Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
|From The MRA Newsletter|
|Do Unto Others
By John Loven, MRA
|Use your knowledge of the four MRA Profile Groups to sell to others the way they want to be sold to.
Consider the sales proposal that contains way too much - or way too little - detail for the prospective
customer. You presumably included just the right amount of detail for you. What to do?
It's the Golden Rule; it's the heart of the best
business ethics; it's timeless. And, followed unthinkingly, it can cause no end of problems when you
attempt to sell things, including your own business.
You want to offer a good product at a good price, because you'd want the same thing yourself. But
if you present the sales proposition the way you'd want it presented, you can put off a buyer. A
classic example is the sales proposal that contains way too much - or way too little - detail for
the prospective customer. You presumably put in just the right amount of detail for you
. What to do?
Start by recognizing four broad-brush descriptions of behavior that characterize most people in their
business life. In MRA we call them Profile Groups I, II, III and IV. When I'm teaching people who
are not MRA-Trained to use Profile Groups in the sales process, I give the groups nicknames. These
nicknames capture what might be the focal issue in selling to them using Profile Groups for leverage:
MRA Group I & V - The Head Coaches:
These individuals are aggressive, dominant and enjoy being in
charge. They are goal driven, like to lead and manage others. They work in broad strokes and are decisive,
usually trusting their own judgment. These folks are often managers or business owners. As sales people,
this group generally succeeds at hard-selling and fast-closing sales.
MRA Group II - The Greeters:
Greeters are very friendly, enthusiastic and outgoing. They like
to interact with others and often focus on meeting the needs of others. Even when inwardly worried,
they will usually maintain a cheerful and sociable demeanor. The approval of others is a strong
motivator. Here's where the champions of consultative sales often live.
MRA Group III - The Engineers:
Reflective and logical, these individuals are also aggressive
and assertive. This is the realm of the computer scientist, engineer, surgeon, or professor.
When they succeed in a job with "sales" in the job description, it is usually info-selling: making a
deliberate case based on strong reasoning, data and analysis.
MRA Group IV - The Guardians:
This group is at their best in highly organized situations that
require an accurate, methodical and consistent approach. Conservative and
disciplined, they calculate their risks and work toward objectives in a consistent, sociable
and undemonstrative manner. Nurses, financial planners, corporate lawyers, and professional counselors
are Guardians. They rarely choose jobs with a sales component, since sales implies competition
and overcoming the buyer's objections. That generally lies outside the Guardian's comfort zone.
If you can place a sales prospect clearly into one of these groups, you can make some valuable
decisions about constructing and delivering a sales pitch. You can often identify the correct
behavioral group by meeting the prospect, talking to the prospect's colleagues or just observing
their business activity. At MRA, we call it "snapshotting." Sales forces in major corporations, including
pharmaceuticals and retirement communities, use this method. Perhaps you should consider making
snap-shotting a formal part of your sales process.
Here are some of the basic considerations for
using profile groups to pitch prospects most effectively:
The Head Coaches
want a broad-strokes proposal and will be inclined to make a quick decision.
They need to see, clearly and quickly, that accepting your proposal will make them a winner. If
it's a highly complicated sale that requires detailed financial or technical information,
they will generally refer that information to others for review. They will only rarely check on
references. They like social interaction, but will limit the time available for schmoozing.
consider social interaction very important. Face-time sells. Consultative
selling, with time spent talking about people issues is key. They want appropriate detail
in modest quantities, but a positive personal relationship with the seller and a sense that
buying will serve their group will carry the day. They may check references, but a sense of
trust, affiliation or "membership" with the vendor will be most important.
will want detailed information in quantity. They will be impressed by how
well thought-out, how rational, the proposal is, and they will want time to mull over the proposal.
Face-time with the seller is not a major need, but any sense that they are being rushed, or that
generalities are obscuring important facts will be a deal-breaker. They will want to buy if shown
that buying will underscore their individual skill and importance because it's a superior deal.
They may well check every reference.
, like the Engineers, will want detailed information and lots of time to decide.
They will, however, be more interested in a consultative relationship and will buy when they feel that
they are doing the best - most prudent - thing for their team or the company. Like Engineers, they
will probably delve deeply into any references you provide.
And what about you?
Do you fall into one of the four groups? If so, you know something about
your natural tendencies. If you are selling to someone much like yourself, you can proceed intuitively.
That's why, for example, engineers in highly technical fields are recruited to sell to other engineers.
But if you are selling to someone quite different, you'll know what kind of adjustments and accommodations
to make in your presentation.
How can you hone the skills needed to quickly recognize which group a new acquaintance may
be part of? Getting profiled yourself and taking some training in the method will quickly
sharpen your eye for the behavioral cues that provide a guide to the sales person. You can join
the many sales organizations make profile groups an integral part of their sales training.
The bottom line: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, but sell to
others as they want to be sold to.
Questions or Comments? Send us an email.