In this final episode bringing to a close two weeks of Behavior coverage, it’s time to bring it all together as useful ways to help with your selling process.
This isn’t about having four different sales processes or scripts or systems. Its about adapting the words you use and the responses you have for each group.
I cover the hardest part for sales people – identifying which group your prospect is in, and as early in the conversation as possible.
There are certain things that members of each group say or do that will help identify where they might fit into the four behavior types. Again, the point isn’t to put everyone into a box but to give you a tool to a) give your interactions the best chance of leading to a successful result, and b) not shooting yourself in the foot by doing things that trigger the other person to shut down and walk away.
Episode 40 – Transcript
On this episode, I do my best to wrap up two weeks of talking about behaviors so that you can use this information in your sales career and in life. Welcome to Episode 40 of The Sales Experience Podcast. Over the past nine episodes, I have broken down the population of the planet into four main behavior groups, starting at a high level for each group and then getting into more detail. Of course, that’s difficult to do because everyone is different. Trust me, I know that’s difficult. If you’ve listened to me any length of time or you know me, I fully believe and understand that everybody is different.
Everyone has their own experiences, talents, abilities, gifts, everything they’ve been through life, everybody is completely different. And with that being said, there is some overarching commonalities that occur when you look at shared attributes. And so when we talk about analysts and promoters and supporters and controllers, I know that not everyone is going to fit in a nice, neat box. At the end of the day, like I said, everyone is different. However, with these shared attributes with these personalities, you can really start to see the main things that occur in interpersonal relationships and how they show up and the patterns at these different levels.
On this final episode, to conclude the discussion on behavior groups, I want to bring everything together in a way that allows us information to be useful, and not just something interesting that you listen to, listen to a bunch of episodes and moved on from. I don’t want this to be like a shelf help book that you have that you read once, put it on your shelf, it’s collecting dust, maybe it’s about sales, maybe it’s about relationships.
My goal as always is for this to be as practical and valuable as it can be for you on a regular basis. What I want to cover in this episode, which is the question that I get the most about the behavior groups, is how do you identify who the other person is? How do you identify what group they’re in and then what do you actually do about it? The previous episodes I talked to about how to sell to those groups, how they like to buy. And that’s a good overview. But the problem is, how do you know who they are? How do you know which group it is? How do you know that you’re talking to a controller or a promoter or an analyst or supporter?
That’s the tough part is being able to do it and translate this into actionable identifiers were in a conversation as quickly as possible, you can spot their general behaviors and general personality traits that will help you steer the conversation in the right direction, and stay out of the pitfalls and the land mines that could kill your deal or your interaction with another person and really set it off in a negative way.
So, let’s first start off with the analysts. When you’re dealing with an analyst, the way that you know is that they’re going to ask you questions. They’re going to want data, metrics, testimonials, they’re going to want assurances that they’re doing the right thing if they were to buy from you. Remember, their biggest fear is making a mistake, looking stupid, screwing up and, you know, basically being made fun of or looking dumb for something that they do, right. And so their questions are going to be geared towards identifying if it’s the right choice.
So, listen in for when somebody’s looking for validation, that it is that right choice, that they’re not going to make a mistake. Prospects in the analyst group are going to start off with these kind of questions; testimonials, metrics. They’re also going to want to know about satisfaction guarantees. They want to know about guarantees, refund options, they want to know what happens if they don’t like it, can they bring it back. If you hear that kind of language from a prospect, then you know that you’re dealing with an analyst.
Another big indicator is that somewhere in the conversation, especially if you haven’t done a good job at the fundamentals, if they’re not sure if they can trust you or your company, they’re going to ask for more information so they can do research. If you hear them say, I need to do more research, I need to look into this, I need to make sure this the right decision; you’re dealing with an analyst. The downside is, is that if you’ve gotten to that point, they’re asking for information, again, they don’t trust you. Something went sideways in the conversation leading up to that point and that one’s a tough one to recover from. Because if they don’t trust you now, anything you do will feel salesy. If you’re trying to convince them that they should trust you, that’ll just set off more alarms in their mind and make things worse. So, you’ve got to be careful, make sure you do the fundamentals always. And in the analyst group, make sure you just give them the data and the metrics.
