The successful outcome of your next sales presentation will be determined largely by your ability to do two things well: Develop rapport with your prospect and adapt your sales message to engage his preferred “learning style.”

The learning style theory was developed in the early 1970s and has proven to be a powerful communication model that every school teacher, parent, manager and sales rep should have in their toolbox. Simply stated, the theory promotes the concept that people have a natural preference based upon their dominate sense, for how they choose to learn and process information. There are three styles: visual (seeing), auditory (hearing) and kinesthetic (touching).

Unfortunately, far too many sales reps unknowingly undercut their sales effectiveness by failing to recognize the need to engage their prospects’ learning styles. For example, if a sales rep determines his or her prospect is a visual-based learner, it’s up to the sales rep to make the adjustment and incorporate more colorful graphs and charts, brochures and other visual aids throughout the presentation.

It’s easy to quickly and accurately determine your prospect’s preferred style by simply paying attention to his or her most commonly used words and phrases.

Visual-based learners might say:

  • “I can certainly see your point.”
  • “That looks good to me.”
  • “Do I make my point clear to you?”

Visual-based learners like pictures and prefer to get their information in writing. Use colorful charts, graphs and other visual learning tools to help them make a buying decision.

Auditory-based learners might say:

  • “That sounds good to me.”
  • “I hear what you’re saying.”
  • “That rings true to me.”

Auditory-based learners tend to hang on every word you say. This type of prospect learns best through group discussion and tends to “talk things out” when making a buying decision.

Kinesthetic-based learners might say:

  • “I can get my arms around that concept.”
  • “This point really grabbed my attention.”
  • “Let me get a grip on what you’re saying.”

Kinesthetic-based learners prefer to learn by physically touching and doing. Keep this type of prospect actively involved throughout the selling process by using demonstrations and other hands-on learning tools when possible.

If you want your prospects to get the most benefit from your website information, sales presentations, brochures and related marketing materials, you need to present the information in the most engaging way possible.