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Be Flexible and Sell to People the Way They Want to Buy

Image courtesy of DuBoix /
Image courtesy of DuBoix /

People want to buy solutions to their issues or make their problems go away. Yet, most sales people seldom take the time to learn how to focus upon their customer or prospect. They go into presentation style – using their style only – and then are amazed that the customer or prospect is not signing up. The reason again: People want to buy. They do not want to be sold.

What does this mean to the effective sales person?

It means they first learn how to recognize the style and traits of the customer or prospect, and then learn how to flex to their style or traits. An example: if the customer or prospect is detailed oriented, deliberate in their use of words, use few or little gestures and listens with a critical ear – then the sales person slows down, chooses their words accurately, uses few if any gestures and speaks with a methodical tone Then rapport is being built – because the sales person is delivering information in the form that the customer or prospect can understand.

This is not rocket science, yet, often I observe sales person missing huge opportunities due to a lack of understanding of selling with style. Being able to flex to the traits of others in order to gain rapport and trust. It is a simple process if you are willing to learn a few things:

1.  Know your personal strengths and weaknesses of your personal style.
2.  Learn how to recognize the other styles that can be used by others.
3.  Practice the ability of flexing to others to gain rapport and trust.
4.  Learn how to follow up using the right methods and techniques to win the business.
These four steps can be learned in a short period of time, however, practice is on-going as it involves doing things that are not natural when the buyers are opposite of you in style.

The second part of the process is to learn the Questioning Model of Selling. Since most sales people tend to use the Presentation Model of Selling, you have natural built-in issues. You can't be asking questions and listening to the customer when you are in the middle of your rapid fire presentation.

The only true method of learning about the issues, difficulties and concerns a buyer has is to ask questions (with rapport established) and actively listen to their answers. Then you ask more questions for clarity and understanding.

These tips are important to increase your sales opportunities in today’s crazy, busy world. Your customers will only take time to discuss things of interest to them. Today, they care very little about you, your company or your product – unless it takes care of their issue.

If you want to learn more about the questioning model of selling go to and click on the category of “Questioning Skills.” Here you will learn much more about the power of using questions in your selling efforts to gain more trust and make more sales. Enjoy!

-- Voss Graham
Posted: 3/6/2013 8:57:11 AM | with 0 comments
Filed under: blog, business, chamber, consumers, customers, graham, marketing, memphis, sales, selling, service, small, voss

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Your business may be small, but that doesn't mean that your impact can't be huge! The Greater Memphis Chamber's Small Business Council serves to encourage, support, recognize and be a resource to small- and medium-sized businesses in the Memphis area. Here, our talented panel of contributors will present big ideas that could make a huge difference to your small business. And don't be afraid to ask questions ... no matter how small.

Sales & Small Business Ownership
Voss W. Graham is CEO and Senior Business Advisor for InnerActive Consulting Group Inc. He is known by his clients as "a knowledgeable partner who helps our team achieve business growth." He provides practical experience as a small business owner for over 29 years, yet is often engaged with Fortune 500 companies in the development of their people and business strategies.

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Several professionals and strategists from the local Obsidian Public Relations firm provide excellent advice on everything from research to media relations to event planning. They believe that all companies, no matter how big or small the company or its budget, should have a public relations plan driving how they manage their relationships with key stakeholders. Public relations is an integral part of doing business the right way.

Human Resources
Joel Myers is a career Human Resources professional, with over 40 years in the field including 26 years in consulting.

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Lori Turner-Wilson is CEO and Founder of RedRover Company, a sales development, marketing and PR consulting firm. Lori works with companies large and small, from start-ups to mature organizations, to help them improve the productivity of their sales force and the return on their marketing investment. Lori writes a weekly syndicated column for the Daily News, Memphis News, Nashville Ledger, and Desoto Times, among others, titled “Guerrilla Sales & Marketing,” for which she won a 2011 Summit International Award and 2012 International Communicator Award.

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Founded in 1999, inferno provides brand development, advertising, public relations, design and digital marketing services to clients across a broad spectrum of industries. Headquartered in Memphis with a satellite office in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the award-winning firm produces results-driven work by passionately combining strategic thinking, creativity and culture to ensure the success of its clients. For more information, visit

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Fisher Phillips attorneys are ready to help you take a stand: in court, with employees and unions, or with competitors. Fisher Phillips has the experience and resolve to back you up. That's why some of the savviest employers come to the firm to handle their toughest labor and employment cases. The firm has 350 attorneys in 32 offices, including Memphis. For more information, visit

Since its founding in 2005, Paragon Bank has maintained a solid focus on the community and customer service. For more than 10 years, Paragon has delivered innovative products and financial expertise, convenience, and a deep understanding of what both businesses and individuals need from a ban, in order to provide solutions that make a difference. In the areas of business or personal banking, lending options or wealth management, Paragon delivers cutting edge technology, an experienced team and the most service-oriented staff of any community bank.