Master Your Sales Persona To Deliver A Memorable Sales Experience
By MarKay Long
Some salespeople are “naturals.” They can walk into a room, capture the attention of everyone present, and leave a few hours later with a stack of business cards and a list of new appointments in their calendars. Those of us who may not have been born with natural sales gifts can find ourselves envying the naturals. We want to have the same stage presence and enrapturing personality when we engage prospects.
Even if you are an introvert in your casual life, you can adopt an extrovert personality. In other words, to borrow a sales adage, you can be whoever you want to be on the phone.
That doesn’t mean inventing a new identity but it means you can step into the shoes of your ideal sales persona. You can practice and learn the behaviors that make for a memorable sales experience. Although it may not be how you interact with your employees or your family, you can build an alter ego that makes prospects pay more attention to what you have to say and makes them think of you instead of your competitors when they have a new question.
Mastering your sales persona will take practice, but here are some places to start.
Entertainment matters. Many salespeople struggle with basic engagement. We may want to drop into our comfort zone of product knowledge and features, but prospects frequently find that approach to be dull. What will catch the prospect’s attention? What do they care about most? Being entertaining can involve humor, but it also can involve simply saying something differently and challenging the way a prospect thinks.
Tell a good story. As you build an engaging sales experience for your prospect, consider what story you tell about yourself, your business, why you do what you do and the people you’ve helped along the way. The stories you tell should not only be interesting, but they also should communicate what sets you apart from your competitors.
Prospects trust confident people. When you are hesitant and nervous, prospects will notice and that can influence their belief in you. Part of this is in your mannerisms — your body language and how you speak — but part of conveying confidence is rooted in how you demand to be treated. For example, if a prospect cuts a 30-minute meeting down to 10 minutes, your willingness to walk away until they give you the time you were promised signals your own belief in yourself.
Embrace uncomfortable silences. Resist the desire to fill every pause with idle chatter. If you ask a question, sit back and let your prospect work through it. At the same time, don’t be afraid to take your time with your own responses. A slow and considered response is often more impactful than a frantic or rushed response.
Learn from every interaction. Every sales conversation you have should be an opportunity to learn and improve. At the very least, take notes on your meetings and critique your approach, identifying ways you might improve. If you can, record your calls and review how you did. If you aren’t sure what you should be doing differently, engage a sales coach to get specific, actionable insights.
You will not develop your sales alter ego overnight. Building it piece by piece will take time, but in many ways, that’s your advantage. Where the natural flies by instinct, you will have a thoughtful and carefully crafted approach. Each choice you make will be deliberate, making it easier for you to adapt and refine as you learn more about yourself and more about your prospects.
MarKay Long is manager of business development at The PT Services Group.She manages the development of customized campaigns for financial and insurance producers to meet with business owners and key decision-makers. MarKay may be contacted at [email protected].