Versatile Selling: Working with Amiables
This is the third post in our series on working with specific “social styles.” In our first two posts, we covered working with Analytical and Driver social styles.
Today, we focus on Amiables.
THE AMIABLE PERSONALITY
After the unique challenges of selling to drivers or analyticals, working with those who have an amiable social style might seem like a breeze. After all, they’re quiet, unassuming, supporting and warm. Amiables are generally easy to get along with and enjoy personal contact. They are consensus seekers, requiring a lot of data in their decision-making process. But overall, amiable types are more focused on making personal ties and achieving specific goals.
Let’s look at some of the key characteristics of those defined as amiable:
- Verbal and non-verbal cues: They are friendly and open, often taking a relaxed posture. They tend to exhibit slower speech, using a softer, more pleasant tone of voice. Their facial expressions tend to be open and eager.
- Work style: Unlike the independence of drivers, amiables prefer to collaborate with others.
- Attitude about time: The amiable social type is all about building relationships over time. Like the tortoise, they like to make steady progress, maintaining a slow, comfortable pace.
- Accomplishment: This group likes to achieve through collaboration and partnership.
- Relationships: The amiable believes that people are the most important asset in getting results.
- Work strengths: The amiable gets tremendous value out of coaching and counseling others.
- Motivator: When working with amiables, understand that they seek approval through the collaborative process. The team approach matters.
- Misconceptions: People often believe that the amiable type moves to slow and doesn’t get results.
WHAT AN AMIABLE EXPECTS
Salespeople enjoy working with amiables, primarily because they are willing to take the time to listen to what the salesperson has to say. They are often open to the “pitch.” But therein lies the potential trap. Amiables will want to get to know you before moving onto business. So, just because an amiable is open to hearing your story, you have to be careful not to cut to the chase before some level of report is achieved.
To that end, let’s take a look at what Amiables expect in their interactions with salespeople:
- They look for openness and honesty, with no hidden agendas. You’ll lose their trust if you move too quickly into a cold, impersonal sales pitch.
- You need to take the time to build a relationship. Amiables function best when there is limited relationships tension. They like progress and are fine with moving along at a steady pace.
- Amiables want to work with someone who they feel is trustworthy. Which means you need to be congenial, and deliberate in building the relationship.
- Do your best to continuously reassure your amiable prospect. They are interested in working with someone who shares their interests and appreciates their challenges.
- Provide personal support and assurances. In other words, your “word” is as important to an amiable as a contract is to an analytical. They aren’t just buying real estate, they’re building a relationship.
- Minimize their risk. Eliminate your amiable prospect’s worries by reinforcing the appropriateness of their decision.
ADAPTING TO THE AMIABLE STYLE
Now, let’s take a look at how to adapt your sales approach once you’ve identified your prospect as someone with an amiable social style:
- Seek opinions by asking the right questions. In other words, ask questions that will guide you to understand their needs, and also provide a pathway to sharing a variety of appropriate solutions.
- Collaborate when making decisions. When amiables raise an objection, they are, in effect, just looking for a chance to discussion a problem or situation from another person’s perspective. You need to listen and respond to their feelings, as much as the facts they may share.
- Be patient. As we said above, amiables can be slow and deliberate. Listen carefully and thoughtfully, and don’t interrupt, otherwise they might take your interruption personally. And above all, don’t dismiss any points that they make, even if you disagree. Let the process play itself out.
- Be time sensitive. An amiable type is not likely to be working on your schedule. You need to give them the time and space to consider their options before making a decision.
- While a salesperson naturally wants to be “in charge” of the process, it’s important to provide sufficient opportunities for the amiable type to plan the agenda so that they feel as if they collaborating with you.
Indeed, it’s nice to work with an amiable, especially if you’ve just come out of a meeting with a driver or analytical. But just because they’re nicer to work with doesn’t mean you’ll have an easier time in closing a deal. Move at their pace and accept the fact that they want to feel as if they trust you. Or, in other words, put the relationship before the deal if you want to have success with an amiable.