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Millions of salespeople are at work today across industries. Their geographic locations vary, and so do their levels of experience. Yet all fall into one of four overarching categories of “selling types.” Once you figure out which category you fall into, you’ll better understand your strengths and weaknesses. That translates into a dramatically improved sales approach.
The main selling-type categories are based on how you rank according to two basic criteria: how strategic you are and the strength of your aptitude for pioneering. Determining whether you rank high or low in each of these areas will help you discover how you can leverage your skills and crush your sales goals.
Each of the four key types of salespeople has certain talents and limitations. One type, though, regularly outperforms the other three. Do you know which type of salesperson you are?
1. Relationship builder.
Relationship builders have long been idolized in the sales world, and many salespeople fall into this category. Because they’re highly strategic, these salespeople excel at building strong relationships. But relationship builders rank low in pioneering traits. They’re typically weak at identifying new prospects — which leaves them vulnerable unless they can develop strong leads to fill their sales pipelines.
The majority of business owners want to hire as many hunters as possible. Why? Because these salespeople do a lot of prospecting, and they do it well. Their pioneering behavior is off the charts.
Unfortunately, when hunters neglect the importance of strategy, they tend to work hard but not smart. As a result, these salespeople fail to ask for referrals or introductions and frequently miss out on the biggest sales opportunities. It’s highly common for hunters to burn out quickly. This type of salesperson rarely stays in sales for long.
Farmers aren’t strong strategists, and they aren’t strong pioneers. These salespeople stay in their offices, avoid interaction with prospects and aren’t willing to do what it takes to succeed in sales. If this sounds like you, it’s probably in your best interest to pick a new career.
Salespeople who are weak in both pioneering and strategy will go broke if they don’t make significant changes. Most farmers don’t have a clear prospecting plan, and they lack a clear strategy for closing sales.
This is the ideal type of salesperson. High in both pioneering and strategy, these think through selling situations with a long-term mindset. They build strong relationships and then leverage those contacts to get introductions to new prospects — without neglecting the consistent prospecting necessary to meet their sales goals. If you’re a relationship builder or a hunter, you can move up into this category by working on your weakness (strategy or pioneering) until you become a true strategist at work.
Still don’t know which category you fall into? Take this One-Minute Sales Personality Quiz to help you decide. Then, put what you’ve learned into action: What can you do right now to start transforming into a strategist?