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Supercharge Your Sales Closure Rates

Originally published: 10.01.18 by James Leichter


In a previous article titled “Using Personality Assessments to Manage Your Business” we talked about the importance of understanding basic human personality traits. We worked to make the case that personality assessments can help your company improve hiring, placement, and management. By knowing what motivates people, and what stresses them out, you can improve your ability to hire the right person, supervise your staff, and even improve your sales closure rates.

In this article, we will dive deeper into how understanding personality traits can supercharge your sales closure rates. It doesn’t stop there. Remember, everyone is a salesperson. When you speak to your spouse, children, employees, and clients, you are often attempting to persuade or influence their thinking. That’s sales.

What are Personality Assessments?

You may recall from our last article that there are many different methods of assessing human personality traits, characteristics, and makeup; most of these work in similar ways. In that article, we discussed the DISC method of personality assessment. In this article, we are focused on improving our sales closure rates. Obviously, we will not be able to ask the people we are speaking with to take a personality test. Therefore, in this article, we will discuss


how you can and assess the people you are communicating with and identify human personality traits on your own. This will allow you to place their dominant trait as either D, I, S, or C.

Using DISC in Sales

When you are selling, you need to know who you are dealing with. Once you understand how to quickly identify the four personality types, you will be in a better position to tailor your approach and message to that particular person.

Let’s cover the four personality traits in detail. We will show you how to identify your client’s main trait, and how to adjust your sales presentation just for that person.

The Four Personality Types and How to Recognize Them

D for Dominance (10-12% of the population)

This person is often a business owner, CEO, head coach, or serves in some other leadership role. Chances are, you are a “D” or you work for one.

How to Recognize Them

They are punctual, usually have a louder voice, are animated while speaking, and can be argumentative. They tend to sit forward in their chair or prefer to stand. While standing, their hands are often on their waist. While seated, their arms are usually not folded, and their legs are typically not crossed. They tend to offer quick responses to questions. They might interrupt you or finish your sentences. They are unlikely to ask many personal questions.  They are not afraid to challenge people and they can’t stand weakness.

How to Sell to Them

Show up for your appointment early. Make them feel important. Keep the conversation professional but friendly. Don’t engage in small talk unless prompted.

Do not offer too many details to a “D” person. Talk about how energy savings, reduced maintenance costs, and other factors will create a return on investment. You may not have to get into the specific details but be prepared for tough questions. Show them that your proposal solves problems.

Instead of saying, “I would highly recommend that you . . .,” use phrases like, “based on what we have talked about, which option do you think is best for you?” A “D” wants to feel like they are in control of the sales process.

Caution: Don’t try to out “D” a “D.” Now is not the time to be aggressive or domineering. A “D” will push back, resist your aggressiveness, and go somewhere else.

Tip: Their biggest fear is being “ripped off” or “taken.”

I for Influence (10-12% of the population)

Ask them what they do for a living. They usually work in sales, marketing or some other role that requires public speaking, presentation skills, and lots of social opportunities. They are very rarely engineers, accountants, or any other role that requires a lot of desk work and/or attention to detail.

How to Recognize Them

They tend to be friendly, energetic, and spontaneous during discussions. They usually have a good sense of humor and often like to tell jokes. They are great listeners and will likely use and remember your name as well as remember personal traits. They are usually very positive and enthusiastic. At first, they may seem like a “D” because they might be loud and outgoing. However, the “I” is more interested in socializing than they are with dominance or leadership.

How to Sell to Them

If you are dealing with an “I” type, you are going to need to build a rapport and establish a relationship. Be ready to talk about their hobbies. They are typically not interested in lots of details. They live by the “nobody buys from a stranger” rule. They will want to get to know you.

Be positive and upbeat. Involve them in your presentation and make it interactive. Ask them to hold something while you explain it. Use storytelling techniques and metaphors.

Remember, if you work in residential sales, chances are that you are an “I.” You may naturally find this person to be the easiest to deal with.

S for Steadiness (60-70% of the population)

They often work in human resources, teaching, or other job that require a combination of people skills, consistency, and attention to detail.

