My Chinese partner, Michael Chen, CEO of Zest Learning in China, has asked to write a series of blogs on what is the key hot button for each of the seven components and what are the likely objections such individuals are likely to provide during a sales call. We have so far dealt with the Politician (P), Normal (N), Hustler (H), and Doublechecker (D) components so now let’s consider another component commonly found in administration decision makers: the Artist or A component.
Artists are driven by the desire to create. They are visionaries in both the literal and metaphorical meaning of the term. They, like Doublecheckers, will ask a series of What If questions but this time the questions will be about product modifications. They see strategic opportunities but often chase endlessly evolving dreams. They will force you through repeated iterations of the product, silently and stubbornly resisting any partial solutions.
Consequently the first objection of an Artist is I will not make a decision now. They will stubbornly keep suggesting modifications. Often their imagination leads to unrealistic applications and keeping them on a practical, cost effective path can prove difficult. The Artist will want to reflect on the decision for a few days. Instead of being insensitive, suggest that you meet again to give the Artist time to think about it. Suggest that the agenda for the next meeting will be a further discussion which may lead to a decision. In the intervening period you should send the Artist a letter documenting all the agreed benefits, using visual words.
No matter how hard you try you can still get rejected as Artists often have a second objection Loyalty to an existing supplier. Artists avoid conflict and tend to be oversensitive to the complaints that may come from current suppliers if they learn the Artists is considering an alternative. The secret is to ask them whether their own organisation is a joint supplier with a competitor to any of its clients. Then you should ask the Artist to imagine the difference in service and price that the customer with one supplier obtains, compared with the client who has two competing suppliers. Moreover, you should ask the Artist to imagine how keen your company and the existing supplier would be about providing service if they were joint suppliers. If the joint supplier proposal is impossible then you will have to establish a relationship gradually over a number of short meetings. As Artists can prove to be stubbornly loyal, it may be a more profitable use of your own time to move on to another prospect.
The final objection raised by Artists is I do not like you. This is rarely voiced but Artists do not like people who have high Mover (too noisy and extrovert), Hustler (too pushy and only interest in commission) or Politician components (too aggressive and opinionated). Unfortunately these are the three most common components in salespeople. With an Artist, the secret is avoid eye contact, speak quietly, and use visual words. Appeal to the Artist’s desire to be different and also appeal to the imagination.
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