Dale Carnegie, a man who knew a thing or two about dealing with human beings once said, “When dealing with people, remember that you are not dealing with creatures of logic,
but creatures of emotion.”
That’s what makes humans special and wonderful. But when you’re a sales person or a business owner, it’s what can sometimes make them frustrating and difficult.
Jennifer Kahtz, founder and CEO of Emotive Pull, recently spoke with highly successful
sales leader, William Jungerman.
Jungerman, who has over 28 years of experience at companies like Pepsi and Spectrum Communications, imparted his wisdom about the art of the sale.
To Jungerman, the key to success in a sales call is maintaining control. Once you’ve lost control, the sale is likely lost.
There are different techniques to use to maintain control when dealing with people with different personality types.
Jungerman references the personality types illustrated in the DiSC Personality Assessment Tool. If you’re not familiar with DiSC and want to learn further, you can read all about it here:
As a short introduction, the DiSC assessment categorizes people into the following four personality types. Of course, no one person fits neatly into just one type, but people generally have a dominant personality type.
D-Types are detail oriented, get-straight-to-the-point people.
I-Types are enthusiastic, gregarious, inspiring people.
S-Types are sincere, calm, people who don’t want to be rushed.
C-Types are conscientious people who want all the details before making a decision.
With William’s vast experience in dealing with people of all types, he shared his wisdom with Jennifer.
Jennifer Kahtz (JK): How does knowing these personality types help in closing sales?
William Jungerman (WJ): Well, each of these personality types has their own way of taking control in a sales call situation. It’s all about a fight for control. Whoever controls the sales call wins.
When I conduct sales training, I always tell people, "Here’s what you do when you lose control of the sales call. It works every time.” People lean in really close to hear this nugget of wisdom. “You get up, thank them for their time, and leave.”
JK: What? You get up and leave??
WJ: Yes, because you’ve lost. Once you lose control of the call, it’s over. Once you’ve lost control, you can’t get it back. You may as well save your time instead of spending 30 more minutes trying to convince them.
A good sales person never, ever loses control of the sales call.
Here are some great strategies for dealing with these different personality types trying to take control of your sales call.
JK: How would you take control with the D-Types who are all about control in the first place?
WJ: Here’s a good example. Say you’ve allocated 30 minutes for a sales call and you figure it will take about 20 minutes to lay the groundwork before you give them a price for your service.
Five minutes in, D is glancing at his watch and says, “I’m really busy. How much is this going to cost?”
You have two choices. You can tell him, but right there, you’ve lost. If you’ve only had five minutes, you can’t possibly have had enough time to build enough value for them to understand why it costs what it costs. You lose.
In that case, the best thing to say is, “You know, the cost is really irrelevant, because I don’t even know yet what your needs are. You may not even need this.”
There’s an axiom in sales that says:
Always close for the highest appropriate level of commitment.
So for the person who doesn’t have time to listen to your pitch, the best thing you can hope for is to make arrangements for a new appointment when they do have the time.
At that point, the highest appropriate level of commitment you can get would be a rescheduling of your appointment. You haven’t necessarily lost the deal. But even if you do, you’ll have done it on your terms.
Often, D will back down and say that he really wants to hear what you have to say, it’s just that he’s really busy. Then you can say, “I understand. How much time do you have?”
If he gives you enough time to get your point across, say 20 minutes, do a mental assessment. If that’s enough time, you can continue from there. D thinks he’s won because he just shaved 10 minutes off his appointment time. But you know you’ve won if you can get the job done in that amount of time.
If you don’t have enough time, just tell him that it wouldn’t be fair to either of you to try to squeeze everything in so quickly, and ask D to reschedule, or ask if you may call again to see when D will have 30 minutes to spend.
Again, we’re going to do it my way, either now or later.
JK: Okay, how about dealing with the I-Types?
WJ: I-Types are larger than life, storyteller, animated, enthusiastic people. When they’re at their extreme, they begin telling stories. They begin talking about their cousin’s jet skiing accident! You begin to wonder how they got on that tangent, but they’re GONE. You need to rein them in, or you could wind up spending hours in their office.
Here’s a good strategy for dealing with that. When you can finally get a word in edgewise, relate to their story. “Oh, yeah! I once wiped out on a jet ski too!” And then...interrupt YOURSELF. You now have control of the conversation. “I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to go off on a tangent! Let’s get back to what we were talking about. We’ll catch up on that other stuff later.”
JK: And that works??
WJ: Absolutely!! Because when you tell them whatever it is that ties into their story and you interrupt yourself, you’ve regained control. That’s your chance to redirect the conversation.
JK: Amazing. Alright, let’s tackle the S-Type.
WJ: This is a tough one. They don’t want to hurt your feelings. If you’ve gained their trust and they like you, but they’re not ready to make a decision, they’ll retract into their shell. Even though outwardly they’re the most non-controlling person, they have, in effect, taken control of the sales call because they’re not buying. You can stay there all day. They won’t kick you out, they won’t insult you, but they AREN’T BUYING. Any further time you spend with them is a waste.
Here’s what you can do: You can give them your card and tell them that if they change their mind to give you a call. That’s a win for you because at least you’re not wasting time.
Or, you can play a bit on their personality type and try to win them back by trying this strategy: Begin packing up, but before you leave, tell them that although it’s evident from your conversation that they like your service, would benefit from your service, and can afford your service, something is not sitting right with them. Then, ask for their help in understanding what you did wrong to help you on your next sales call.
They’ll tell you. That’s a win because you’ll get good data AND they’re giving you the strategy to get back in with them.
Apologize and relieve all the pressure they’re feeling by telling them that you won’t ask them for a sale, just their feedback. Now, you’re on their side of the table as a “friend.” They are, by nature, helpers, and will more than likely give you the data you need.
JK: It’s using psychology!
Lastly, there’s the C personality. These are the people that need all the details before making a decision. They never seem to have enough information to make a decision. They get into low reactor mode. You get no feedback from them at all. They listen intently and are processing, but when it comes to getting them off the dime, you’re stuck.
This is another instance when it’s best to start packing up. While you do, acknowledge that they need more time before making a decision.
Then, give them a synopsis of what you discussed and the pros and cons of each. Break it down into simple choices. Then ask the question, “Does that make sense?” You’re not asking them to buy, just to think. If they don’t react, then it’s time to go.
If they respond positively, then you can go further. “Does one of those options make more sense to you for your business?” If they choose, you can ask, “Well, if that makes sense, is there any reason why you just wouldn’t do that one?”
The beauty of this approach is that you’re using their own data. They’ve picked that option. It makes it harder for them to go back and ask for more information.
The whole idea of using these personality types to deal with sales situations is to learn what defenses people use when they feel “cornered” by a sales call. These are techniques you can use to bring the conversation back to where you want it to go.
Many thanks to William Jungerman for sharing his wisdom and experience.