Understanding your sales style to boost your value as a sales pro

The most impressionable comment I ever received about my sales style was that I “had an honest face.” In this line of work, some may view this kind of forthright demeanor as a detriment, but I was able to harness its power and over time parlayed it into a priceless sales tool for myself.

Three Doors

As sales professionals, we rely on our natural-born instincts when the pitch goes awry or when some unforeseen circumstance arises and challenges our preconceived strategies. So accepting your most natural sales style can become of great importance as you decide to walk further down this career path.

I’ve both managed and worked alongside thousands of sales pros and dealt with all the associated personalities, and I now operate an online service that matches sales pros with companies that will best utilize their talents, but even my software cannot read valuable sales traits such as personality, motivation, or relatability. For this, I reminisced on my own experiences and discovered that three distinctive sales styles emerged to define the sales community: closers, consultative sales pros, and networking specialists.

I would advise that any sales professional integrate elements of all three into their repertoire – closing abilities, consultative skills, and widespread personal networks – but frankly, certain sales styles produce better results than others for each individual. As such, I’ve broken down the defining traits of each sales style and offered some perspective of which industry is best suited for each:

Closers

This type of sales approach involves more than having a quick wit. Closers are best trained for the sale that must be made during the first and possibly the only interaction with the customer. It’s a fitting occupation for those who are resilient and able to cope with rejection, as most times if the sale doesn’t close during the initial interaction then the customer is likely lost for good. As a result, true closers are few and far in between. They are valued for their ability to generate high volume sales, which is only accomplished by those who can move on quickly from one customer to the next. That is the key trait they possess that drives success.

The sales pitch for these individuals is both consistent and versatile, but it’s also vital for a closer to recognize when the pitch isn’t selling. No matter the obstacles, a true closer is relentless but not overbearing, and can find a way to relate with any client on a down-to-earth level.

Industries best fit for the ‘closer’ sales approach: door-to-door sales, insurance sales, annuities, home services, auto sales

Consultative sales pros

‘Consultative’ most often refers to those with complex products or services that aim to solve large infrastructural problems. These salespeople are likely to have long sales cycles and may have to work closely with high-level executives  for weeks or months to close a single sale. For this type of sales approach, you’ll most often associate consultative sales pros with expensive products and services.

Sales pros in this position know how to identify problems within an organization and accept the responsibility of determining the best course of action for their customers. This requires an ability to engage with analytical and detail-oriented decision makers, so having a deep understanding of the product or service is essential in order to make clientele feel comfortable about the product and move forward with its implementation.

This type of sales approach is fit for individuals who have a lot of patience and endurance, are willing to accept pitfalls in their carefully crafted plans, and also use long-term creative strategies to get the sale back on track.

Industries best fit for the consultative sales process: software, design or custom creation, tech-enabled products and services

Networking Pros

You’ll find them at chamber events and local networking events schmoozing and entertaining their colleagues, but what you may not recognize is the genius behind the madness. Networking is the one aspect of sales that I value the most as a business owner because a business can thrive almost exclusively on well organized networking when done correctly.

This is done by greatly by generating leads from elite circles and then pushing those first connections deeper into related trades and industries, which in turn will expand a company’s client base faster than any other means. By focusing on garnering friendships and simply getting my foot in the door, I’ve been able to arrange appointments that before may have seemed out of my league. Really what I’m doing is what can be called a “one call close,” meaning I use a likeable personality to present myself as trustworthy, but when performed correctly it’s one of the most lucrative approaches to breaking into new markets and garnering a plethora of leads and contacts.

When you become a networking pro, you can refer outsiders to those within your network and build mutually-beneficial business relationships, which in turn open new doors for your own business.

Industries best fit for networking specialists: Local service businesses seem to be the best fit, however, industry is almost irrelevant so long as connections are valued highly and maintained appropriately. It’s important to stay connected with both the major players within your industry as well as closely related industries.

My favorite networking related book is ‘Endless Referrals’ by Bob Burg.  Happy selling!