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Adapting Value Selling to Distinctive Buyer Personalities

Posted by Barbra Schwartz on Aug 16, 2017 12:41:00 PM
Barbra Schwartz

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SalesLoft recently shared an infographic on the 7 Buyer Personality Types sellers deal with regularly. Combine that with the results from a recent CEB study, which found that “5.4 people are involved in today’s B2B purchase decisions” and odds are you’ll have to be flexible in your approach with each stakeholder. The good news is -- value selling can be adapted to fit each personality type, help you overcome objections and close the deal.

Which Personality Seals the Deal?

There is no one personality type that seals the deal and it’s important to effectively manage consensus buying decisions, but you can adjust your sales strategy to win the deal. Let’s take a look at the personality types and see how you can use value based selling to achieve success.

The Executor

“Highly driven to succeed” and “aggressive about what they are looking for”, this personality type will greatly appreciate value based selling because they will insist that your solution addresses their business issues. They will be inclined to get straight to the point, and having the tools to help you quickly give them the business case for your solution will resonate well with the Executor.

The Analyst

“Excessively focused on details …. technically strong and extremely data driven”, this personality type will also ask for the business case, but be prepared to go into every detail with this stakeholder. They will want to know how you generated each ROI calculation, and you better be prepared to show it to them.

The Social Butterfly

“The Social Butterfly thrives on interpersonal relationships” ... and typically cares “more about who they are buying from than the details on the actual purchase.” On the surface, you would be challenged to determine what, if anything about value selling will interest the Social Butterfly.

If you think about this a little more, you will find that this personality will be a great asset early in the sales process. This person likes to talk. They want to get to know you and they want you to get to know them, and their business.

They are more inclined to talk more casually and openly about their company business issues. If you listen carefully and ask the right questions in a conversational manner, chats with the Social Butterfly early in the process will help you generate the inputs to begin formulating the projected value your solution can deliver.

Once you have casually collected the input from the Social Butterfly, you can begin socializing this with some of the more analytical characters from the buyer’s group, those that like to get to the point quickly will be more inclined to want to correct the initial numbers you uncovered.

This personality is often found in sales and marketing so they will also be interested in the presentation itself. They may be more interested in the visual graphics of the presentation. If you can get this personality to be your coach, they may even help you build your presentation.

The Skeptic

“Often a hard sell,” this buyer will “ask a lot of questions and have concerns about any new purchase.” Value selling was developed with the Skeptic in mind. This personality will greatly appreciate your ability to provide a business case, but be prepared for many questions about the business value. Possibly even more than the analyst, this buyer will want to look under the covers.

They will question every number and you must be prepared to show them how each result was generated. Have your formulas ready. If you are hiding how you generated your ROI calculations, you will not win over the Skeptic and you will not win your deal. In the areas where they are most skeptical, you may need to be very conservative or be prepared to readily remove the projected result from the equation on the spot.

The Consultant

This “reserved, thoughtful personality” … is often fiercely intelligent and reserved in their demeanor.” Not surprisingly, you will typically find this buyer in operations or on the finance team. Needless to say they will love the numbers, the meat and potatoes of the business case.

Their intense intellect will appreciate the intellectualism behind value based selling. This personality type is more formal, so just follow their lead in terms of their communication style as you walk them through results. Be prepared to provide them a copy of your report because they may want to walk through the results independently and then come back to you with questions.

The Relationship Builder

While a little more laid back, this personality will be "genuinely interested in the people" involved in the deal. If one-on-one with this individual, you will want to take the opportunity for small talk before jumping into too much detail. If you build rapport with this individual and request needed information more informally, this associate is also likely to get the information you need to begin determining the value you can deliver. If you are sharing results with this contact, weave the information into a story instead of rotely going through the numbers.

The Innovator

Bringing “energy to the table” along with a “medley of intelligence, confidence and excitability,” the Innovator will “focus on big ideas that can make big business impacts.”

You will typically find innovators in the C-Suite so they are most likely to be the most critical in the buying decision. The Innovator will very much appreciate the business case, and they will be excited by the business value you can deliver. They will definitely want to see the high level results. It’s the big bottom line numbers that are likely to get them excited.

What’s the projected ROI and the cost to delay per month? These are the types of financial metrics Innovators care about. While they will be be less inclined to really dig into the numbers (depending on the exact nature of their role), they may at least be interested in the projected sales growth, labor savings and operating cost savings, but they are less inclined to want to dig into how you generated the numbers beyond that. They will trust the details to the rest of the personalities on their team for validation, and will hold them accountable.

The Winning Personality

While selling isn’t getting easier, leveraging value based selling with each buyer based on their personality type will increase your sales success. At the end of the day, if you are successful in sales, it is probably because of your unique ability to adapt to different personalities.

The reality is that buyers are individuals and if your sales enablement and marketing teams give you the tools you need to deliver a solid business case, you will instinctively know how and when to leverage value selling and the required tools because that’s your winning personality type.

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Topics: Objection Handling, B2B Selling, ROI Tools, Value Selling