Adapted from Brad Cooper, Quick Guide to the Four Temperaments and Sales: An Introduction to the Groundbreaking Sales® ®Methods (Telos Publications, 2003) *Used with permission
Think of it-you have an opportunity to go past the standard demographic data and peer into the core needs of the individual client. The information contained within this book will allow you not to simply guess at what the person across the table is seeking but to make a significantly educated guess-one whose chances of being successful are quite good.
But don't read this the wrong way. Groundbreaking Sales is not a way to manipulate people into buying a product they don't need, nor is it some hocus-pocus method of utilizing a crystal ball or Ouija board that will predict the future. It's a tool-a tool that, when used appropriately, will change not only how you listen but what you hear and thus how you connect. It involves getting beneath the surface and focusing in on what really matters, capitalizing on your own core strengths and your client's core needs, neither of which are fully realized through traditional sales pursuits.
This is your goal, the result of your marketing-the sale! Everything you do as part of your sales should be done with this in mind. The key is to remember that while there may, indeed, be some "low-hanging fruit" available to the average salesperson to simply snatch off the tree, that shouldn't be the goal. Instead, the goal for the top performer is to insure that the quality, size, and quantity of the fruit are maximized, both this season and in future seasons. If you focus all your time and energy on the fruit, your long-term success will be limited. You must go deeper.
This visible and reachable aspect of your clients is typically your focus. From demographics to location, this shell gets the attention and energy of most salespeople-with limited results. Just as it does little good to water the bark of a tree (except, of course, for what runs down the bark to reach the roots), a constant focus on exterior appearances also does very little in terms of effective sales. You must go deeper.
The lifeblood of any salesperson is her network, her ability to branch out and reach beyond her direct sphere of influence. There's no argument about the value of the network, and the Groundbreaking Sales methods will allow you to expand and strengthen that network. But a network alone isn't enough. You must go deeper.
This is the key-getting below the surface to reach down to the core needs of the client. As the roots are examined, protected, and fed, the fruit-both in the upcoming season and even more so in the future-will be maximized. The Groundbreaking Sales methods allow you to get below the surface and get results.
To be effective over the long haul, a successful salesperson must understand and nourish his soil. The Groundbreaking Sales methods begin with the temperament patterns of the salesperson and then work from there to feed the tree and its fruit.
Just as it is important to understand the temperament of your clients and sales people, it is also important to tune in to the temperament of the sales manager. The following diagram provides a basic overview of the tendencies that generally hold true for each style of sales manager. Note that the goal is not to turn the sales people into the same style as the sales manager, but to recognize, value, and develop the differences.
The Idealist sales manager naturally develops a strong relationship with each member of his team. He wants what's best for each of them, while simultaneously reaching toward the goals that are in place. At times, the Idealist sales manager can be almost too understanding, letting problems go and as a result become overloaded himself by trying to make up for the deficits allowed in others.
The Guardian sales manager will provide training through manuals, courses, and lists that provide steps to success for new team members. Accountability can tend to be toward the extreme, including multiple reports and tracking systems that insure everyone is accomplishing what needs to be done. Such a lockstep approach can turn off others.
The Rational sales manager is focused on results. She will often treat sales meetings as a master planning session, putting together marvelous strategies that the salespeople are then to implement to meet the goals ahead of schedule-but may fail to provide logistical support in the process. Excuses are rarely tolerated as the plan is in place and should be followed in order for the team to be successful.
Improviser™ sales manager will tend to be a master of tactics. She's able to respond quite effectively and often thinks the best way to learn is to "just do it" (meaning training is a rarity). When meeting with her team, she'll often throw out a massive variety of ideas and pursuits, expecting the team to follow them from there. She's surprised when she finds out later the ideas weren't all pursued and often responds by throwing out more ideas, further compounding the problem.