Before you start any new sales year, it’s always a good idea to take some time and reflect on what sales strategies were successful, and which ones – not so much.  Let’s talk about your selling message. We have all learned that lesson in countless sales training over the years: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. Not only is the message important, but how you deliver that message to your customers is vital to your sales success. My point? Your style of selling needs to be compatible with their style of buying.  

Effective salespeople know how to establish a good rapport with their clients and prospects. More often than not, we tend to connect, and ultimately grow to trust, people who are similar to us. It all starts with the connection. It could be during a phone call, a network event or a meeting at your favorite coffee haunt. The process can go like this:


Task-oriented individuals tend to move through these steps as they go

from the initial connection to a state of rapport.

Connect => Trust => Relationship => Rapport

People-oriented individuals tend to follow the same steps, but in a different order.

Connect => Relationship => Trust => Rapport

— Dr. Robert Rohm



Most decisions, especially those involving buying a product or service, are based on emotion. We all have a certain way we like to be communicated with, and we all have a pace with which we like to make decisions. Once you know and understand your customer’s expectations of you as the salesperson, you can customize your message to match their buying style. The following outlines 4 different buying behaviors or “styles” based on the personality types:

The ‘D’, Dominant Customer

    • Makes decisions quickly
    • Focused on results
    • Blunt and to the point
    • Likes to feel decision is theirs
    • Asks the question “What?”

The ‘I’, Inspiring Customer

    • Enthusiastic and positive
    • Speak in “feeling” terms
    • Looks to build relationships first
    • Likes to ask opinions of others
    • Asks the question “Who?”

The ‘S’, Supportive Customer

    • Slow to make a decision
    • Listens more than speaks
    • Hesitant to make a major change
    • Likes to feel safe with salesperson and choice
    • Asks the question “How?”

The ‘C’ Customer

    • Looks for value first – through logic
    • May be hard to read – no emotion
    • Detail oriented – relies on facts and figures
    • Wants to trust – but needs proof
    • Asks the question “Why?”


Do you recognize these buying behaviors in any of your current customers or prospects? Incorporating this knowledge and understanding of behavior styles into your selling strategy is a win-win solution for you and your client’s. Delivering your message in a way that they want to hear it? Priceless.

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