Now, the big pitfall that you have to watch out for with the analysts is that if you give them too much data, if you give them too much information, if you let them research too much, they’re going to fall into the trap of analysis paralysis and then it’s over. They will be in that spiral forever. Trust me, as a born again analysts who knows what that’s like, it will just go on and on forever, and nothing will happen. Because if it’s not a complete, safe bet, hundred percent guaranteed going to work out, move on to something else that is the hundred percent safe bet, which nothing in life is 100%. And so they may end up doing nothing at all times. So, look out for that when it comes to, if you’re dealing with a prospect who’s asking questions, looking for data, metrics like I said, they want testimonials of other people who did it. And I know this sounds funny, but this is why I say all the time is, analysts want to see testimonial proof that somebody else bought what you’re selling and didn’t die. I know that sounds ridiculous, but to them a fate worse than death would be making a mistake or looking bad. And so they want to make sure other people didn’t do that.
Now, moving on to promoters. On the other hand, they want to know if you remember, they want to know what’s popular. Their biggest fear is the fear of missing out. And so they want to make sure that whatever they’re buying is what other people are doing. And not from a safety standpoint, like analysts, but more of a not wanting to miss out. They want to know where things are at that other people are doing, what other people are buying, where other people are going. Again, they like that line at the restaurant and seeing the people lined up because that must be where the excitement’s at, and that’s where they want to be. And so they may be asking you for social proof, testimonials of people who bought from you and then they had fun, they enjoyed it, right? Like they bought the vacation package, they had a good time, they bought the car and they had a good time, whatever that might be.
Now, if you’re selling something that’s not fun, then you’ve got to be careful about how you focus the conversation because obviously, they want to make sure they have fun and I covered that in our previous episode. The other thing with the promoters, the way you’ll know somebody as a promoter as well, is that if you’re going through your sales process, if you’re asking questions, if you have a form to fill out, or you have data that you need information you need for the application process. Whatever that may look like, if they’re getting really bored, and they’re having the hard time staying on task in the conversation because they want to jump around all kinds of things. That’s a good indicator that they’re a promoter because your process is boring them and it’s unfun, which is what they try to avoid at all times.
Once you identify that you have a promoter in front of you or on the phone, get through things quick. As far as the boring tedious stuff of your application, help keep them focused, redirect them and bring them back. Don’t take it personal, that they’re always bouncing around because they want to have fun, they want to have a great conversation. And you’ll notice that but you need to keep it on task. Otherwise, you’re going to have a great long conversation that’s really fun with no sale. So, always make sure it’s about that result and getting across that finish line. And the promoters are going to be the ones who are going to be asking lots of questions, want to know stuff, they have lots of stories to share. And they just want to have a good time, but you need to make sure you’re driving for it at all times.
Moving on to the supporters. This group here may not ask a lot of questions. If you have a prospect that feels like it’s the easiest sale ever, you want to be careful because that may mean it’s a supporter group. Now, there are times where you’re faced with a prospect who knows what they want, they know what you offer, they don’t have any questions, it’s super easy because it’s almost transactional, you are just there to help them get what they need.
However, there are times when you’re faced with a supporter, who doesn’t want to ask questions, they don’t have questions. If you’ve done your sale for any length of time, and you’ve gone through this and you’ve made multiple sales, you’ve been in your role for quite some time, then, you know, the kinds of questions that most people would ask. Then every once in a while you have this prospect you’re dealing with with no questions. And in the industry, it may feel like it’s a lay down. The challenges is that person is not asking questions because they don’t want the confrontation. They don’t want the drama, they don’t want to hurt your feelings and they may not want to know the things that you might tell them that are bad. They just want to go through and they don’t want to worry about it. These are the ones if you’ve ever had this happen to you, where if it’s over the phone, you put them on hold, and then they hang up. It’s not that their phone got disconnected, it’s that they didn’t want to tell you no, and so they were waiting for the opportunity to back out of it without having to do it. And then when you call them back, they’re just never going to answer.
That in their mind is easier than telling you they weren’t interested. Or they might actually buy and I’ve seen this so many times, they might buy and if it’s a service, then they will probably call back after hours when they know no one’s going to answer and leave a voicemail or send an email to cancel because they don’t want to deal with it. Supporters are going to use a lot of language when you’re talking to them. And this is what you want to pick up on where it’s about the people in their life or support, or the things that they do, or people that they’re helping, or for example how what you’re selling is going to help them help other people.
