Understanding Prospects Buying Styles

The Key to Developing Trust and Credibility

Buyers have many different likes, dislikes and motivations. Top performing sales professionals know that the key to developing trust and credibility is to expertly determine the likes, dislikes and buying styles of their prospects and to adapt their communication style to match that of their buyer.

Some buyers:

  • Like to have fun.
  • Like new products.
  • Like proven products.
  • Like a lot of data.
  • Like you to be direct.
  • Like personal talk.
  • Like time to think.
  • Like to negotiate.
  • Like showy products.
  • Like traditional products and
  • Some don’t…

Buying styles are nothing new. Hippocrates first observed this around 460 BC when he first categorized the four styles of human behavior. Even though the terms have changed over the years social psychologists still agree that there are four distinct behavioral styles.

Let’s take a look at the characteristics of the four basic styles, how to recognize them and how to effectively communicate with them:

The Driver

This extroverted buying style is a very bottom line cut to the chase type of buyer. They are direct, forceful, aggressive, decisive, competitive, results oriented, impatient and are quick decision makers.

They are primarily interested in the answer to the question “What can you or your product or service do for me?”

Examples of this style are Ross Perot, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Walters and Fidel Castro.

When communicating with these buyers be clear, specific and to the point. Don’t ramble or waste their time. They are interested in new and innovative products and services. When talking with these folks stick to business and avoid any effort to socialize or chit chat.

The Social

This buying style is a super extrovert. They are very talkative, socially engaging, enthusiastic, charming, gregarious, optimistic, inspiring, and tend to be impulsive decision makers.
They are primarily interested in the answer to the question “Why should I do business with you or your company instead of someone else?”

Examples of this style are Arnold Schwarzenegger, Oprah Winfrey, Andre Agassi, Dolly Parton.

When communicating with these folks allow time for some socialization and don’t be cold or curt. Ask them questions that allow them to talk about their goals. Don’t dwell on facts and figures. Provide testimonials from people they view as important or prominent.

They are interested in new, showy, and innovative products and services.

The Amiable

This buying style is introverted and reserved. They are relaxed, serene, non demonstrative and are shy and hesitant to open up or share any information about themselves or their situation.

Because they are hesitant and slow to develop trust they want to know “Who else in my industry are you working with?”

Examples of this style are children’s television host Mr. Rogers, Mother Teresa, Magic Johnson and Tom Brokaw.

When communicating with these buying styles patiently listen and be responsive. Provide plenty of proof and statistics. Take it slow and easy and don’t force a quick decision.

They are slow decision makers who like traditional, proven products, guarantees and assurances.

The Analytical

This introverted buying style is methodical, very skeptical, cautious, evasive, analytical, systematic and precise. They will ask a lot of questions and not want to reveal much of anything.

They are perfectionists who want to know “How does this exactly work?” and “Why is it done that way?” and “What data do you have to support your claims”?

Examples of this style are Diane Sawyer, Jack Nicklaus, Ted Koppel. Because of the exacting nature they tend to be in such professions as accounting, architecture, banking, engineering and law.

When communicating with these buying styles approach them in a direct, straightforward way and be very specific and have data to support everything you say. Use a logical approach. Present specifics and details. Provide them with the information and the time they need to make a decision.

They need a lot of proof and background information before they will make a purchasing decision and they need plenty of time to absorb and digest facts before making a decision.

They are extremely slow decision makers and are highly suspicious of new and unproven products. When presenting to them use plenty of research information and testimonials.

Questions for You to Consider

  • What is your natural selling style?
  • Which buying style is the most difficult for you to connect with?
  • Which style do you tend to avoid?
  • What do you need to do to become a more skilled communicator?
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