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According to Merrill and Reid effective selling involves more than communicating a product's benefits. Salespeople must also recognize the customer's needs and expectations in light of their social styles. Exhibit 5.7 indicates the expectations of customers with various social styles. Although each customer type requires a different sales presentation, the salesperson's personal social style tends to determine the sales technique they typically use. For example, drivers tend to use a driver technique with all customer types. When interacting with an amiable customer, driver salespeople will be efficient and businesslike, even though the amiable customer would prefer to deal with a more relationship-oriented and friendlier salesperson. VERSATILITY The effort people make to increase the productivity of a relationship by adjusting to the needs of the other party is known as versatility. Versatile salespeople—those able to adapt their social styles—are much more effective than sales- people who do not adjust their sales presentations. Here is a comparison of behaviors of more versatile and less versa- tile people: Exhibit 5.7 Customer Expectations Based on Social Styles Customer's Social Style Area of Expectation Driver Expressive Amiable Analytical Atmosphere in sales interview Businesslike Open, friendly Open, honest Businesslike Salesperson's use of time Effective, efficient To develop relationship Leisurely, to develop relationship Thorough, accurate Pace of interview Quick Quick Deliberate Deliberate Information provided by salesperson Salesperson's qualifications; value of products What salesperson thinks; whom he/ she knows Evidence that salesperson is trustworthy, friendly Evidence of salesperson's expertise in solving problem Salesperson's actions to win customer acceptance Documented evidence, stress results Recognition and approval Personal attention and interest Evidence that salesperson has analyzed the situation Presentation of benefits What product can do Who has used the product Why product is best to solve problem How product can solve the problem Assistance to aid decision making Explanation of options and probabilities Testimonials Guarantees and assurances Evidence and offers of service CHAPTER 5: Adaptive Selling for Relationship Building 139

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