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The 3 Types of Salespeople

Updated: Jun 14, 2022

I do sales coaching. These are the types of strategies I teach...

One of my best clients is a national company that sells financial services.

They fly me out to visit with their salespeople. I get in the car with each talented seller and observe them at sales appointments. Then I whisper in the seller's ear on the way to the next sales meeting.

I guess that makes me The Salesperson Whisperer!

Anyway, I recently traveled with a young man named Adam, who reminded me that there are three basic types of salespeople and that only one of them is going about it the best way.

The three types of sellers

Thomas Jefferson said that all people are created equal. But we sure turn out different, don't we?

How you are raised, for example, can help determine everything from your personality to your selling style.

There are three selling styles: passive, assertive, and aggressive.

Aggressive sellers get what they want by taking advantage of buyers. These are hard sell experts who don’t mind gouging people on price or persuading people to buy things they don’t need.

Assertive sellers get what they want by not taking advantage of buyers. They don’t pursue prospects that aren't a fit and they don’t push people to make a decision just to make their quota.

Finally, passive sellers don’t get what they want. Passive salespeople are shy about asking for the business for fear of pushing too hard. Some will do anything to avoid rejection.

My client, Adam, displayed a passive personality, so I offered him tips on how to become more assertive.

How to be less passive when selling

Never leave a sales call without some sort of “micro-close.” This could be a verbal commitment, an introduction to another decision-maker or having the prospect agree to give you a tour of their facility.

Sharpen your selling skills by putting a mechanism in place that will help you be more assertive in every visit.

If you have a passive personality, the “If, Then Close” may be just the ticket.

The “If, Then Close” is a one-line sales gambit that’s loosely based on a wrestling move known as the “Half-Nelson.”

The “if” part of your statement, is a predicate that leads to a natural conclusion or the “then.” Here are two examples:

1. “If you like what you’ve heard from me so far, then I suggest we do a test case.”

2. “If you have a client in mind, then let’s talk about doing an illustration.”

When used in combination with other selling strategies, the “If Then, Close” is an extremely effective way to close sales.

A few more tips for being assertive

Keep reminding the prospect exactly what’s expected from the sales process.

Tell him that his next phone call with you will only take about 20 minutes unless he has questions. Tell him that it will only take three minutes to fill out the six-question suitability questionnaire.

Pay more attention to personality analysis. Remember that there are four main personality styles: Relator, Socializer, Thinker and Director.

Your personality style is not a predictor of selling success. Each of the four styles can be successful. The predictor of success is your ability to adapt to the other three styles.

Remember that you will be most successful selling to people who are your own style.

About the author

Michael Angelo Caruso is an American author and speaker.

He is well known for teaching presentation skills as in his popular, Zoom Your Sales, online coaching course.

Mr. Caruso has spoken in Australia, Asia, the Middle East and 49 of the 50 states. He spends a lot of time in California, Texas, Florida, and New York.

Many meeting planners consider him to be the best speaker in America. Sample his videos and subscribe to the Michael Angelo Caruso YouTube channel for ongoing selling tips.

His Friday5 tip sheet will fast become your favorite email of the week!

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