What Is Your Sales Style?

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

I talk and teach constantly about “buyer traits” and how to recognise and deal with different types of buyer personalities. However, over the years I have noticed that salespersonality people also have some distinct traits or selling styles as well.

So, I thought I would share this educational, Water Cooler titbit about a few Sales Personality Styles and some of the potential drawbacks of each. Which one of the sales styles below most resembles you?

The Doctor
The Doctor sales style has become quite popular as more sales people attempt to become true advisors to their clients. The Doctor style is one where the sales person not only asks continuous and pertinent questions, but also listens with empathy.

The Doctor thoroughly examines the patient (prospect), carefully diagnosis the illness (needs) and prescribes a remedy (solution). And, hey…how often do you argue with your doctor?

Potential Drawbacks for the Doctor
The Doctor sales style is only effective when the sales person has captured the total trust of the prospect. The sales person must be a bona fide expert and the prospect must BELIEVE that he or she is. If the sales person fails to gain the faith and conviction of the prospect, the Doctor style comes across as a facade and backfires.

The Teacher
While the teacher sales style does more talking than asking questions, the teacher is quick to ascertain the problems. Most Teacher sales people sell products or services that require less discovery, as most qualified prospects have identical needs.

The Teacher is a great educator and is able to enlighten the prospect and demonstrate capabilities and benefits perfectly. Think about it…if the prospect knew and understood your product the way you do, wouldn’t they buy it?

Potential Drawbacks for the Teacher
First, the Teacher needs to refrain from OVER TEACHING. When the prospect has too much information, it complicates the decision making process. Also, the Teacher must be very careful not to ONLY teach. Often the Teacher uses too much knowledge and logic and not enough emotion. This results in very educated prospects who buy from someone else.

The Genie
“Your wish is my command.” The Genie sales style is exactly what it sounds like; the sales person who is able to convey to the prospect that anything they ask for, anything they need, the Genie will provide. The Genie is an expert in after-the-sale customer service and building client loyalty.

The Genie’s unyielding commitment to satisfy the customer eliminates competition and makes price a non-issue. By the way, these Genies always grant more than just three wishes!

Potential Drawbacks for the Genie
The Genie has to be careful not to become just an ORDER TAKER, and remember that contrary to popular belief, the customer is NOT always right. Also, the Genie has to be weary of some of today’s modern buyer negotiation strategies. Often what appears to be an interested buyer who is asking for a little more; is actually a scheming prospect, playing companies off each other.

Which Are You?
You may see some of these traits in yourself, or perhaps you directly relate to one particular sales style.

Wait; don’t tell me…you are a teaching, doctor who happens to live in a magic lamp, right?

Happy Selling


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Hang In There Digital at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 21 August, 2012

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