “How do you remain so calm with so much going on around here?”
“How did you ever learn to do everything you’re responsible for?”
“How in the world do you keep this facility secure?”
You can readily see by reading through these sample questions that likeability and trust should occur much easier and quicker as you “speak their language.” To put this process in outline format for every first meeting with a commercial buyer or residential homeowner my suggestions are:
1. Upon meeting a prospect quickly determine his/her temperament through verbal, non-verbal, and environmental observations.
2. Ask a couple of temperament-centric APPROACH questions in order to reduce any awkwardness and stimulate them to talk about themselves. Once this is accomplished;
3. Transition to INTERVIEW questions in order to uncover the pain, while you encourage the prospect to verbalize needs and desires, and then formulate a DIAGNOSIS.
4. Only after completing the above should you take a logical next step and proceed with a physical inspection and eventual PROPOSAL of your solution that meets the buyer’s needs.
By properly investing only a few minutes on the front end of sales calls, relationships can be forged that will lead to long term loyal customers for your products and services.
—————Horse, Meet Water—————
Are you a service manager who would love for your technicians and installers to sell more of your services, but either don’t have time or don’t know how to plan sales meetings to teach them what they need to know? Recently Doug put together an inexpensive tool you can use to help. It’s a Leader Guide for you to use providing open questions for each of the 116 training topics Doug wrote about in his book. It eliminates managers having to plan and organize training sessions, so you really should check it out here.
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