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Adaptive

Selling for
Relationship
Building
chapter 5

McGraw-Hill/Irwin Copyright © 2011 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Some Questions Answered in This
Chapter Are:
• What is adaptive selling?
• Why is it important for salespeople to practice
adaptive selling?
• What kind of knowledge do salespeople need to
practice adaptive selling?
• How can salespeople acquire this knowledge?
• How can salespeople adapt their sales strategies,
presentations, and social styles to various
situations?
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“When meeting with so many business
owners, it is vital for me to figure out what
type of social style each prospective client is.”

Meggie Dominguez
District Manager, ADP

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5.1 Types of sales presentations
• Personal selling is the most expensive form of
communicating with customers, yet firms use it
anyway. Why?
• Personal selling is more effective than other
communication vehicles! Why?
• Note that the flexibility increases as you move from
a standard memorized presentation, through an
outlined presentation, and then to a customized
presentation.
• Personal selling is unique in that salespeople can
customize a presentation for each customer and 5-4

make adjustments quickly.


1. Standard Memorized
Presentation
• Also called a canned presentation
• Completely memorized sales talk
• Ensures salespeople will provide complete
and accurate information
• Limited effectiveness

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2. Outlined Presentation

• Prearranged presentation that usually


includes:
– Standard introduction
– Standard answers to common objections
– Standard method for getting the customer to
place an order
• Effective because it is well organized

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Example of an Outlined
Presentation
Exhibit 5.1

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3. Customized Presentation

• Written and/or oral presentation based on a


detailed analysis of the customer’s needs
• Allows the salesperson to demonstrate
empathy
• Provides greatest opportunity to adapt to
customer needs
• Customers recognize the sales rep as a
professional who is helping solve problems,
not just selling products.
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5.2 Adaptive Selling and Sales
Success
• Adaptive selling forces the salesperson to
practice the marketing concept.
• It emphasizes the importance of satisfying
customer needs.
• Being adaptable increases buyer trust and
commitment and results in higher sales
performance.

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Adaptive Selling and Sales Success

• Adaptive selling means salespeople should


alter the content and form of their sales
presentation so customers will be able to
absorb the information easily and find it
relevant to their situation

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5.3 Knowledge Management

• Product and company knowledge


– Salespeople need to have a lot of information
about their products, services, company, and
competitors.
• Knowledge about sales situations and
customers
• Knowledge about customers and the selling
situation are keys to effective adaptation.
• Salespeople with more knowledge are able to
adapt to a wider range of situations. 5-11
Knowledge Management

• How to create knowledge (Sources)


– Top company salespeople
– Feedback from sales managers:
– Performance feedback: “Did you achieve the goals you
set for your call? “
- Diagnostic feedback: “Let’s talk about why you did not
achieve your goals”.

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Knowledge Management

• Other sources of knowledge


– Web
– Company sales manuals and newsletters
– Sale meetings
– Plant visits
– Business and trade publications
– Competitor displays at trade shows
– Viewing competitor’s Web pages

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Knowledge Management

• Retrieving knowledge from the knowledge


management system
– Customer relationship management systems
– Brochures
– In-house blogs, wikis , web pages,
– Social networks, Facebook, LinkedIn

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5.4 The Social Style Matrix

• Popular training program that companies


use to help sales people adapt their
communication styles
• Adjust your behavior to mirror or match your
customer’s social style

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Dimensions of Social Styles

• Assertiveness
– The degree to which people have opinions about
issues and make their positions clear to others
– Speak out
– Make strong statements

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Dimensions of Social Styles

• Unassertive people
– Rarely dominate a social situation
– Often keep their opinions to themselves

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Indicators of Assertiveness
Exhibit 5.2

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Dimensions of Social Styles

• Responsiveness
– Based on how emotional people tend to get in
social situations
– Responsive people readily express joy, anger,
and sorrow.
– Concerned with others
– Informal and casual in social situations

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Dimensions of Social Styles

• Less responsive people


– Devote more effort to control emotions
– Cautious, intellectual, serious, formal and
businesslike

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Indicators of Responsiveness
Exhibit 5.3

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Social Style Matrix

Exhibit 5.4

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Selling to Various Social Styles

• Drivers • Expressives
– Task-oriented people – Warm, approachable,
– swift, efficient competitive
decision makers. – focus on the future,
– focus on the present directing their time
and appear to have and effort toward
little concern with the achieving their vision.
past or future – have little concern for
– Have great desire to practical details in
get ahead in their present situations
companies and 5-23

careers.
Selling to Various Social Styles

• Amiables • Analyticals
– Close relationships and – like facts, principles,
cooperation are and logic
important . – suspicious of power
– achieve their objectives and personal
by working with relationships
people, developing an – Make decisions slowly
atmosphere of mutual
respect
– Make decisions slowly
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5.5 Identifying Customer’s Social
Styles
• Concentrate on the customer’s behavior and
disregard how you feel about the behavior
• Avoid assuming that specific jobs or
functions are associated with a social style
• Test your assessments

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Cues for Recognizing Social Styles
Exhibit 5.5

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Social Styles and Sales
Presentations
• There is no one best social style for a
salesperson.
• Salespeople must recognize the customer’s
needs and expectations.
• The salesperson’s personal social style tends
to determine the sales technique he or she
typically uses.

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Customer Expectations Based on
Social Styles
Exhibit 5.7

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Versatility

• Versatility
– The effort people make to increase the
productivity of a relationship by adjusting to the
needs of the other party

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Adjusting Social Styles
Exhibit 5.8

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5.6 Systems for Developing
Adaptive Selling Skills
• It is crucial that salespeople adjust to their
audience
• Training methods such as the social style
matrix and expert systems are simply a first
step in developing knowledge for practicing
adaptive selling

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