Just as there are 4 buying styles, there are also 4 dominant selling styles. Most people tend to approach the sales exchange from the same mindset that appealed to them as buyers. This is a mistake. Sellers will be most successful when they address the buyer from the buyer’s preferred style.

The first selling style is highly ambitious, driven, and is full of Action. These sellers are excited about the reality of completing the transaction. For them, selling is a competitive sport, and winning is everything. Eager to make the sale, they boldly (and repeatedly) ask.

At the same time, however, Action Sellers are often charismatic and full of charm. They like to joke and have fun, because don’t take things personally. On the downside, they can appear slick and rehearsed, which can come across as insincere. Their lack of organization and flamboyant promises make it difficult for the implementation team back home to fulfill.

Blueprint Sellers are very formal and follow a well-defined system that is memorized. They ask the same questions in the same order and have a clear agenda. To aid them in their presentation, they rely on paperwork such as sales brochures or a presentation board. They aim to be efficient and thorough. They thrive as students of the sales process but can get thrown by the expected. Buyers perceive them as being black and white, rigid and unyielding, and more focused on the task than the individual. Blueprint sellers often behave bureaucratically and may not be aware of losing sales due to their strict adherence to the rules.

Nurturing Sellers are attracted to sales as a means of being of service. They like people and are highly ethical. It’s vital that they represent a product or service they believe in. They enjoy asking questions, hearing answers, and building rapport. Customers become their friends. Nurturing Sellers strive to maintain connection and harmony, and hate to hear “no”. Consequently, they have a tendency to take things personally, They are sensitive about being perceived as pushy, aggressive, and materialistic, as these are the very qualities they dislike when they are in the role as buyers. Because of their tendency to enjoy schmoozing, their efficiency and productivity can be impaired. Not all buyers enjoy disclosing their background.

The fourth type of seller, Knowledge, is a fountain of information. These sellers are constantly learning about their product or service and believe that the buyer needs to be properly educated. Without being asked, they provide volumes of data and scientific evidence, the exact arguments that clinched their own decision to buy. They tend to be unaware of the buyer’s level of interest, emotions, or buying signals. After making the presentation, Knowledge Sellers may fail to ask for the sale. Why? Because it should be so logical and obvious what to do once the presentation is finished so that there is no need to ask. Either the buyer has decided or not. Knowledge Sellers can be highly judgmental and impatient with buyers who are not as smart as they are, or grasp material as quickly as they do.

Whatever your personality style as a buyer, you usually approach your sales presentation from that perspective. The best sales stars have learned to adapt themselves to meet the buyer on their terms. They quickly size up the buyer and adjust. When you make this change, you’ll build rapport and be more likely to do business together.