by Claire McConnachie
No two salespeople are alike. Over the years, salespeople refine their techniques and methods until they find something that works best for them. And there is no one best sales approach. Your background and personality, as well as your clients and offerings, will help determine the different kinds of sales approaches you should be using in any given selling situation.
If you’re still learning what works best for you or you want to try new methods to keep you out of a rut, then check out these five different kinds of sales approaches.
1. Solutions Selling
Buyers often have challenges when it comes to choosing the right product or service, whether it’s finding the perfect washing machine that meets their specific needs or finding a unique gift for a special someone. Solution selling is used when a buyer has a defined problem that you can solve. It involves asking the right questions and actively listening to the customer in order to get to the root of the customer’s challenge. Then, you have a clear idea of the solution to offer.
2. The Buddy Approach
The buddy approach can only be undertaken by salespeople who are naturally warm and friendly. It’s based on the notion that people do business with people they like. Showing interest in the prospect and trying to connect on an emotional level is at the core of this approach.
It must be used appropriately to be effective, however. You must be genuine. Prospects will be able to smell it from a mile away if you’re faking it. And they will lose trust if this occurs.
3. The Guru Approach
For salespeople who are more logical and rational than warm and friendly, the guru approach might be best. It’s also ideal when dealing with intellectual prospects who won’t be swayed by an emotional connection.
With this type of approach, you would task yourself with becoming an expert in everything related to your field. You’d position yourself as a thought leader, a problem solver, and a subject-matter expert with extensive credibility.
This method, however, does require an extensive time commitment. You must be willing to put in the work to learn all of the relevant information in your industry as well as keep up with news, trends, and changes.
But if you succeed, you can do very well with this approach. Prospects will trust you, will come to you for advice and recommendations, and will come to see you as an excellent resource. You’ll generate plenty of referrals.
4. Consultative Selling
Consultative selling is especially effective in technical sales. It encompasses the buddy and the guru approaches as well as solutions selling. You take the time to build a relationship of trust with the customer, using your personality. You also build credibility through your expert understanding, knowledge, and experience. And then, you analyze the customer’s problem and offer an adequate solution.
You must be able to make emotional connections, ask the right questions, and be a subject matter expert to pull off this type of approach. However, it can be the most valuable of all of the different kinds of sales approaches if you can do it right.
5. Customer Personality Selling
Customer personality selling actually encompasses different kinds of sales approaches, depending on the type of buyer you have in front of you.
You first pinpoint a buyer’s personality type and then tailor your strategies to match. A friendly type of buyer may be hesitant when it comes to decision-making, for example, and might need more convincing and reassuring to close. A customer who is wary of salespeople would require more proof of credibility as well as more time for trust-building.
Try out some of these different kinds of sales approaches and learn what works best for you.
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