Mike Lewis is a certified mentor and the Chapter Chair of Pasco-Hernando SCORE in Pasco County, Florida. An expert in selling techniques and sales communication skills, Mike presents seminars on topic such as how to start a business and personality selling. His published book, The Sales Bridge, The Art of Sales Communication, focuses on why personality selling, is an ideal way to interact, communicate, and sell more products and services.

In this episode, SCORE mentors Dennis Zink and Mike Lewis discuss sales strategies for small business owners. You'll learn how to better understand your customers and how to connect with them to increase your bottom line.

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Mike has been a small business owner and has trained hundreds of sales representatives and managers. Mike, what do you mean by personality selling and why would that be either important or a good technique to have?

Dennis, it is critical to understand your customer and who you're selling to. All too often, a salesman just goes in to the office and starts to talk, talk, talk, talk, but doesn't really analyze their own personality, they don't analyze the customer’s personality.

What I mean by personality is we all look at things different, we all behave differently. Some of us are very aggressive which I would call a D type personality. They're very direct, they want facts quickly. Some of us are interactive, they just talk a lot. Salesman running, all they do is talk, talk, talk, talk.

There is certain other people who don't like change, I would call that the S personality, they're traditional. They don't want to move too quick, they don't understand how to move too quick. Then there are others within the selling realm that are analytical, they just need data, data, data.

If a salesman doesn't understand the customers personality, they don't even get to first base, so it's critical that they understand who they are and who the customer is.

Mike, why is learning selling skills and personality selling a different thing?

I'm glad you asked that question because a lot of sales representatives just do not understand the differences. Let me explain. Selling skills are techniques you use such as asking questions, gaining information from the customer, how to handle objections, how to close, that's been the traditional way of selling, but you have to get to that point.

The problem with sales representative is they go in to a customer, they don't understand their own personality to begin with, they don't analyze the customer's personality and they never get to selling skills. You have to build rapport. There's an old adage, people buy from people they like, and people buy from people they trust.

You have to build that personal rapport. The way to build that personal rapport is to understand your customer, what turns them on, what gives them a reason to buy from you. Did they need a lot of data? If you don't give them the data, they won't buy from you, they don't think you're on top of your game. So there's quite a bit of difference between selling skills and personality selling.

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