4 Communication Styles You Hear On Sales Calls (And How To Sell Them)

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Do you often find yourself frustrated during or after sales calls? It may be because you try to treat everyone the same.

But people are not the same.

People behave differently and you have to understand where they come from and how they communicate.

This guide will help you understand the different communication styles you’ll experience on sales calls.

And it will give you practical tips on how to adapt your communication to different individuals.

If you can cater your selling style to the person that you're selling you'll see dramatic improvement in the results that you get.

What Are The 4 Communication Styles?

The 4 communication styles are:

  • Drivers
  • Expressives
  • Amiables
  • Analyticals

You’ll find these types of communicators in every niche and market.

Depending on your niche, you may find more have one communication style than the others.

Drivers

A driver is your typical Type A personality.

They're the type of person who gets on your call and tries to take over.

They try and rush you and want you to get to the point, “Yeah, just tell me what's going on here.”

Expressives

An expressive is the type of person that wants to tell you their life story.

These people will get on the phone with you and they'll tell you how, “Back in 1990, I was doing this and then that led me to this…”

Ask them just a simple like data-based question and then they'll tell you three stories, after which you still don’t have your answer.

Amiables

An amiable person is someone who is likely to agree with everything you say.

They don't like confrontation or conflict. They don't like feeling under pressure.

So they just kind of go along with it.

They’re people-pleasers.

Analyticals

An analytical is someone who asks you every single detail about your product, no matter how irrelevant.

They’ll ask you, “What training pro program do you deliver the course in?”

Hybrids

These are not black-and-white categorizations with hard lines between them.

You’ll find some people have one dominant communication style and one inferior style.

But they are the four core communication styles.

And you have to treat each differently for them to feel comfortable.

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Selling To Each Communication Style

Before we talk about how you should treat each communication style, it's really important for you to understand them.

Drivers will often be business owners, CEOs, and upper management.

Expressives tend to be salespeople, or in some sort customer-facing or people-oriented role.

Many Amiables are nurses, school teachers, social workers, public servants.

Analyticals tend to be engineers, accountants, software developers, numbers people.

And so, you can sometimes diagnose people’s communication styles based on what they do.

Selling To Drivers

With Drivers, you have to show them the reason why you're doing something.

They don't like to follow people unless they know they're doing it for a reason.

Once they're clear on the reason, you also want to play on their tendencies.

For example…

“Yeah, so really fast…”

“This is going to be super quick…”

“I just need to know real fast because…”

Here, “really fast” is almost like a red cape to a bull; they see it (or hear it) and they go for it.

Selling To Expressives

The challenge with Expressives is you'll want to relate with them and stay personal, but you'll need to ask questions that contain their answers.

“Yeah, you know, I really want to talk to you more about that. But you know, because I want to help you, in two sentences, or can you give me the exact number on (whatever you want the answer to)?”

“Can you tell me the specific data on (whatever you want the answer to)?”

You want to constrain their answers by framing your questions.

“In two sentences specifically, can you tell me the exact…”

You’ll also want to ask closed questions with a specific answer so they can't go off on a tangent.

Selling To Amiables

You have to call out Amiables. Don’t let them hide.

But you don’t want to call them out in an accusatory way. There’s a balance to it.

“It sounds like, you know, maybe you don't agree with that?”

Their response will tend to contradict their behavior and the signals they’re giving you.

“Well, I'm not sure because I hear this and then I hear that. So like, what is it? Like, it's okay either way.”

So, you let them know there's no pressure and no judgment.

But you have to call out the seeming incongruence is and then they’ll feel safe to share their side.

If you don’t do this, they'll just agree with you the entire call and then hit you with,

“I need to think about it.”

“You know, it all sounds good. Can you just send me this stuff? And then I can take a look at it and get back to you?”

They won’t give you a hard “No” at the end of the call.

Whereas a Driver might say,

“I don't want it. Nope. That looks like it doesn't work for me because of this. So yeah. Thanks for your time. Bye.”

Do you see how these differences work?

Selling To Analyticals

An Analytical's biggest fear is being wrong.

They would rather not make a decision than make the wrong decision.

There are 4 things you shouldn't do with an Analytical.

  1. Don't try to make them emotional – They can recognize attempts to emotionally manipulate them. If you try, they will mistrust you. Instead, stay in the realm of facts, because facts elicit feelings.
  2. Don't try to dominate them – Analyticals were probably bullied in high school. So, they view dominant people with contempt because it pulls out unhappy memories. They will respect you if you give them space and don't try to push them around.
  3. Don't tell them they're wrong – Their identity is built on knowing things and being right. If you tell them they're wrong, you threaten their identity. However, they love to learn. If they are wrong, you can correct them by teaching them and expanding their perspective.
  4. Don't try to make them buy on the spot – Analyticals view impulsiveness as a weakness. They also hold beliefs like, “Salespeople will say anything to get the deal.” These are also the people who GENUINELY may need to run the numbers before pulling the trigger. If you insist they take the time to think about it, it immediately raises your status in their eyes.

Your Natural Ability To Sell Some (And Not Others)

Most people are biased toward selling one or more of these types.

Whatever your own dominant communication style is, you’ll naturally be better at selling to people like you.

With more experience, you can Expand your repertoire.

After you’ve had enough conversations, you’ll know,

“Okay, now I can sell Expressives.”

“Okay. Now I can sell Amiables.”

Once you’re able to sell to every communication style, it's easy to:

  • Identify them quickly
  • Know what to do with each one

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Conclusion

If you try to sell every prospect the exact same way, you’ll end up frustrated and worse, you’ll be leaving a lot of money on the table.

People are different and communicate differently.

Adapt your style to sell the different communication styles – Drivers, Expressives, Amiables, and Analyticals.

So that you close more deals and don’t spend all day trying to smash a square peg into a round hole.

For example, with Drivers, you can't use pressure that much.

They don't respond well to pressure because it feels like you're knocking them out of control.

And they want to feel like they're in control.

So, you have to give them the illusion of control.

Amiables, on the other hand, need the pressure.

They need someone to crank it up a little bit because left to their own devices, they'll end up doing nothing.

Expressives need closed questions and data-based questions.

And you need to frame your questions in a way that you’ll only get short answers.

Or you’ll be on a 2-hour long call.

With Analyticals, you need to pace, then lead.

Play into their identity – they know things, they're smart, they can't be fooled, they think things through before making a decision.

If you insist they take the time to run the numbers, they'll think you're “legit.”

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