When Does Going Last Let You Come in First?


Posted By Kathy Kliskey | Jul 15, 2015


If you are an Achiever, then in anything you do, you naturally want to come in first. Coming in first means you’ve done your job. You won! But when does putting yourself last let you come in first? In selling – that’s where.

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Connie Podesta defines selling as “the art of influencing”. According to Connie, there are two main types of customers: the Bottom Line Buyer and the Relator, and it is essential to know who you are selling to. Why? Because matching their communication style is what helps you close the deal. Communication establishes trust. How we feel about a particular interaction gives us the emotional clues that enable us to decide if this opportunity is good for us or one that we should forego. The situation has to “feel” right. If it feels right, we will decide to move forward and then justify our decision with facts and figures, case studies and customer reviews. But if it doesn’t feel right from the start, no amount of case studies will change our minds.

How do you increase your chances of finishing first? By putting yourself last. Try to determine your customer’s communication style early on and then do your best to match that style. A simple way to do that is to set up a meeting. Ask the buyer if s/he would rather meet in the office at a particular time or meet over coffee and have a chance to get to know each other first. If the customer chooses the structure of the office, chances are your customer is a “bottom line buyer”. If that’s the case, make sure you show up ten minutes early (which to them is “on time”) and lead with “just the facts”. If your buyer chooses a more relaxed setting, then be personable. Take the time to ask them about their day, their family or vacation plans. Know that their ability to get to know you is an important part of their decision making. They need to feel they can trust you, that you are someone who truly has their best interest at heart.

As Connie says, selling to a buyer who shares our communication style is easy. Selling to someone of the opposite style is harder. That’s when we need to put our needs last, and by doing so, we are much more likely to finish first.

Connie assigns shapes to personality and communication styles. Take the survey to determine your shape.

What shape is your personality?