Your Primary Sales Style is Relational Innovator
RELATIONAL INNOVATOR (RI)
Goals: The opportunity to make a difference.
Wants: Novelty, excitement, variety and challenges.
Likes: Fluid, fast moving situations needing creative solutions.
Driver: Discovery. Recognition of the value of ideas contributed.
PREFERRED SALES ENVIRONMENT
• Situations that do not have standard solutions.
• Association with people who value new approaches.
• Minimal rules and the resources to explore unusual options.
ATTITUDE: Tends to be naturally expressive and interested. Is likely
to be seen as open and nonthreatening.
PRODUCT Gains product knowledge over time. Will quickly focus
KNOWLEDGE: on improvements, modifications or other changes. May
not quickly display a command of product detail.
PROSPECTING: Is likely to be erratic in acquiring new prospects. Periods
of intensity may be followed by relative neglect.
PRESENTATION: Is likely to be engaging and expressive. May take detours
from the planned presentation as a result of questions,
comments or local circumstances.
BUYER CONCERNS: Will probably answer buyer objections with creative
resolution methods. Will tend to deviate from standard
practices of answering buyer concerns.
CLOSING: This can be an issue. Continually seeing possibilities may
keep the RI talking when they could close the sale.
REFERRALS: Is likely to be less than diligent in collecting referral
opportunities. This will likely be seen as a routine matter
and be lost as the RI pursues more interesting thoughts.
TELEMARKETING: The RI is unlikely to follow prepared scripts with any
rigor. They are easily diverted in conversation and may
tend to wander a bit during a call. The routine nature of
telemarketing will probably cause a degree of
Your Secondary Sales Style is Reactive Stimulator
REACTIVE STIMULATOR (RS)
Goals: To fully meet the goals that have been accepted.
Wants: To quickly see results.
Likes: Shortcuts, practical approaches and expedient solutions.
Driver: A direct relation of performance to compensation.
PREFERRED SALES ENVIRONMENT
• Fast paced, to the point with support for routine duties.
• Short, intense interactions.
• A level of personal control (minimal rules).
ATTITUDE: Tends to be naturally expressive, energetic and focused
on satisfying the client’s needs. Can be subject to attitude
“ups and downs.”
PRODUCT May tend to act before they are in full command of
KNOWLEDGE: product characteristics. This can apply to revisions as
well as new product additions.
PROSPECTING: Intense activity is likely. However, may tend to use an
opportunistic rather than systematic approach.
PRESENTATION: Is likely to deviate from prepared scripts. May tend to
shortcut preparation and “wing it” in actual practice.
Presentations are likely to be energetic, sincere and carry
a note of urgency.
BUYER CONCERNS: Will tend to quickly address buyers concerns but will
most likely talk more than listen. May have a tendency to
overcommit to special accommodations.
CLOSING: Can be expected to move quickly toward a commitment.
May tend to abandon client prospects that are not
REFERRALS: Obtaining referrals from client is likely to be uneven.
Forgetting to ask may be a common occurrence.
TELEMARKETING: The RS attitude can be very effective. But, the ability to
keep to scripts may be an issue. Also, a tendency to have
attitude “ups and downs” may cause uneven performance.
What Did the Survey Measure?
The survey you took measures how you process information. There are
different ways of doing this. Some ways stress planning. Others focus on action.
Some will value stability. Others see change as desirable. There is no “right” or
“wrong” way. All of these qualities are needed in the conduct of life.
All styles are valuable but may differ in their effectiveness in particular
situations. Sales can involve very different products or services. Some are
complex and must be explained. Others are simple. Some are expensive while
others are impulse items. Different product and customer characteristics will tend
to favor different combinations of sales styles (primary and secondary).
Your Sales Style
Any type of sales involves information exchange. The ease with which you
can sell will be affected by your way of processing information. The emphasis you
give to each of the four basic processing strategies is shown in the chart below.
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
YOUR SALES STYLE PREFERENCE STRENGTHS
Each combination of sales styles produces unique traits and behaviors. The
higher your score in a category, the more likely you are to display characteristics
typical of that strategy. If two or more of your highest scores are close to each
other, you are likely to find yourself displaying the qualities of each of the styles
about equally. Your unique mix of strategies creates your sales style.
Sales and the Relational Innovator (RI)
You favor the RI strategy as a way of navigating life. The pure RI is
focused on new ideas and novel solutions. When this strategy is applied to sales,
the RI will naturally focus on nonstandard situations that offer an opportunity to
use their ability to generate ideas. This can be a valuable strategy IF the ideas are
applied in a way that generates interest and client commitment.
The RI typically can build client interest with the quality and volume of
their ideas. They enjoy the give and take of discussion and this can earn client
respect. The challenge for the RI is typically found in closing a client. The RI’s
focus on ideas can cause them miss buy signals. Further, closing typically stops the
enjoyable “give and take” and this can cause the RI to delay in closing. Even after
a close the RI may tend to continue to talk, possibly undoing a successful close.
