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Sales Prospecting Perspectives

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A Careful Approach to Prospect Personalities


Today's guest post on Sales Prospecting Perspectives is from Jill Ryan, one of our top producing Business Development Reps.  Thanks Jill!

I think it's safe to say after teleprospecting into many different regions of the United States, there are various tones and personalities that can set the stage for a successful call. So many of us are guilty of picking up the phone and talking to the prospect from Georgia in the same tone we would with the VP from New York City. How do we address this? By comparing time zones to social personalities.
If we look at the four types of personalities:  the amiable, the driver, the expressive and the analytic, its easy to compare these to the people you are getting on the phone. According to well known business coach, mentor, author Jonathan Farrington, the very best sales professionals have become adept at recognizing which personality they are dealing with and adapt their approach and communication style accordingly. For example, the amiable prospect with their kind nature and pleasant tone can be your prospect from the South. If approached correctly, this individual is cordial and kind about disclosing information and agreeing to engage in the early stages with your company. Speaking in a driven tone, leaving no room for listening can put this person in your pipeline for many months. You will not find success speaking to this person as if they were your driven prospect from, let's say for example, the North.

Taking a specific look at each of these personalities, you will not only find yourself placing them in the regions you are reaching out to, but prepared to adjust your tone as you sense a specific personality.

According to Farrington, The Amiable are uncomfortable with and will avoid conflict at all costs. They speak softly and slowly and are more interested in opinion then fact. The Expressive are full of excitement, and interpersonal action. They are sociable and stimulating and will involve other parties. Drivers are perceived as serious, industrious, persistent, and exacting. And drivers are action and goal oriented, need to see results and have a quick reaction time. They rarely want to waste time on personal talk or preliminaries. The analytic typically works more slowly and carefully than Drivers. They are perceived as serious, industrious, persistent, and exacting.

In my experience, this logic can help guide you in what you are trying to accomplish. Our purpose is to be professional listeners while executing control over the call. If you go into every dial with the same tone and the same attitude, you are going to fall on your face. Every time you pick up that phone, the person on the other line is going to have some sort of need and possess one of these personalities.  Learning to adjust your style dependent on their personality will put you in a better position to obtain the information you need.

We all open our CRM system everyday and stare at those flagged tasks waiting to turn them into opportunities. Being told "Sounds like a great opportunity, I'll pass it along to my boss and board of directors give me a couple of weeks", by the Expressive IT Director is exactly the same as being told "No, I need a month" by the Analytic Chief Marketing Officer. As teleprospectors, we need to keep in mind that moving our pipelines and opportunities forward can happen by identifying with these social cues and keeping them in mind when dialing. Speaking just from my own experience, working with my thick Boston accent has been a challenge. I have had to really use this approach in sales to drive my success. I have learned to speak slowly, listen, quiet my tone and control my conversation so that prospects do not end up as red flags on my CRM home page for months on end.
Everyone has a different style and a different approach to how they perform on the phones. I think it is important to keep in mind that we connect with what we are comfortable with, so let's approach these different personalities with the tone they are going to be most comfortable with.

How do you go about being deliberate about approaching various prospect personalities?



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