Glenda was no scientific genius. Having struggled with math and later physics, her best grades were earned in English literature and social studies. Plain and simple, she liked people, cared about the environment, and wanted to make the world a better place.

Early Schooling

Her first few jobs were administrative. Glenda’s skills of being highly detailed served her well in these positions. She had a promising career. Having children, however, changed her priorities and left holes in her resume.

Into Sales

Although not drawn to sales, she accepted a position representing life insurance because she believed in helping families be prepared for the unexpected. The company trained Glenda on product information and outlined a procedure for making calls. She had plenty of presentation boards, brochures, and other information to pass along to interested parties. She even had partners to accompany and watch how it was done.

Excited by her new career, Glenda began studying for the various licenses and certifications needed for her new profession. With a little bit of effort, she passed the first few exams and was delighted by her accomplishments. Now she could sell certain policies and receive more compensation.

Out of Sales

But her spirits shifted when she began to encounter rejection after rejection. Calling people she didn’t know well and hearing them say “No” didn’t feel good. Glenda felt pressured to make appointments, and on the appointments to make a sale. Was she aware of the statistic that more than 90% or new agents leave within the first two years? Her manager reminded her that sales is a numbers game. “Keep making calls and percentage-wise, you’ll close your share.”

Into Building Rapport

Not thrilled with this message, Glenda contemplated another job. Leaving would have been a costly expense to both employer and representative. Her turn-around gratefully came while chatting with another agent that had started several months earlier. He knew about buying styles, how to identify and match them to build rapport. Instead of launching into the company’s prescribed script, he took time to figure out which part of the presentation would resonate with his prospects and then provide more of that.


The concept was simply the execution required discipline and persistence. Glenda was up for the challenge and found that her interest in people was more fulfilled by taking this approach. Her “graduation” came the day she met with a prospect whose buying style required scientific documentation. Although this was not her way of thinking or presenting, she delivered the research reports and statistical studies that gently guided the conversation in the right direction. Not only did the customer say “Yes,” but she also received many referrals.

About Dr. Nancy Zare

A retired professor and psychologist, Dr. Nancy Zare originated the AlikeAbility™ System to teach business owners and sales professionals how to read buying styles and close more sales. She offers a complimentary tip sheet for selling to all four buying styles.