Although we typically think about Behavior Styles in terms of aiding sales performance and communicating with others, they also provide valuable insights into our own motivations, preferences and strengths.
The selling environment has changed significantly over the past several months, and that means your sales performance strategies, plans and approaches are going to have to adapt along with it.
The challenge is that this is no ordinary downturn. Everyone is grappling with disruptions that affect us on both the professional and the personal fronts. At the same time customers are slashing budgets and canceling contracts, salespeople are adjusting to working from home and dealing with countless distractions. Now more than ever, having an effective plan in place is critical for getting and staying on track.
There are lots of planning tools and tips out there, but one helpful way to break it down is to look at your sales performance plans from the perspective of the four different Behavior Styles.
Applying Behavior Styles to Bolster Performance
We all have natural styles, and each has its strengths. Although we typically think about Behavior Styles in terms of aiding sales performance and communicating with others, they also provide valuable insights into our own motivations, preferences and strengths. By understanding what your strengths and potential behavioral pitfalls are, you can be more intentional about leaning into the qualities that will help you achieve your goals, even in a tough business environment.
Let’s look at how might apply the strengths of each Behavior Style to bolster your sales performance:
Be a Doer and Define Your Goals:
Doers are decisive, results driven and goal oriented. They’re not just making plans; they’re going to drive ahead and make sure they really happen.
There’s a good chance that many of the prospecting and selling targets you settled on at the beginning of the year need to be adjusted. Now’s a good time to get clear about what your sales performance goals need to be in this new reality and make the commitment to yourself to get them done. If this is an area you tend to struggle with, try these ideas:
- Break down larger goals into bite-sized, manageable chunks.
- Write them down and post them some place where they’re always visible to you to keep them top of mind.
- Do at least one thing each day that contributes to your goals. This will create new habits and also help you feel like you’re making headway.
- Review, adapt and adjust as necessary.
- Celebrate milestones. Take a moment to bask in your sense of accomplishment!
Be a Talker and Broaden Your Network:
Talkers are the quintessential “people people.” They like to get involved, keep things lively and share stories and experiences.
Now that virtual is the norm, it might seem more difficult to connect with others. But in some ways, it’s easier. Just about everyone is accustomed to video conference calls and Zoom happy hours these days, bridging the distance and opening up new avenues of potential connections, regardless of location. So take a cue from the Talkers, and look at how you might expand your network. For example:
- Ask for introductions from your current network.
- Schedule a virtual coffee break with a valuable LinkedIn connection so you can have a more meaningful conversation.
- Check out a local professional association or networking group you’ve been meaning to explore. Now that most meetings are being held virtually, you can join in from anywhere.
- Stay engaged and resist the temptation to multitask. Even in the virtual world, people can tell when others aren’t fully “there.”
- Share personal stories and practice active listening. Really pay attention to what the other person is saying.
- Volunteer for a committee or board opportunity with a current association or networking group.
- Give back by introducing others who may benefit from the connection. Being a great resource is a great way to strengthen your network.
Be a Supporter and Draw on Collective Strength:
In today’s world, every aspect of the job is becoming more dependent on collaboration and cooperation, whether within a team, across functions or with client organizations. But we’re also dealing with the uncertainty of external events as well as physical distance and potential disconnection.
To meet your sales performance goals, especially in these circumstances, you need to practice the behaviors of Supporters, who focus on building trusting relationships and leveraging the power of teamwork:
- When you’re gathering people for a meeting, whether in person or virtually, make sure everyone who needs to be involved is included.
- Be respectful of people’s time. Have an agenda and set expectations up front.
- Get agreement on what you need to accomplish and acknowledge the impact changes, differing priorities and external factors will have on people.
- Encourage and value everyone’s input; listen to what they have to say with an open mind.
Be a Controller and Pay Attention to the Details:
Sometimes you need to sweat the small stuff, and with their focus on accuracy, precision and getting the task done right, Controllers have a knack for it.
When priorities keep shifting and you’re trying to adjust to a radically different selling environment, it’s easy to overlook the details. But those “no big deal” mistakes can turn into very big issues—from damaged reputations to lost business—particularly if a Controller is on the receiving end! Here are some ways to keep the details in focus:
- Print and read out loud important communications or proposals before sending them. It’s often hard to see typos and grammatical mistakes onscreen.
- Have someone you trust check your work for errors before finalizing it.
- Create a checklist for your projects so you don’t overlook important steps.
- Use online productivity tools or apps to keep you focused and on track.
- Keep your skills polished and up-to-date by requesting and participating in ongoing professional development activities. Take advantage of the wealth of virtual training opportunities that are now available to you.
No matter your style, there’s plenty to learn across the behavioral spectrum. Build on each of the styles to adapt your plans and commit to your new sales performance goals.
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