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Here’s Another Trick To Help Designers Sell More Pools…

By Brett Lloyd Abbott, MYM Austin Inc.

I hesitate to say “trick” because it sounds like we’re trying to deceive people; that’s not the goal here. This is more like a “shortcut trick” that will help your designer/salespeople be more effective in their one-on-one meetings with prospective pool buyers. (Like adding baking soda to your hard-boiled eggs to make them easier to peel.) It’s based on this simple concept:

People buy from people they like.

So let’s make you more likable.

The fastest and easiest way to make yourself more likable is with “mirroring.” It’s nothing more complicated than leaning forward when they lean forward, and talking more slowly when they talk slowly. It’s a good start, but anyone can do that, so this doesn’t give you much of an edge.

The other extreme is “Neurolinguistic Programming.” That’s where you carefully analyze the words they use to describe things, and then learn to “talk their language.” If they “feel” something, then you talk about feelings. If they “see” something, you talk about seeing what they see. The reason I don’t push this much is because it’s rather complicated to execute. Like a golf swing, there are too many things to think about all at once, so it’s hard to stay connected and natural.

The perfect balance between “too easy” (mirroring) and “too hard” (NLP) is to “Match your prospect’s social style.

SocialStyles.jpgIt’s based on looking at the intersection of two aspects of any individual’s primary personality/social style:

  • How assertive are they? (Do they tend to ASK for ideas / permission, or do they more often TELL you what they want?)
  • How responsive are they? (Do they get emotional and talk with their hands and eyes? Or are they more controlled and reserved, and keep their hands folded?)

You’ve probably heard of this concept by at least one of its many different names, such as:

  • The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MTBI)
  • The Wilson Learning “Social Styles” quadrant system
  • The DiSC Behavioral Styles system

My favorite name for this is “The Versatile Salesperson,” because the whole point here is to BE VERSATILE in your social style, to make sure you align with your prospect. I prefer the following terminology for each of the four quadrants, because I find it perfectly descriptive and self-explanatory:

  1. TELL-assertive and CONTROLLED emotions = “DRIVER”
  2. TELL-assertive and EXPRESSIVE emotions = “EXPRESSIVE”
  3. ASK-assertive and CONTROLLED emotions = “ANALYTICAL”
  4. ASK-assertive and EXPRESSIVE emotions = “AMIABLE”

The DRIVER tends to be focused and business-oriented. They don’t want to waste time on trivial stuff. They want to get to the point and move on to the next item, because they are busy busy busy, with more things to do. If you want the DRIVER to like you, you need to save them TIME.

The EXPRESSIVE doesn’t want to talk business until they are first certain that you are a reasonably interesting person, and worth their time. They are the life of the party, and they want to have fun fun fun. If you want the EXPRESSIVE to like you, you had better be INTERESTING.

The ANALYTICAL doesn’t want to be pushed into making any decisions until they have fully assessed and analyzed the situation. They absolutely don’t want to make a mistake, so they want to see data data data. If you want the ANALYTICAL to like you, you had better BE THOROUGH, and share ALL THE DATA.

The AMIABLE is the easiest to get along with, but they are also the most likely to get their feelings hurt. If they have a strong opinion on something, they probably won’t show it, because it’s more important to them that we all get along and stay friends. If you want the AMIABLE to like you had better be NICE NICE NICE.

Obviously, if you want to adjust your social style to match any of these four personalities, you will need to RECOGNIZE their personality first.

Fortunately, you can typically figure this out within the first 30 seconds. Here’s how:

The DRIVER and the EXPRESSIVE will both tend to talk fast and directly. They are both extroverts. BUT:

  • The DRIVER will tend to be emotionally and physically reserved; relatively serious and businesslike. If their hands are folded, you are probably talking to a DRIVER.
  • The EXPRESSIVE will be more talkative and more demonstrative with their hands and voice. If their hands are moving around a lot, you are probably talking to an EXPRESSIVE.

The ANALYTICAL and the AMIABLE will both tend to talk more slowly and be more introverted. BUT:

  • The ANALYTICAL (like the DRIVER) will tend to be emotionally, physically and verbally reserved. If they tend to avoid eye contact with you, you are probably talking to an ANALYTICAL.
  • The AMIABLE (like the EXPRESSIVE) will tend to care more about YOUR feelings, and try to make sure you’re comfortable. If they offer to get you a beverage or a snack, you are probably talking to an AMIABLE.)

Once you recognize their personality,

you can start behaving like them.

Now I have some additional tips and tricks for winning the hearts and minds of each of these four personality styles, but I am running out of time and space here, so I will get into those next week. For now, I encourage you to try to quickly and quietly figure out the social style of everyone in your office, and everyone in your family.

To your success…

Brett Lloyd Abbott
Head Guru at Pool Builder Marketing


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