How To Keep Communication Style Bias From Derailing Your Sales Process, with Paul Watts, Episode #117
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Is your sales process experiencing unneeded hiccups or roadblocks because you’re not taking into consideration the communication styles of your prospects and buyers? If you don’t understand the 4 primary communication styles, it’s very likely. That’s why I asked Paul Watts to be my guest on this episode of #SellingWithSocial. Paul is a sales leader who has invested a considerable amount of time in understanding the dynamics behind effective communication. His upcoming book on communication styles will be a great resource for sellers and marketers alike.
By listening to this episode you’ll learn all 4 of the dominant communication styles, why it’s important to be aware of them, how to discern the communication style of your prospects from their social profiles, and how to identify communication styles on the fly as you talk with prospects for the first time. This is incredibly valuable information that could dramatically improve the effectiveness and time frames your sales process, so be sure you listen to this episode.The 4 Communication Styles You Need To Be Aware Of - And Why
Although no individual perfectly fits into a static category, each of us does have our own bent when it comes to how we prefer to communicate. In this conversation, Paul breaks down the 4 communication styles that are most predominant...
Drivers - These individuals tend to prefer logical responses to situations. That means data, facts, and figures will be effective and appreciated.
Expressives - These are people who tend to have emotionally based responses to situations and who will hear and receive emotionally laced responses more easily themselves.
Analytics - like the Driver, people who are analytic will appreciate and communicate with logical responses more than emotional responses.
Amiables - People who are stylistically Amiable will tend toward emotive responses as well. So if you want to communicate with them effectively, use emotionally laden words and phrases.
Can you see how understanding these communication styles can help you speak the language of those you are interacting with? Listen to understand these in more detail and to hear examples of how it works in practical situations.You Could Be Derailing Your Sales Process Through Communication Style Bias
Communication style bias happens when you filter your prospect or buyer’s responses through your own communication style. For example, if your communication style is that of “Expressive,” you will tend toward hearing what others say through that stylistic filter - even if they are NOT that type of communicator. The result is that you won't be communicating as effectively as you think you are.
That’s why it’s important to understand the various styles of communication. The effectiveness of your sales process depends on you becoming skilled at speaking to people in a way they will hear, understand, and accept. Listen as Paul provides examples of how this knowledge can be used in phone calls, email prospecting, sales meetings, and more.How To Discern The Communication Style Of Buyers
Every step of the sales process requires that we intelligently approach our prospects or buyers by using a variety of perspectives. Among them are the buyer’s persona, their buying journey, and their communication styles. How can you speak in a way that appeals to a prospect’s communication style if you don’t know them? In this conversation, Paul shares these suggestions:
Ask how their weekend was - the response could indicate their communication style.
A person who is dominantly a Driver or Analytic will often give a short answer. They are ready to get down to business, not engage in chit-chat.
A person who is Expressive or Amiable will engage in a more detailed conversation about their weekend. But there are differences - the Expressive will speak in self-centric terms (MY weekend) while the Amiable will speak in inclusive terms (OUR weekend).
Notice the speed at which people talk
Drivers and Expressives tend to speak quickly because they are eager to get down to business and make progress. Analytics and Amiables speak more slowly and often take time to consider before responding or making decisions.
Notice the types of questions people ask
Drivers and Analytics tend to ask more logic based questions that require facts and figures. Expressives and Amiables will ask more emotive questions, wanting to know the human impact of decisions or approaches.
Telling VS Asking
Drivers and Expressives tend to “tell” about their opinions or experience. Analytics and Amiables will “ask” your opinion or approach instead - “What would YOU do?”Tools To Help You Speak In Your Buyers’ Communication Style
If you apply the tips Paul shares in this episode you’ll be well on your way to supercharging your sales process through better communication with prospects and buyers. But if you want to increase your success even more, there are AI-based tools that can help you discern communication styles from social media profiles and emails.
CrystalKnows is a Google Chrome plugin the Vengreso team uses and recommends through our Selling With LinkedIn training that is impressive in how accurately it assesses and determines a person’s communication style. Try it out and let us know what you think!
Paul’s insight into communication style bias and how it impacts the sales process is invaluable, so be sure you take the time to listen to this episode.Outline of This Episode
- [2:18] How Paul moved from being an electrical engineer to a sales leader
- [7:55] What is communication style bias?
- [9:40] 4 different communication styles you need to be aware of
- [17:04] Not understanding these issues impacts sales performance dramatically
- [20:31] Best-practices for discerning the communication styles of others
- [31:17] How to improve your sales process through appropriate messaging
- FREE RESOURCE: Download Paul's Communication Style Assessment
- Paul’s Sales Company: Base Over Apex
- Paul’s Podcast: Sales Reinvented
- Follow Paul on Twitter: @SalesReinvented
- Follow Paul on LinkedIn
- Follow Paul on Facebook
- The DISC assessment
- CrystalKnows Chrome Plugin
- Paul’s all-time favorite movie: Gattaca
- Modern Marketing Engine Podcast - Bernie Borges