Sales Blog #100 — How to Understand the Four Types of Salespeople

How to Understand the Four Types of Salespeople

How hiring & retaining the right type of sales people can drive sales revenue

Adapted from Chally Group Research

ELAvate has been working with Chally Group in Asia since 1997. We rely on their global research to help sales organizations hire and retain productive sales people. What we found by Chally Research is there is no universal salesperson!!! Read on and discover the Four Types of Sales People.

The Chally Group has established four different sales roles and “superstar” skills which are distinctly different and measureable.

The four types of sales people are: the “Zig Ziglar” Closer, the “IBM’er” Consultive, the “Good Ole Boy” Relationship, and the “Friendly Order-Taker” Display.

1. Closing.

All salespeople must use closing skills at some point during the sales process. Here, we are talking about a personality type. This type starts with nothing and, therefore, must aggressively initiate customer contact. In most cases, one or two contacts are made with the prospect. The risk of failure is high because there is little time to interact with the customer. Therefore, this type must not have a high fear of personal rejection. This sales environment requires that the salesperson quickly establish a prospect’s emotional desire and need for their product. Demonstration sales, new high-tech equipment, trade show promotions, pyramid sales and high ticket executive vanity items (like corporate jets) are examples.

2. Consultive.

Consultive sales situations usually are reserved for bigger ticket items, high technology items, or intangible “intelligent” services, for example, telephone systems, computer systems, law services, etc. here both patient, interpersonal contact and aggressiveness are needed. Forget the personal touch of the relationship or fail to persist for a close, and the sale is lost. These sellers perform extremely well with prestige-image products/services.

This type of sales environment requires consultation with the customer to meet his specific needs. Consultative salespeople are usually career-oriented. And, they are much more academically inclined than the other sales types. Consultative sales professionals are not daring risk-takers. The best ones do take risks, but only after careful thought and calculation. They pay a high level of attention to detail and have an above average level of aggressiveness. The super sellers in this sales environment are able to handle personal rejection and the fear of failure extremely well. They exhibit self-confidence, patience, and the ability to quickly develop interpersonal relationships with all business prospects.

3. Relationship.

Relationship salespeople like independence. They like the freedom of sales, the feeling that they are their own boss. They exercise discipline and take responsibility for their actions. Relationship salespeople become resistant if management tries to control their actions too much, or if management tries to change the rules.

Relationship sales requires great patience over a long period to finally cement a customer. This practically eliminates one’s concern with failure on a day-to-day basis because the sale is heavily dependent on the relationship between the salesperson and customer. A “good” relationship will generate at least some business eventually. Many industrial selling situations and both territory and route sales typify relationship sales. Relationship selling is characterized by the ability of salespeople who move to a competitor to take business with them. Local stock brokers, industrial suppliers, distributors, etc. typify Relationship sellers.

4. Display.

Display sales requires little personal involvement, relatively little risk of personal rejection, and a compensation or reward system that does not depend on actually completing the sale. Display salespeople (retail clerks, for example) get paid even if the customer fails to buy. Many retail salespeople fit this category as do bank tellers and other salespeople who are on total salary and receive little or no commission. Some telemarketing “order takers” (not the boiler room or high-pressure telephone sales) also sell from a “catalog” and fall into the Display sales category.



If you found this blog interesting, contact ELAvate for a no obligation consultation on how attracting, hiring and retaining these four types of sales people may help your organization meet its sales goals and stay ahead of the competition. Alternatively, you can contact me via email.

Have a Great Week Selling!

About Michael Griffin

Michael is the CEO of ELAvate Global and Equipping Leaders for Asia Pte. Ltd. Over 40+ years, his career has revolved around developing leaders, especially sales leaders, in emerging nations. Mr. Griffin has spent the majority of his 40+ year career in Asia. His areas of expertise include Sales Productivity, Senior Executive Development, Cross Cultural Leadership, Strategy Mapping and Balanced Scorecard.

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