Relationship Selling and the Importance of Information Processing & Social Styles

How would you define building relationships? For some people it’s about finding commonality or a shared interest. Others define it as the process of building rapport and bonding, which leads to trust.

Your ability to develop a relationship more quickly is a direct result of being able to communicate on the same “frequency” as your prospect and it all begins with paying attention to the signs and, most importantly, listening.

Here are a couple of key things involved in relationship selling to better develop effective communication with someone.

Information Processing Modes: pay attention to the word’s prospects use and make sure you communicate in their language. When a prospect is saying “show me” or “I’d like to see what you can do”, don’t automatically go into “tell” mode. Don’t tell them how great you are, how great your company is, and all the great products and services you have. THEY DON’T CARE!  It’s not about you, it’s about them…so make it about them. Listen to the words they use and make sure to use their words in your response or question. It shows you are listening to what they are saying instead of just waiting for your turn to talk.

There are three primary types of Information Processing Modes:

  1. Visual
  2. Auditory
  3. Kinesthetic

About 60% of learners are Visual learners; those that need to see pictures and graphs to learn a new topic. Auditorylearners are those that need to hear the information and Kinesthetic learners are those people who need to engage in activity in order to grasp a concept. Know your audience and adapt to them.

Social Styles:  I enjoy discussing social styles with my clients and really enjoy the great conversations around them. Why would we go out and meet with someone, in hopes of building a relationship, if we don’t know what our own social styles are, and also have a good idea what social styles our prospects have? Don’t overlook this critical piece to relationship selling.

The DISC profile is a good start and you can access the assessment for free on the internet.  I encourage everyone to take it…it takes no more than 15 minutes.  Here are the four social styles:

  1. D – Dominance/Driver. This style is both bold and skeptical. These people pursue challenges in a dynamic, assertive and self-assured manner. They can also become irritated with opposing points of view so it’s important we recognize this style as early as possible.
  2. I – Influence. These people are “people-oriented” and are motivated by their connections with others.
  3. S – Steadiness. These people are motivated to help others and maintain stability. They are described as “calm” or “patient”.
  4. C – Conscientiousness. These people are best described as “detailed oriented”. They are driven by logic and objective analysis.

If you want to be more effective in sales, knowing your social styles is a good place to start. If nothing else, you can learn important things about yourself, as well as important things about those you are attempting to sell to. Be sure to utilize the people who know your prospect and ask them about their personality style. Doing so can help solidify a relationship quicker. Do your homework.

On your next sales call try and determine these things about your prospect and then use it to become more chameleon-like in your conversations. Remember, the chameleon adapts to its surrounding just like we should adapt to the prospect to communicate more effectively.

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From Sales Development Expert, Dan Fischer

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