Put People at Ease and You’ll Get More of What You Want

To make interactions click immediately you’ll have to make CEO’s, C-level executives and people in general feel comfortable. If they’re comfortable, they will talk openly with you and give all you’ll need to succeed with them. The fastest and easiest way to do this is to match your style to theirs. All people feel most comfortable when your style is similar to theirs.

The operative word here is you. You will have to do the matching by adjusting your style to his or hers. It doesn’t matter what your real style is. All that matters is the style you exhibit with this individual.

Though years of expert observations and testing, I have reduced style down to four easily usable characteristics – pace, risk, results, and social. There are many programs and books about behavioral styles, people types, sub types, etc. However, you’d have to be a genius or computer to remember all the relevant signs and how to act for each. My system is simple. There are only 4 traits. All you’re going to do is gauge how much of each the person opposite you has and speed-up or slow-down yours to match.

Now here’s what I’ve observed through my years of experience using this. If you conflict with one of these four characteristic, you’ll get by, but with difficulty. If you conflict with two or more, there will be friction and you’ll not advance your relationship. For example, suppose your pace is fast and his is slow. This will cause some uneasiness. But if your results, risk and social all match or are close, it will probably go OK. However, if your pace is fast and his slow, and your results are general and he likes details, you’re going to have a lot of trouble.

Again the key is you. You’ll have to modify your speaking pattern and approach. In the example above, you’ll have to slow-down your speech pattern and provide a detailed description. The other person will not change to your style, unless he wants to make you feel comfortable. But hey, it’s not like changing religion. It’s adapting to the individual. Now, if you’re thinking of using these characteristics to judge a potential, long term personal relationship, make sure your characteristics match naturally with the other person’s and you’re not adjusting.

Pace – Slow to Fast

How fast one speaks and wants information. There is nothing worse than a slow speaking individual talking to someone that likes to hear it fast and to the point. Vice versa, there's nothing more irritating to someone who likes to hear it slow and deliberate from someone speaking very quickly. I know I speak quickly. Therefore, when someone starts to speak, I will gauge his or her pace and adjust my pace to match.

Results – General to Detailed

This is the level of detail one gets into when talking with you? She will expect you to deliver your answers or presentation or examples in this same level of detail. If the person answering your questions takes a lot of time to explain in detail what she's looking for, she's going to want you to explain how you'll address it in detail also. Conversely, if the person is very general then that's basically how you’ll want to answer questions and present. However, you have to be careful not to assume that everything is to be answered in general or detail. It will depend on each topic. Some people want more on a topic that's very important to them and want to make sure another is just acknowledged. Yet other people want only the high points on everything.

My tendency is to get into detail on many things, so I have to be careful not to bore someone. Therefore, I have to judge from how a person asks or talks to me, how much detail, I’ll go into.

Risk –Risk Avoider to Risk Taker

The risk tolerance is all about how s/he feels the outcome will impact her or his career. Everyone wants a positive outcome, but a risk-taker wants winnings, more of everything, major break-throughs, etc. Whereas a risk avoider, wants assurances the outcome cannot fail, keeps the status quo, is on time, within budget, no backlashes, etc.

Some people are risk takers, but most (almost 80%) are risk avoiders. For risk takers your presentation will have to show how they will win, or advance, or hit the mother lode with your solution. For risk avoiders you'll have to show with examples, references, etc. how your solution has accomplished the task and has no chance of failure.

I am more of a risk-taker, so I have to be patient and understanding with risk avoiders. With risk takers, I just keep pouring on how good this is going to be for them.

Social – Loner to Social Butterfly

Does she like doing things on her own or does she like lots of inputs and people involved. Some people like to take all the information and keep it close to their vest. They then make their decision and download it to all the others involved. On the other hand, some people like to get many views and inputs, and then decide. It's easy to tell, which is which by the number of people that show up at the meeting. If there's only one person, this is a keep-it-to-herself type person. If the whole team shows up, or she calls others to come in, then this is a very socially active individual.

I’m a loner and want the leader to make the decision and be done with it. But it doesn’t always work that way. So when they show up with a team, I get them all to talk so that I can gauge each one. When I present, I look at each and adjust my style for the person my description impacts most. Most of the time or when in doubt, I stick to the leader’s style.

How It Works

First, know your style -- Pace – slow to fast; Results - general to detailed; Risk – risk avoider to risk taker; Social – loner to party person. Use a number scale, i.e. 1- 10. Then use the same process when observing the person you’re with. Notice how close or how big is the gap between your style and theirs.

These characteristics range from one extreme to the other. For example, someone may explain their desire to you in some detail (results 7), and may only bring one other person to the meeting (social 4), and may be a little nervous about risk (risk 3), and speak at a moderate pace (pace 5). You know where your needles point, so now you consciously adjust your approach. In my case there are big gaps on risk and pace.

It’s good to do this as soon as possible, because you want the person comfortable immediately. That’s why you need some good opening questions. See my articles on interviewing. It’s great if you can gauge before the meeting. If you’ve never met get the info from those who know your intended target.

When you go into a meeting, I suggest you have the four characteristics at the top of your notepad with your gauge number and a blank for the gauge number of the other person. While the executive is speaking, gauge him. Enter your readings and note how it compares to yours. This will show you how you’ll have to adjust. The more you get the individual talking, the more accurately you'll be able to gauge his characteristics.

Match your chemistry to his and you’ll gain his acceptance. Otherwise you’ll have a reaction that doesn’t work for either of you.

Common Situation

Being You

Most people do not consciously adjust their approach to the other person’s style. They just charge ahead being who they are and expect people to like them. The executive feels comfortable, or not and then unconsciously decides if he’ll pay attention or take this person seriously.

Resulting Problem

Sometimes You Click. Sometimes You Don’t

You can sell a lot more if you’re accepted by all your contacts and prospects.

If your chemistry doesn’t match, the executive feels you are different and becomes uneasy. This instantly causes him to becomes defensive and on guard. He may even be irritated. You will now have a difficult time getting him to listen to you, believe you and respect you.

If you don’t adjust you mannerisms to each individual, you will get along with only those like you and this will limit your success tremendously. If your chemistry’s match, you’ll go farther, faster and easier.

Check Yourself

Score: 4=Always; 3=Most Times; 2=Usually; 1=Sometimes; 0=Never.

1. Do you approach everyone in the same way? ____

2. Do you consciously try to pick up on the other’s style? _____

3. Do you feel you get along with others? ____

4. When you don’t click, do you think the person is weird or something worse? ____

Scoring: 2 + 3 – 1 – 4 =??

3 is good; Less than 3 means it would help you to consider your approach

And now invite you to learn more.

Match Chemistry’s, - what to do, - how to do it, and - how to feel comfortable doing it.

7 pages of descriptions tactics and techniques to help you understand the different styles and characteristics that matter for your interactions; Plus 7 complete strategies and tactics to use while interviewing; Plus a full “Tak’n It to the Streets” Worksheet to prepare you for executive conversations; It’s all in this Problem Solving E-Book: C-Level Selling Tip 20 – Relate Immediately with People by Matching Your Chemistry

Author's Bio: 

Sam has put together his unique “Take’n It to the Streets” actions for you to feel you belong with any level or executive. Just click this link Elevate Yourself to the C-Level NOW 10 Strategies, Tactics and Techniques plus narratives and an example to show you how.

Additional Resources on Sales Management Training can be found at:

Website Directory for Sales Management Training
Articles on Sales Management Training
Products for Sales Management Training
Discussion Board
Sam Manfer, The Official Guide to Sales Management Training