The 5 type of “customer personalities” you may face on your next sales call:
1. Decision Maker
The decision maker (DM) is the person who must sign off for the deal to go through. Be careful. Many people will call themselves the decision maker, but ultimately they really submit to someone else.
This person is not the decision maker, but they have the ear of the DM and will help sell you and your solution. Also, he or she may be part of the decision-making process, but not the final authority.
An example of this is a person with whom you currently work in one department who is “friends with” a person in another department that is the DM for that group. This person can make the introduction and get you in the door.
Not the DM, but knows the players and the corporate culture of the company. They can be used to help you decide strategy and approach to the sale. A coach is different in that they know the inner workings and politics. They are your advisors on approach and what is being said inside the company.
This is different than an ally, in that they are not actively selling for you. In fact, they may not be in the loop at all in this sale, but they know all the players.
An ally sells for you. A coach can sell, but more importantly, they can advise best approach with the personalities involved.
This person will work against you and your solution.
He has his personal favorite (usually the competition) and wants to keep it that way. This person will work to influence the DM when you are not there. Look for ways to build bridges with this person. When in a sales meeting, see if you can get the antagonist to publicly express something positive about your Solution.
This person is the one who becomes your evangelist inside the account. They speak highly of you, recommend you regularly, and “have your back.” Hopefully, you will have DMs, Coaches, and Influencers in this category.
Think about the last person you called on. Think about the next person you’re going to call on. What “customer personality” would you say they are?
How could you change your presentation style to better leverage their customer personality?
The above is an excerpt from the book I recently co-authored with Matthew Hudson. To find out more or snag a copy of the book, go to Advisor Selling: The Art of Becoming a Trusted Advisor.
Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.