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unfamiliar waters. For example, most job postings have a detailed description of what qualities they would like a poten- tial candidate to possess. This is a great place to build your knowledge and set yourself up for success! When analyzing the experience on your résumé, you should be looking for skills and capabilities that match up with their requirements. It is best practice to gain a great deal of knowledge around the job itself, as well as the mission and culture of the com- pany before entering into the interview process. Have a solid understanding of what skills you possess and articulate how the company would benefit from you being part of their team. As mentioned in the chapter, it is important to understand your customer's social style. This skill will be used with each and every customer interaction you have. However, in the interview process, it is just as important to understand your own style. Know how you communicate and articulate how it may be a competitive advantage. I have found over the years that you are unique, and it is important to know your strengths as well as your weaknesses. You sell yourself every day whether you know it or not; speaking with your professors, understanding your colleagues, and contributing in class; you are building a brand. A brand is something that you will carry for decades to come, so build it wisely. Think about who you are and what you want to be known for, whether that is hard work, curiosity, or a positive attitude. The brand you carry starts in school and will move with you into your career. Push yourself to be the best with your customers, management, and peers; this is an exciting time of your life and it is only just the beginning. Finally, I wanted to emphasize how important the lessons are that you learn in these classes. Throughout school, you often wonder if the information you are learning will pertain to what you do in your future career. I am here to tell you that the information I learned in Dr. Castleberry's Fundamentals of Selling class not only helped me to acquire my dream job, but also continues to help me understand my customers daily. The skills you are learning now are irreplace- able and will drive you to success in your careers! Rachael Prozinski, Azure Applications and Infrastructure Solution Specialist, Microsoft. Used with permission. SUMMARY Adaptive selling uses one of the unique properties of personal selling as a marketing communication tool: the ability to tailor messages to individual customers and make on-the-spot adjustments. Extensive knowledge of customer and sales situation types is a key ingredient in effective adaptive selling. To be effective at adapting, salespeople need considerable knowledge about the products they sell, the companies for which they work, and the customers to whom they sell. Experienced salespeople organize customer knowledge into categories. Each category has cues for classifying customers or sales situations and an effective sales presentation for customers in the category. The social style matrix, developed by Merrill and Reid, illustrates the concept of developing categorical knowledge to facilitate adaptive selling. The matrix defines four customer categories based on a customer's responsiveness and assertiveness in sales interactions. To effectively interact with a customer, a salesperson needs to identify the customer's social style and adapt a style to match. The sales training program based on the social style matrix provides cues for identifying social style as well as presentations salespeople can use to make adjustments. KEY TERMS adaptive selling amiable analytical assertiveness customized presentation diagnostic feedback driver expressive outlined presentation performance feedback responsiveness social style matrix standard memorized presentation style flexing versatility 142 CHAPTER 5: Adaptive Selling for Relationship Building

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