It seems retailers have tried everything to get employees to sell more.
So many try to hire the natural born salesperson. That doesn’t work because they are few and far between.
Some try to use contests, but that only works for a particular personality style.
Some retailers use an abundance of technical training, but that too only works for some.Instead of trying a one‐size‐fits‐all approach, if you leverage their personality styles, you can take advantage of their inherent abilities and help them sell more.
And yes, everyone can sell.
Once you comprehend and recognize the four personality styles, you can train your retail employees to cut out the fluff and connect with customers instantly after they too learn how to recognize the dominant personality styles.
There’s the Driver, like Gordon Ramsay, where it is all about them being the best, smartest, and known as a decision‐maker. Think of them as the fighter pilot in Top Gun. It's all about them immediately coming to a decision. The drawback is they can be seen as stubborn and always trying to close. Any villain you see in a movie is usually a Driver.
There’s the Analytical, like Spock on Star Trek, who is logical and has a comprehensive system to manage information. Surgeons, CPAs, and most craftspeople are usually an Analytical personality. Where the Driver is the fighter pilot, the Analytical is the bomber pilot staying on course until they reach their objective. Their Achilles’ heel is that they can come off cold and hard‐hearted.
The Expressive is like the character Jack in the movie Titanic who tries a lot of things, is easily bored and has unrestrained enthusiasm. They are also the least likely to be found in retail these days yet the best ones to get customers excited about all the possibilities you offer. Why? Because on a beautiful day, they’ll most likely call in sick.
The Amiable is by far the most frequent personality you’ll find in stores. Amiables have an eagerness to be liked and learn about others without revealing details of their lives. They are more fascinated by what you did on the weekend rather than telling you what they did. Their weakness is that they don’t stand out or make demands. It takes a lot to make them visibly distressed, so you never know when they are thinking about quitting.
Those salespeople who can grasp personality styles can have meaningful conversations that value both the customer and the salesperson. And that leads to higher sales. But first you need to leverage their inherent talent to get them all to sell.
If your employee is primarily a Driver, their number one goal is to get something finished or close the sale and get the credit. You need to help them round off those rough edges, invest more time with customers, and reduce the chance they can come off as egotistical.
If your employee is predominately an Analytical, you need to train with a transparent system of A to B to C so engaging a customer isn’t frightening and it makes sense. Be prepared to answer each of their many questions as they come up.
If your employee is mostly an Expressive, you want to channel their fun. You would not want to try to train them like an Analytical and rain on their parade. Use their easily distracted interests and enthusiasm for new items as a sparkplug for the rest of your team.
If your employee is primarily an Amiable, they’ll want to get along without conflict. Teaching them how the other three personalities function can demonstrate how to avoid irritation and have their say. Know that they are the least probable to be natural born salespeople and most anxious about interacting with strangers—so be patient.
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About the Author
Since 1994 companies worldwide have turned to Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doctor®
for the proven expertisenecessary to grow their sales. An American retail expert, Phibbs has been engaged as a motivational speaker on retail, a luxury retail sales trainer, author, franchisor and customer service champion.
He is frequently called on to provide commentary on Marketing and Branding for MSNBC, FOX and others. His clients include some of the largest retail brands in the world including Bernina, Caesars Palace, Chopard, Hunter Douglas, Lego, Omega, Hearts on Fire, Husqvarna, Tommy Bahama, Vera Bradley and Yamaha.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author. CPSA does not endorse any of the companies, products and services mentioned within this article.