“We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.” - Craig David
The Sales Revolution
A 2018 study by Epsilon showed just how important personalization has become. 80% of consumers surveyed said they would rather buy from a brand that offered personalized experiences. This preference spans across all industries. And as consumer desires and expectations shift, selling strategies must shift along with them.
Motivating Your Audience
The key lies in motivation. Two consumers may buy the same item, but what motivates them may be entirely different. However, one may purchase a new software program to feel more in control of their home-based business. Another may buy the same tool to learn new knowledge to apply for new jobs. The end result is the same, but the conversation that leads up to the purchase is quite different.
In simple terms, adaptive selling is about tailoring your sales approach to meet people one-on-one. See the individual in front of you and sell to that person. As a seller learns more about a consumer and receives immediate feedback during the interaction, their approach can seamlessly adapt to the consumer's needs. It's all about exercising empathy instead of pressure, being in tune with what the customer actually wants and letting this shape the interaction.
How Adaptive Selling Works
Sales departments benefit from thinking in terms of relationships, with sales as a natural byproduct of relationship-building. Positive rapport and clear communication lie at the core of adaptive selling. It's the opposite of a standardized sales approach in which all interactions with consumers are uniform and all consumers are seen in the same light.
Just as big data allows marketers to segment their audience by interest and appeal to those interests separately, adaptive selling allows sales people to tailor their approach too. Instead of call scripts that take each consumer through the same pitch, adaptive selling is more open and guided by what comes up organically in the conversation.
Personalizing Your Sales Strategy
What exactly is personalization in an adaptive selling environment? A great example is how many companies now offer custom rates and packages that depend on the budget of the consumer and the amount of product needed.
Another critical component of personalized selling is having demographic information available before a sales call even begins. This prevents the seller from making false assumptions. Furthermore, it hints at what the consumer's specific needs, desires, and fears may be. For example, knowing ahead of time that a consumer has several children reveals that they may be strapped for time and/or money to invest in a new product. The question then becomes: How can the seller assuage those specific fears?
Sales professionals' training in this approach will need time to learn the fluidity and flexibility of the model. It's crucial that they know the products and services like the back of their hand. This way, they can move naturally through the selling process. Doing so helps to recognize how the offering can uniquely meet each consumer's preferences.
Adaptive selling professionals do well with a data-driven mind by analyzing customer behaviors and situations to create a win-win outcome.
The Value of Adaptive Selling
A common tool used in adaptive selling is the social style matrix. This tool splits individuals into four of the most common communication styles: Drivers, Amiables, Expressives, and Analyticals.
Along with different communication styles, each type has different interests based on how they think.
- Drivers want to know what.
- Analytics want to know how.
- Amiables want to know why.
- Expressives want to know who.
If a seller can confidently explain a product's features, how it works, why it's important, and who else has benefited from it, they can move through any sales call with grace and ease.
Applying the Social Matrix
With the social style matrix, sales people can take cues and respond to an individual's communication style in a complimentary way. By reducing conversational friction, obstacles dissipate from the selling process. This is just one facet of adaptive selling that radically breaks down barrier between sellers and consumers.
The value of this approach is that understanding consumers at a new depth pays off. Adaptive selling allows for stronger lead generation, increased revenue over time, and a sense of ease and confidence going into each pitch. It's a sustainable approach for the future of business.
Plain and simple, adaptive selling works because it meets a need. Furthermore, it meets a need that modern consumers aren't used to having met, and they crave it more than ever before. Bombarded by spam and distractions both online and in person, the consumer seeks a refreshing and human approach.
Building Your Business' Reputation
By knowing your target audience better your business can optimize its sales strategies to fit your consumers. Doing so not only increases your sales success rates, but allows your customers to feel like you are catering to them.
Improving your customer's experience can help to build your business' reputation in turn. Additionally, reputation and loyalty are key aspects of retention after customers have purchased your products or services. Above all, the customer's relationship with your business ultimately starts with the selling relationship from your agents.