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Data Dome Resources – White Papers: Successful Selling is More Than Personality

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Successful Selling is More Than Personality


'Boy, can they talk! Boy, can they sell!'



Many more can talk than can sell.

Did you ever hire someone because they sounded so great - presented themselves so well - you thought they could do anything? But six months later, you're tired of hearing how great they sound, you just want some results?

Why? What went wrong?

To answer completely, there are two areas that need to be addressed:

  • Behavioral Style
  • Knowledge of Selling

Behavioral style refers to the behavioral elements of selling a particular product for a particular company to a particular client base.

These elements include:

  • Aggressiveness
  • Cold-call reluctance
  • Extroversion
  • Multi-tasking
  • Rules compliance
  • Natural enthusiasm
  • Self starting tendencies
  • Servicing
  • Paperwork
  • Tendency to detail
  • Product information
  • Customer relations
  • Consistency
  • Follow-up and follow-through
  • Tendency to listen

It takes a very different style to sell computer parts directly to computer engineers than it does to sell computers to the general public. Similarly, to close the sale to a rural, easy-going, family-oriented type buyer requires a considerably different style than closing the same merchandise to a fast-talking, hurried, bottom-line oriented urban buyer.

By analyzing what you're selling, who you are selling for, and who you are selling to, a company today can articulate the customized behaviors optimum for their situation. Salespeople can then be hired whose natural behaviors are ideally what you are looking for. Those salespeople who are not exactly 'natural' in these behaviors will nevertheless benefit tremendously from understanding just what behaviors are best to role-play, or emulate, to excel for your company.


Knowledge of Sales is totally different then one's behavioral selling style.

You may have the right personality style - the right mix of extroversion, aggressiveness, empathy, etc. - but do you know what to do and say in the selling cycle: when to ask for the close, when to remain silent, what strategy to use, and when to use it.

There is no College of Sales, or BA of Selling. Most sales training programs, in effect, give technical training, but very little in the art of selling. Likewise, the tools for measuring these Sales Skills are different. What are the best things to do and when?

These elements include how to:

  • Prospect
  • Qualify
  • Probe
  • Impress
  • Demonstrate
  • Influence
  • Close

To communicate more effectively with a customer, you may be required to adjust your natural behavioral style. These adjustments may cause stress or require additional energy. "Pumping up" to get more motivated and enthusiastic than one normally feels requires focus and energy.

On the other hand, stress occurs when the results-driven aggressive salesperson has to slow down, listen more and show patience to slower-reacting people. That is why sales knowledge - knowing exactly what to do - is extremely helpful to minimize the extra stress or energy required to adjust behavioral style. Advantages include shortening the sales cycle, reducing stress and closing sales more often!

(Arthur G. Schoeck, Competitive Edge!, October/November 1996)

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