According to a #1 New York Times bestseller, everyone has a “love language.” Does your love crave words of praise or is physical touch the way to show your appreciation? Does spending quality time together or receiving acts of service from you fill up her “love tank?” Similarly, everyone has a “sales language.”
While some really enjoy the rough and tumble exchange of a tough negotiation, others are uncomfortable with overt sales tactics and prefer a sales call that feels more like a friendly conversation than an arm wrestling match.
The point is that not everyone speaks the same language when it comes to love or sales. And just as figuring out your partner’s “love language” is key to making your relationship work, figuring out your prospects’ “sales language” is key to selling.
The 5 Sales Languages
Sounds like a great book title, right? It may seem oversimplified, but in my experience, people prefer one of five basic sales languages. Here are your 5 “types”:
1. The Negotiator
This prospect lives to negotiate. They see every sales call as an opportunity to flex mental muscles and challenge you on price, value, or time spent on a project. “Winning” is the name of the game. If you can convince the Negotiator that they call the shots and are getting a deal,` you have proven your worth and have a new client.
2. The Smooth Operator
Conflict makes the Smooth Operator uncomfortable. Rather than negotiate with you or feel the pressure of having to make a tough decision, this prospect will simply put off making the decision. If you apply too much pressure here, you’ll send this potential client running for the woods (even if there are clowns lurking there).
3. The Critic
The Critic enjoys challenging your claims at every turn. Be ready with answers to all of his objections and you will impress this prospect. Always avoid bluffing your way through a meeting with this kind of client. Expect that he has done his homework and if you haven’t, an honest, “I’ll get back to you on that” would be more well-received than if you truly don’t know.
4. The Hero
These types of prospects want to be able to feel like a hero in the eyes of their bosses, employees, whoever. They love to hear that you are on their side and you are ready to do whatever it takes to make them look good. Good storytelling will go a long way with Heros; so make sure to bring your narrative when you head into a meeting with these folks.
5. The Baby Bird
Finally, Baby Birds want to hear from you even after you sell them. They may call you a lot to ask you questions or to tell you how much they love using your enchanted software system. This prospect may require a bit more patience than you are used to. But if you dig down deep inside and find that storehouse of tolerance, you will be glad you did.
How do you determine a prospect’s sales language?
If you Google “sales language,” you will find article after article with titles like “Powerful Words to Help You Sell” and “Words to Avoid in Sales.” I’m here to tell you that while some of this advice is valid, there are no magic words or magic formulas that will move your prospect from “maybe” to “yes.” Don’t waste your time memorizing a set of words.
What works is taking the time to get to know your prospect. Look for clues in the questions they ask, the way they approach you, and even in the way they describe themselves. Then strategize with your team about how to discuss the sale.
You know me.
Sales is life. It’s living. It’s breathing.
But whenever I go into a sales call, I know that it’s not about me. Understanding my client’s sales language is the first thing on my agenda. What about you? Call me and let’s discuss how we can start your Sales UpRising.