- The hunter – chases the prospect and closes the sale
Every morning on the plains of Africa, a lion wakes up, knowing that if he can’t outrun the slowest gazelle, he will starve. Every morning a gazelle wakes up, knowing that it must outrun the fastest lion. Salespeople know that it doesn’t matter if you are a lion or a gazelle; when the sun comes up, you better hit the ground running.
- The farmer – cultivates customers to yield loyalty and repeat business
The glory of farming: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, surrounded by nature. To nurture the earth will not only feed the body, but it will also feed the soul. Great salespeople cultivate great customers.
- The psychiatrist – probes deeply into the real needs of the customer
“Tell me more about this problem.” The best salespeople are great “drainage counselors;” they patiently listen – no matter how long it takes – until the prospect has revealed the final clue that leads to the heart of the problem. Then they lead the prospect to the solution – while letting the prospect think that it was his or her idea in the first place.
- The artist – paints the picture the customer wants to see
Paul Klee once said that the painter should not paint what he sees, but what will be seen. Great salespeople don’t sell products or services; they paint pictures of what they will do for their customer.
- The scientist – examines the customer’s situation with painstaking methodology
Nobel Prize winner Werner Heisenberg studied the nature of uncertainty. He offered great advice to his students that all salespeople should apply: “Nature does not reveal its secrets; it only responds to our method of questioning.” The best salespeople ask the best questions.
- The race-car driver – In the race for success, ineffective salespeople look back,
good salespeople look ahead, and great salespeople see and feel themselves winning.
Danica Patrick said it best: “It's all about creating momentum and then keeping that going by being focused.” Winning salespeople don’t give up, but they clean up by following up.
- The geek– masters technology and sells faster, better, and cheaper
Bill Gates said, “Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don't think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without the talking about the other.” The best salespeople use the best tech tools and apps.
- The chameleon – walks into any room and naturally blends in
More than 2,000 years ago, Marcus Aurelius wrote, “Adapt yourself to the things among which your lot has been cast, and love sincerely the fellow creatures with whom destiny has ordained that you shall live.” Top salespeople adapt instantly to the customer’s personality. They mirror the customer’s speech patterns and use the customer’s vocabulary.
- The amusement director –relies on his or her sense of humor to
tease customers out of their defensive fortresses
Venita Van Caspel, who became the first stockbroker in Houston, said, “Humor is a powerful selling tool. It is hard to change something that you can’t laugh about.”
- The inventor – learns something from every mistake
Thomas Edison undertook 1,000 unsuccessful experiments before he invented the lightbulb. Sales trainer Tom Hopkins teaches his students, “I am not judged by the number of times I fail, but by the number of times I succeed; and the number of times I succeed is in direct proportion to the number of times I can fail and keep on trying.”
The final point: The salesperson’s job is to create customers. No two customers are alike. That’s why we have to adapt our thoughts, feelings, and personality to that of the customer. The best way to create a new customer is to create a new self that perfectly complements what the customer needs. The role of the salesperson is to continually adapt. These 10 personalities cover just a few basics. There are hundreds more. What do you think? I’d like to read your comments.
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