Buying Styles: Simple Lessons in Selling the Way Your Customers Buys

Buying Styles: Simple Lessons in Selling the Way Your Customers Buys


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Most sales professionals spend all their time and energy trying to perfect their own style of selling. Yet they fail to recognize that buyers all have their own individual "buying styles"...and when sellers learn how to adapt their own methods to best suit each buying style, they can dramatically increase their success rate. Presented as a "learning adventure," Buying Styles begins with a fictional situation in which a salesperson has just lost a major sale...and decides to find out why. Readers are then brought along on an interactive lesson that shows them how to:

• recognize the four key buying styles
• understand what to do (and not to do) when selling to customers exhibiting each
• quickly spot the tell-tale signs that they are using the wrong approach
• gain the confidence of prospects
• improve their relationships with existing clients
• develop a strategy for approaching new prospects
• increase their chances of closing each and every sale

This quick and easy read, packed with tips, checklists, and on-the-go references, unveils powerful new insights for successfully selling to anyone.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814436523
Publisher: AMACOM
Publication date: 07/08/2009
Pages: 158
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.34(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Michael Wilkinson (Atlanta, GA) is the CEO of Leadership Strategies—The Facilitation Company, a strategic consulting and training firm. He is the author of The Secrets of Facilitation and The Secrets to Masterful Meetings, as well as being a much sought-after speaker, trainer, and facilitator.

Read an Excerpt


What This Book Will Do

for You

“I hate it when salespeople ________”

Fill in the blank. Think about some of your worse experiences with salespeople. Think about the things that salespeople have done that turned you off. How would you fill in the blank? Do you hate it when . . .

• They are pushy?
• They don’t get to the point?
• They don’t know their product?
• They bore you with facts and figures?
• They don’t listen or take the time to understand you and your needs?

Now for the more important question: How would your customers fill in the blank? If your answer is, “It depends on the customer,” then you are ready for this book.

Our purpose with Buying Styles: Simple Lessons for

Selling the Way Your Customer Buys is to provide an entertaining quick read that helps sales professionals learn the primary buying styles of customers, as well as how to identify and adapt to each. Unfortunately, many salespeople know only one way to sell—their way. What they often fail to understand is that they could be so much more successful by selling the way their customer buys.

Do you sell the same way to every customer? Do you know the basic buying styles and the key strategies for adapting to each one? Do you know the warning signs that suggest you are probably selling in the wrong style for your customer?

The message of Buying Styles is simple. As our protagonist says:

“Adapt or continue to be so much less successful than you could be.”

With Buying Styles, we introduce a powerful new book format called the “learning adventure.” Somewhat similar to a parable, this learning adventure tells the story of a fictional character, Dave, who has just lost a major sale and is clueless as to why. At the urging of his CEO, Dave attends a half-day seminar on buying styles.

Unlike in a parable, however, the meat of the book is not buried at the end of the story. In our learning adventure,

90 percent of the story takes place in the classroom.

Therefore, the story is the meat.

This learning adventure provides a powerful vehicle for readers to gain insights in three ways:
• You receive the buying styles concepts directly from the story’s course facilitator as if you were sitting in the classroom along with Dave.

• At the same time, you experience the information through Dave’s eyes. You hear his objections, his concerns a and his fears, and you feel his triumphs as he gains insight as to why he lost this major sale while other sales had been so much easier for him.

• While in the learning adventure, you observe the interactions of the various people in the classroom and are able to recognize the buying style and selling style conflicts as they play out on a personal level.

Since our intended audience is salespeople, we have designed Buying Styles to be a series of short chapters, with each one contributing significantly to the message of the book.

However, for those readers who want to cut to the chase (and you’ll learn in Chapter 3 why you feel this way), we suggest you first read Chapters 3, 5, and 7.

• Chapter 3 provides you with a foundational understanding of the four basic buying styles.

• Chapter 5 presents you with the techniques for identifying the buying style of your customer.

• Chapter 7 offers you a summary for how to sell to each style.

Once you have read these targeted sections, you may want to go back and pick up the information in the other chapters to more fully understand the concept of buying styles.

For all other readers who wish to get the comprehensive message the first time, grab your highlighter and get ready for an adventure in learning to sell the way your customer buys.

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments, vii

Introduction: What This Book Will Do for You, 1

Chapter 1. Looking for Solutions, 5

Chapter 2. Identifying the Behaviors We Hate from Customers, 9

Chapter 3. Recognizing the Four Basic Buying Styles, 15

Chapter 4. Selling to Your Boss, 35

Chapter 5. Identifying the Buying Styles of Others, 61

Chapter 6. Comparing Selling Styles and Buying Styles, 79

Chapter 7. Tailoring Your Sales Approach to

Your Customer’s Buying Style, 93

Chapter 8. Recognizing Style Clashes, 109

Chapter 9. Planning Your Next Steps, 121

Chapter 10. One Year Later, 131

Afterword, 135

Appendix: Style Summary, 137

Bibliography, 147

About the Authors, 149

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