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Practice Management > Marketing and Communications > Social Media

How critical thinkers can improve their sales results

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During a recent sales training workshop I conducted, we discussed the various personality styles and how they affected a person’s sales efforts. One style that is common in sales that require technical expertise is that of the critical thinker.

These analytical individuals love data and details and usually prepare extensively for important sales calls and meetings. Once they are face-to-face with their prospect or customer, their typical approach is to dump all that research and information on the other person.

However, they usually end the sales dialogue by saying something such as, “So, Mrs. Smith, I’ve given you all the information and specs on the nine new products we’re launching later this month. I’ll leave that with you, but if you have any questions, let me know.”

Then they leave the customer’s office and wait patiently for a return call or an order. However, Mr. or Ms. Critical Thinker, that is not asking for the sale.

Yes, I know it sounds like it in your mind, but you haven’t actually asked the other person to make a buying decision. You see, all you have really done is give your contact the details and information.

I know that constitutes asking for the sale in your eyes, but unless your customer is also a critical thinker like you, they probably won’t even read through those details. Shocking isn’t it? I mean how can they possibly ignore all of that great data?

Too much detail?

Well, not everyone is an analytical person. And that means you’re using the wrong approach. Try this during your next face-to-face sales meeting: Instead of reviewing every slide, every page of information or every detail, start your meeting by asking the other person how much detail they want.

Don’t be offended if someone says, “Just give me the highlights” or “Just bullet-point it for me.”

Resist your belief that people need lots of detail in order to make an educated buying decision. Instead, adapt your approach accordingly and outline the key points without going into detail. Yes, it will be painful for you, but here’s your ace in the hole: You can leave the comprehensive version behind.

Now, there’s just one more thing you need to do: Don’t leave the sales call without some type of commitment for the next steps. That means you actually need to ask for the business. And you can do that by saying, “Mrs. Smith, I believe you have the information you need to make your decision. Would you like to go ahead with this?”

This approach will be uncomfortable at first, but I can assure you that your prospect will not feel undue pressure or that you are pushing them into a buying decision.

What is critical to recognize and understand is that leaving the appointment without the next steps clearly identified only results in confusion and missed sales opportunities.

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Kelley Robertson helps sales professionals master their sales conversations so they can win more business at higher profits. Get a free copy of “100 Ways to Increase Your Sales” and “Sales Blunders That Cost You Money” at


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