By Ray Silverstein | June 27, 2007
Different salespeople have different selling styles. Certain styles and approaches succeed in various environments. Assessing your personal sales style can help you maximize your strengths and improve your performance.
You're probably familiar with the concept of "Type A" and "Type B" personalities. The same approach can help identify your sales type. Although sales personalities aren't always black and white, there are three primary sales styles.
Identify which of the following three descriptions best describes you:
Type F--You live for the thrill of the hunt. You're aggressive, competitive and impatient with paperwork. You know your production to the penny. As soon as a sale is clinched, you're looking for your next conquest. You're the classic rainmaker. You're a "Finder."
Type M--You're a people-person and a relationship builder. For you, the sale begins at the time of the close. You take pride in providing strong customer service and it shows in your high persistence ratios. You believe a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. You're a "Minder."
Type G--You're the Energizer Bunny®, the Robocop of sales. You're relentless. While you're not flashy like Type F or warm and fuzzy like Type M, you get the job done through sheer perseverance. Rejection doesn't wear you down. Repetition doesn't bore you. You're a "Grinder."
Which sales type are you--a Finder, Minder or Grinder? Perhaps you're dominant in one style or perhaps you're a hybrid of two types.
Whatever the case, once you've identified your predominant sales style, consider how it impacts your business. A Grinder, for example, excels in environments organized around high-volume sales calls. Does your style work for you or against you? Are you where you should be?
Knowing your sales style lets you find your strengths. For example, if you're a Finder, you can acknowledge that service is not your strength. Your gift is acquiring new customers, not maintaining current ones, so make sure someone else has that responsibility. Perhaps it's time to hire a part-time rep to handle phones and paperwork, freeing you up to do what you do best.
If you're a Minder, guard against spending too much time on service. Analyze your time and see how you're spending it. Do you need to get out of the office and sell more actively? Make sure you're leveraging customer relationships into cross-selling opportunities. Let all those satisfied customers know what else you have to offer.
As for you Grinders, are you positioned to make the most of your talents? Is your industry about playing the percentages, or do you need to develop some Finder or Minder-type skills to be more successful?
You can also use these sales types to assess your organization. Most teams function best when its members' strengths complement each other. If you only hire people cast in your own image, your workflow may be getting short-shifted.
On the other hand, when hiring a new sales person, it may make excellent sense to hire your very own Austin Powers-style "Mini-Me." Because if you're successful at what you do, you already have proof that your sales style works in your world.
Don't think of this as a self-indulgent exercise. Business is tough. Knowledge is power. Every new piece of information gives you a potential edge. In the words of Socrates, "Know thyself."