Connect with your customers

November 1, 1997

Pharmaceutical Representative

The most successful sales reps are those who have an understanding of how to "connect" with their different types of customers.

The most successful sales reps are those who have an understanding of how to "connect" with their different types of customers.

But perhaps your company has only told you to go forth and sell. You can overcome this by understanding the key ingredient in building effective sales relationships: creating trust with your customers.

Why create trust?

When a customer trusts you, you can move him or her more quickly to "yes," and your position is solid even if something goes wrong.

Trust may seem like some abstract concept that takes time, luck or "chemistry" to grow. But we can learn to actively create it, quickly, even with our toughest customers, by 'synchronizing' our communication styles with the customers'.

Communication styles

In order to "synchronize" with customers, we need to understand the four basic types of communication styles: visual, auditory, kinesthetic-intuitive and kinesthetic-feeling. Each of us is most comfortable with and best suited to just one. I call this dominant style a communication preference.

A person who has a visual communication preference takes in information through the eyes, processes it, stores it in the form of mental pictures and then communicates it back to you in words or writing that tend to create pictures. Visuals are judgmental and base their verdicts on the appearance of the sales rep and the sales materials, as well as the facts and details of the product and company.

A person who has an auditory communication preference takes in information through the ears, processes and stores information in the form of sounds and communicates it by talking and telling. Auditory customers, therefore, want you to tell them in bullet form the most important things in your product/services literature, and the results they will get. Auditories make quick decisions and hate to "waste" time. For this reason, your presentation shouldn't include small talk, if necessary.

A person who has a kinesthetic-intuitive communication preference takes in information by forming an intuition about the person, situation, product or person. Kinesthetic-intuitives rely on weighing pros and cons to make decisions and are most concerned about the future impact of their decisions.

A person who has a kinesthetic-feeling communication preference takes in information through feelings and weighs them internally to determine a personal comfort level. They focus on personal connections, are calm and down-to-earth and require a great deal of rapport-building time.

Get synchronized

Once you identify the communication styles of your customers, you will be able to easily design selling plans for all types of people. The trust you create in this way will strengthen all of your sales relationships. PR

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