If you hear that, that’s great because then it makes it very obvious. But the other part that you might hear is when a supporter or your prospect says something is too expensive. Maybe their analytical, but sometimes for supporters that’s code for that just means there’s less money available to help other people, when you combined kind of their no questions to if they say that something is too expensive, then that’s them trying to tell you that they’re worried because that means there’s going to be less available to help. So, you want to make sure once you know there’s a supporter in front of you that you’re asking a lot of questions to uncover their needs and goals, and tying that into how your product or service helps their goals of being of service to other people.
Now, controllers last group, let’s talk about it. They will come at you like I said in the last episode with a ton of questions and try to dominate the conversation. Remember, like I said, the person who asked questions is in control. They’re going to ask questions, they want to be in control, you will know, this, I will tell you this group out of everybody, you will know really quick. I would say probably within the first minute of the interactions, you will know when you’re faced with a controller because you’re just going to be pummeled with questions.
They’re going to come full attack mode with questions, they want to be in control. They know that’s the key to being in control. They know that’s how they can control situations and people is by asking lots of questions and so that’s how they’re going to come at it. It could be about price, terms, details up front, they don’t have time for BS. They want to expose all the negatives of your product and service, like I mentioned in the last episode, and they literally want to make sure you don’t get anything over on them. And they’re just going to try to beat you down until they poke all the holes in this thing that you’re selling, determine if they want to buy or not, then it’s really up to them. And they’ll walk away if they don’t like it. And so you want to make sure to wrestle back control. Use reversal questions where you answer their question, and then throw back another question so you can kind of take back control in little waves with your questions and move the process forward.
Sometimes, and this has just been my experience with controllers, you’ve got to just let them punch you for a while with some questions; that way they feel satisfied, that way they feel in control. And then you can take their questions and everything they’ve been focusing on, and then try to serve them and help them understand how your product or service is going to get them what they need or what they’re looking for.
Now, I know this might seem hard to do to identify people on the fly. And what I really always suggest people to do, so if you’re listening to this, it might seem overwhelming these 10 episodes that we’ve gone through. Key exercise that I suggest that you do is take a list in your mind of all the close people that you’ve had relationships with. So, past and present, good or bad and literally take those people and then think about these four groups; the analyst, the promoter, the supporter and the controller, and then think about where they probably fell in these groups, and then kind of attach a mental image to that.
So for example, if you go through this, and you’re like, oh, my mom is definitely an analyst, right? Then when you talk about somebody had talked to a prospect who says the kind of things that your mom would say or acts the way that she did, let’s say in a buying situation or when you watched her buy things or interact with a salesperson. Then it’s easier for you to kind of tie that together and make that quick assessment on the fly of going, okay, this prospect kind of is acting like my mom as an analyst, and so they’re an analyst. And so now I got to shift into, here’s how I handle this conversation. And so that’s super important for all of this is to make sure you can identify people really quick. And that’s one great strategy to do.
Well, that’s it for two weeks of behavior discussions, I hope this was valuable. The nice part is because these are out there on the internet, you can download them, listen to them over and over again, kind of like any skill, anything new that you’re trying to learn like a new language, it basically takes some practice.
And really my goal with this, even though it does take some practice is that it’s really easier than a Myers Briggs, or an astrological kind of chart or sign or knowing what somebody sign is, which takes needing to know their birth date, which is not going to be applicable in most situations where you start the conversation. Hi, my name is Jason, what’s your birth date? Oh, okay. So you must be this and then now you can have that conversation, that’s not going to fly. That’s not possible in most things. So this system here is designed to help you with those interactions, at least to get you over the edge on how to make sure it’s successful. And you can help the prospect get what they want.
When you can do that in terms of their perspective on the world and not yours, then you’re going to win at a much bigger level. Now if you want help at a deeper level of understanding for this, or you want your company to do a training, reach out to me on CutterConsultingGroup.com website. I have on site, off site remote, half day, full day workshops on this topic, as well as other sales training sessions. Super fun, it’s a great thing to do in person with a group and cover this. So, if that’s something you’re interested for you or your organization, reach out to me.
And if you’ve enjoyed these episodes, please share them with your fellow sales, co-workers, your boss, whoever it is. Help me achieve my goal of changing the landscape of how sales is done. And let’s all do that by using our powers for good to help prospects enjoy the sales experience. I know I went over my goal of being under 10 minutes but I just wanted to cover so much stuff and wrap this up and give you so many things that you can take out into your daily life to be able to get some value.
Hopefully, you enjoyed this long episode and until next time, always remember that everything in life is sales and people will remember the experience you gave them.