I tend to classify sales professionals into 3 distinct types:
1) Hard-sell/Fast-talker: These are the majority of car, insurance, mobile-home and other hyper-competitive markets where the products rarely stand out from the competition to a high enough degree that it matters. These environments are ideal for the hard-sell/fast-talker because they usually get one shot or lose the deal to the next person. These type salespeople can often get your business in trouble as the go-hard or go home approach can lead to sales that weren’t necessarily of benefit, value or sensibility to the customer. As we all know, a bitter customer is much worse than not having that customer at all.
2) The Technical Salesperson: This would be the engineer-turned-salesman or similar. They are very well versed in how something works, what its strengths are and so on. Oftentimes these type salespeople are dry and focused only on details, specification and function. While their knowledge is important, they often miss relational cues, connectors and opportunities to go beyond just a sale to their target. This can cost you not only the opportunities but also the best customers. Although in certain industries these types can perform at a high level, they usually do so without maximizing the customer relationship.
3) The Relational Salesperson: These are the best fit for nearly any organization. They foster strong relationships with their team and clientele. When exceptional, they have the emotional intelligence to know when technical skills are needed in the pitch and when relational are called for. They are trusted more by the customer and the organization they represent. For overall culture in an organization, as well as fostering goodwill among clients this is second only to offering a worthy product or service. We know that most often “people buy from people” and when this is the case they want people they trust beyond just the professional product and capacity they represent.
What type of salesperson do you prefer and why? Feel free to share experiences you’ve had with each type as well as ad other types you’ve identified in your experience.