How to Recognize Them

This is the most common personality trait so you will likely encounter this person most often. They are people-oriented but more reserved than the “I.” Thy are usually gentle, great listeners, patient, accommodating, soft-hearted and accepting, slow, methodical, detailed, and they have a steady pace. They are usually sensitive and low-keyed. They tend to speak more in statements rather than questions. They will ask about your personal life and listen carefully.

Here is one more very important trait of the “S”: they resist change and take a long time to adjust to it.

How to Sell to Them

You will likely be doing most of the talking. When dealing with an “S,” keep in mind they are averse to change. They will ask more risk-related questions about product warranty, guarantees, return policies, and the like. You will need to paint the picture of simplicity and assure them that the new system will be easy to use, and the process will be pain free.

Tip: Their biggest fear is change and loss of security.

C for Conscientiousness (10-12% of the population)

They usually work as an engineer, accountant, warehouse manager, purchasing agent, administration, or some other job that requires extreme attention to detail.

How to Recognize Them

They are usually reserved and quiet and may be considered to be “standoffish.” They are cautious, analytical, and logical. They will ask a lot of fact-finding questions and may pause between questions to think about your answers. They are serious, direct, and formal in meetings and conversations. They are not typically very animated in speech or while listening. They like data and prefer to deal with facts and figures as opposed to feelings and emotion. They are systematic and have high standards. They may avoid confrontation and lively debates.

How to Sell to Them

Save all of your facts, figures, and other details for the “C.” Be prepared for a longer sales cycle. This person will be interested in heat gain/loss calculations, product specifications, capacities, tolerances, and other technical information. They will want to know about time tables, insurance coverage, city permits, certifications, and licensing. If they have the time, they may grab a chair and watch the entire installation.

Caution: They will likely avoid confrontation and appear to give in rather than debate a point. In fact, what may have happened is that they disagreed with you, or didn’t believe you, but did not reveal their true feelings. They might end the sales call by saying, “I’ll think it all over and get back to you.” You’ll never hear from them again.

Tip: Their biggest fear is that others will criticize their decision and tell them they made an incorrect choice.

How to Quickly Tell Who You Are Dealing With

When speaking to someone, ask yourself which word best describes this person. They can’t be both. You must select just one word.

Are they extroverted or reserved?

If Extroverted:

Are they Very Direct or Friendly?

Very Direct = D

Friendly = I

If Reserved:

Are they Cooperative/Obliging or Analytical/Detailed?

Cooperative/Obliging = S

Analytical/Detailed = C

Dealing with Multiple Traits

As mentioned in our last article, people have a dominant trait that is usually accompanied by a strong secondary trait. Few people fall neatly into just one trait. That means you may encounter a “D” mixed with a lot of “S” or “C”. You will need to detect that secondary trait and incorporate what you know about that trait in your presentation. For example, a “D-C” may want plenty of details, facts, and figures but still wants to know that they are the ones who decided on what options to accept and ultimately controlled the sales event.

Summary

Trait

If They Appear To Be

Then You Should

D

Direct, results-oriented, firm, strong-willed, and forceful.

Show up early. Make them feel important. Link emotional elements directly to benefits. Ask them what they want to do. Do not hard sell/close.

I

Outgoing, friendly, personable, enthusiastic, optimistic, high-spirited, and lively.

Socialize with them. Involve them in your presentation. Do not rush into the sales process. Follow their lead. They buy from their “friends”.

S

Even-tempered, shy, sentimental, accommodating, patient, humble, and tactful.

Show them how your system and accessories will benefit their family or employees. Make their decision as simple and risk free as possible.

C

Analytical, reserved, precise, private, and systematic. Interested in the details.

Stick to the facts but be friendly. Talk about ROI, processes, and timelines. Emphasize engineering, quality work, warranties, and guarantees.

To learn more about sales strategies and proven processes, and to download a sales training package complete with industry research data, plug-and-play templates, videos and more, visit EGIA.org/HVACR-Sales.

 

 




About James Leichter

James Leichter is president and CEO of software company Aptora Corp., owner of Mr. HVAC LLC and majority partner at RA Tax and Accounting Inc. James is also a faculty member of EGIA Contractor University. Visit egia.org/university for additional information.




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