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than using power and authority. Amiables tend to make decisions slowly, building a consensus among people involved in the decision. They avoid risks and change their opinions reluctantly. Salespeople may have difficulty detecting an amiable's true feelings. Because amiables avoid conflict, they often say things to please others despite their personal opinions. Therefore, salespeople need to build personal relationships with amiables. Amiables are particularly interested in receiving guarantees about a product's performance. They do not like salespeople who agree to undertake activities and then do not follow through on commitments. Salespeople selling to amiables should stress the product's benefits in terms of its effects on the satisfaction of employees. Analyticals Analyticals are low on assertiveness and low on responsiveness. They like facts, principles, and logic. Suspicious of power and personal relationships, they strive to find a way to carry out a task without resorting to these influence meth- ods. Because they are strongly motivated to make the right decision, analyticals make decisions slowly, in a deliberate and disciplined manner. They systematically analyze the facts, using the past as an indication of future events. Salespeople need to use solid, tangible evidence when making presentations to analyticals. Analyticals are also influ- enced by sales presentations that recognize their technical expertise and emphasize long-term benefits. They tend to disregard personal opinions. Both analyticals and amiables tend to develop loyalty toward suppliers. For amiables, the loyalty is based on personal relationships; analyticals' loyalty is based on their feeling that well-reasoned decisions do not need to be reexamined. IDENTIFYING CUSTOMERS' SOCIAL STYLES Exhibit 5.5 lists some cues for identifying the social styles of customers or prospects. Salespeople can use their com- munication skills to observe the customer's behavior, listen to the customer, and ask questions to classify the customer. Merrill and Reid caution that identifying social style is difficult and requires close, careful observation. Salespeople should not jump to quick conclusions based on limited information. Here are some suggestions for making accurate assessments: SOCIAL STYLES AND SALES PRESENTATIONS In addition to learning how to assess the buyer's social style, Merrill and Reid also stress the importance of assessing the seller's own social style. To get a rough idea of your own social style, you can complete the assessment in Exhibit 5.6. • Concentrate on the customer's behavior and disregard how you feel about the behavior. Don't let your feelings about the customer or thoughts about the customer's motives cloud your judgment. • Avoid assuming that specific jobs or functions are associated with a social style ("He must be an analytical because he is an engineer"). • Test your assessments. Look for clues and information that may suggest you have incorrectly assessed a customer's social style. If you look for only confirming cues, you will filter out important information. • Create, join, and participate in social media groups (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram) to learn more about the social style of the buyer. 136 CHAPTER 5: Adaptive Selling for Relationship Building

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