Adapt your style to win over the customer.
1. Focus on your customerís interests and needs. Their interests need to be addressed immediately. Donít try to change subjects abruptly, even if there is a significant objection. Itís better to deal with the objection truthfully than to try to skip over it. Focusing on your customerís interests and needs builds understanding and cooperation. Address their interests to their satisfaction.
2. Pace your customerís vocal style. Listen to your customerís speed, tone, volume and length of message. Then without mimicking them, use a similar speed of voice, tone, volume and length of message. Pacing will build rapport and comfort with your customer.
3. Adjust your level of simplicity and complexity. Listen to your customer and ask yourself how simple or complex they seem to be talking and thinking. If they want it simple, keep it as simple and clear as possible. If your customer seems to want more complexity, go into greater depth and substance as is appropriate. Adjusting is a powerful way to build clarity, rapport and understanding.
4. Mirror your customerís basic gestures, expressions and body lean. Try to look more similar than different from your customer. Donít mimic them by following their every cue. Mimicking is not only insulting, but stupid. Instead, try to gradually position yourself similarly in terms of body lean (forward, upright, and backward) and look (relaxed or formal). Mirror your customerís basic ďdegreeĒ of hand gesturing. In other words, use more or less gesturing based on your customerís patterns. And mirror the facial signals of smiling, attending or frowning based on the content of the message. You must listen carefully to mirror the right facial expressions.
5. Signal your respect and interest by nodding, agreeing, maintaining friendly eye contact, providing 3 to 5 feet of space, squaring your body with your customer, maintaining an open looking posture and leaning toward your customer (when appropriate). A ten percent forward lean when standing and a twenty percent forward lean when sitting creates greater rapport. Follow your customerís message with agreement cues (nodding and listening sounds) within 1-2 seconds, or your rapport will be broken.
6. Mistakes to Avoid
Some customers are much harder than others to read. Donít get discouraged. As you spend more time with your customers, you will begin to see patterns of behavior which will clarify the customerís buying style. Similarly, take the time to learn about your own style. Monitor your behaviors, and especially, their impact on the customer. Pay attention to your intuition; that part of you that tells you what feels right. If your intuition tells you that a style behavior does not feel right, pay attention. It is better to be authentic in front of your customer, than an obvious chameleon.
Unlike other social styles models on the market, adaptive selling identifies and describes styles that customers use in their buying process. They may not exhibit the same style outside of work. While the other models are useful, adaptive selling is the only one that is based on the actual buying styles of customers.