What they don’t teach you about effective influencing and selling

Have you ever felt that the sales meeting you just left went perfectly, and you hit the ball out of the park? Only to find out that the customer doesn’t end up buying. We’ve all been there, but a successful influencer & seller has figured out a secret. What’s the secret, you ask?

Too many organizations look at sales training dominated with product info and try to sell the benefits of their product because it’s more easily understood and is also a lot easier to train. That’s half of the selling equation. The other half and most important aspect is the customer and how they approach their buying process. To see success in selling and influencing, both parts of the equation must be understood and executed correctly.

If you understand your product and not your customer, you will be successful with 25% of your potential customers, maybe. These types of fixed behavior sellers operate as a textbook that is wired for sound. After this type of seller makes their sales pitch, they seem satisfied that they did their job, and if the customer does not buy, then it’s the customer’s fault for not understanding the product’s benefits.

We conducted a pharmaceutical product survey with 90 field sales reps to prove this concept. We divided the 90 sales reps into three categories (exceeding quota, just meeting quota, and not meeting quota). We asked those exceeding their quota what their secret is in being very successful. One participant told me that she found a way to sell to almost any customer by understanding what type of customer she was in front of and appealing to how they made their decisions. Simply put, it was learning to understand certain types of customer behavioral patterns and matching one’s product benefits to a part of that specific customer behavioral pattern.

This research yielded 4 types of different customer behavioral patterns. Those driven by Knowledge: I need to understand more before I can make a decision. Results: The result must match what I am after and at a reduced cost. Reliability: I want the problem solved and don’t want to look back or face the problem again. Security: will you be there as a support for me if there is a problem?

In essence, those exceeding their quotas had adaptive behaviors. Those meeting quotas had certain types of customers adaptive and with others fixed behaviors, whereas those not meeting their quotas had problematic fixed behaviors.

Your ability to pick up the customer’s clues and cues to identify their behavioral pattern is your key to selling success. Successful sellers and influencers have a more learned, adaptable approach. The key is understanding the customer’s behavioral pattern and then making self-adjustments to match that customer’s pattern.


Storytelling magnifies the matching process. This in-sync selling separates the selling overachievers from the underachievers. Understanding customer behavioral patterns, making self-adjustments, and the ability to storytelling leads to a 75% greater chance your sales and influencing message is understood, accepted, and the customer is prepped to buy.

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