Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sell the way they buy - part two: AMBER

Introduction: In the 1970’s I met two people who had a profound impact on me - John G. Geier, Ph.D. and Dorothy E. Downey, M.S. Their Personal Profile System is accurate, inexpensive, self-scoring and fun. Their four categories of behavior – D, I, S, and C are often referred to as DISC (pronounced like a computer "DISK")

In a follow-up study, Geier surveyed 100 males and 102 females ranging in age from 22-60 years with a mean age of 32.4. They fell into these categories of behavior.

High I behavior (I call this behavior grouping AMBER – (At first, we called them YELLOW, but they didn’t like it.) – They are represented by those scoring at the top end of the I scale:

This behavior is described as:

Male: enthusiastic, resourceful, expansive, alert, appreciative, vigorous, optimistic, adaptable.

Female: persistent, discontent, vigorous, resourceful, expansive, adventurous, sharp-witted, informal.

Low I behavior (Low AMBER) - represented by those scoring at the bottom end of the I scale:Male: apathetic, satisfied, watchful, patient, worrying, withdrawn, hopeful.

Female: uncertain, wishful, modest, complaining, realistic, protective, watchful, quiet, reserved, defensive.

Very few people separate male from female in these studies, which is a mistake.

According to Dale Carnegie, it is important to “talk in term of the other person’s interest.” It's important that we as salespeople sell the way others prefer to buy. Unfortunately, most salespeople sell as if they are selling to a mirror image of themselves. They aren't. By doing so, they are mismatched with their buyers almost 75% of the time.

Geier and Downey suggest a negative trigger for the AMBER buyer is attempting to provide a systematic structure. If we say, “This is the logical choice or, we have a proven system. . .” this is a turn-off to them. They value opinions and want interaction with others. They relish the relationship and social aspects of purchasing.

These social tendencies are quite easy to identify. We’ll look at nuances in subsequent blogs. For now, let's just say these types of buyers like social chit-chat, often like brainstorming ideas, skim rather than read detailed reports, and prefer unique, colorful and stylish items. They are willing to take time for conversation but can be delayed in buying while they seek out other’s opinions. It’s best to bring opinions with you in the form of testimonials where clients talk about their relationship with you and your team or clients. They welcome alternatives and enjoy “playful” exchanges.

To decrease their fear, develop ways for them to show-off their choices. Back up their imaginative ideas with practical implementation in which you do the detailed work.

They show readiness to help others with a problem and expect the same from us. Gravitate to social solutions and face-to-face meetings – often over a meal. They hate to eat alone.

Granted, this is high-level material not suited to everyone with these behavioral tendencies. However, it's a start, and opens our eyes to seeing the world as others see it.

We’ll continue with the other three categories in subsequent blogs.

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