The RI can be ideal for situations involving customized or built-to-order
products. When working in more standardized areas of sales the RI can benefit
from aids and support staffs that help them keep focused on the final goal—sales.
Goals and the Relational Innovator (RI)
Sales positions often have goals (i.e., quotas) to guide action and expectations.
The RI recognizes goals but is typically not driven by them. Rather, goals are often
viewed as a context that set the level of creativity that might be needed.
When facing goals that exceed their capacity, the RI is not likely to feel
high frustration. The RI typically does not invest emotional commitment into their
achievement. In fact, goals can themselves become a subject of innovation—ideas
on both ways to achieve or circumvent them.
While goals are seldom a basis for frustration, the conditions under which
they are pursued can be a source of irritation. The RI strategy requires flexibility.
Things that confine the RI to predetermined behaviors are likely to cause the RI
serious discomfort. If facing this situation, the RI may want to focus on expressing
creativity by using efficiency innovations that stay within the predetermined area.
Best Relational Innovator (RI) Sales Environment
The RI’s natural inclination is to devise new approaches to sales situations.
Creating new approaches is a source of personal satisfaction. This makes the RI
valuable in sales situations where existing methods are not working well. Locating
RI’s in these areas benefits both the RI and the sales organization itself.
The RI strategy requires “room” to work effectively. Rules, regulations and
close supervision are likely to be resisted. Imposing restrictions on the RI is likely to
result in frustration and probably substandard performance. The ideal situation for
the RI is to be given an overall problem and then left to pursue its solution.
The RI is typically forthcoming and will readily share ideas. They usually
accept and build on the ideas of others. Environments that encourage free idea
exchange are usually ideal. Also, the RI tends to benefit from support of people
inclined to “do” things. The RI tends to invent rather than implement. Sales units
that provide support in moving ideas to the market will be well received by the RI.
Working with People Using Other Sales Styles
Sales professionals must work with others inside a firm. The RI can find this
easy or hard, attractive or unpleasant depending on the style of the other person.
Working with the Reactive Stimulator (RS): The RI produces a stream of ideas and
the RS figures ways to move them quickly to implementation. Both
parties will tend to respect the other’s ability and work well together.
Working with the Logical Processor (LP): This is a difficult relation. The LP’s
focus on proven methods and skepticism is likely to frustrate the RI.
Also, the LP’s detail orientation will seem overdone and
Working with the Hypothetical Analyzer (HA): This is likely to be stimulating.
The RI brings new ideas and the HA brings the ability to analyze their
implications. Both people are likely to see value in the relationship.
Working with Other Relational Innovators (RI): This is likely to be enjoyable.
However, there is a high risk that the ideas exchanged will be lost before
they can be implemented. A rapid pace, weak action focus, and a
tendency to be diverted easily makes focused action an improbable
Selling and the RI Style
Your sales style is a reflection of the way you choose to navigate life. Like
everyone, you have capacities in all four basic styles. This means that, to some
degree, you are able to sell to most people who you meet. However, to do this
effectively you will have to bend your RI style to better match your client’s style.
Selling to RS’
You can recognize the RS by their direct, positive and straightforward approach
with a focus on “doing” something. You are likely to find the RS to be an
interesting and stimulating client. They will quickly move on your ideas—
perhaps before you are ready to have them moved on. Your major challenge in
this relationship is knowing when to stop talking. The RS is action-oriented
and needs a tangible outcome. Your ability to generate new options may
prevent them from realizing this goal. If this happens, the sale is in jeopardy.
Selling to LP’s
You can recognize the LP by their formal, guarded and distant approach. The
LP is focused on on getting the basic facts. This is likely to be the most
difficult client for you to sell. You will have to suppress your tendency to
offer ideas. The LP wants sure things. Do not use analogies. Stick to hard
data. Tighten the organization of your thoughts. The LP values order and
discipline. Disciplining yourself to think in a linear, step-by-step way will
help put you into the world of your client.
Selling to HA’s
You can recognize the HA by their patient, unhurried and relaxed approach.
The HA will be interested, ask many questions and will appear warm and
supportive. The HA is likely to encourage your ideas. The more you give
them, the more the HA has to think about and the longer it will take you to
close the sale. Your best strategy may be to work on building rapport on a
personal basis. You will be creating personal obligations in this process. HA’s
are usually honorable people who will ultimately honor their obligations.
Selling to Other RI’s
You can recognize the RI by their frequent use of analogies, a dislike of detail,
obvious enthusiasm and a steady flow of new ideas. Conversations are likely
to be exciting, fast paced and enjoyable. Your vulnerability is never reaching a
close. The idea stream is endless. Your may want to discipline yourself to use
frequent trial closes and act on the first one that seems to take. This will keep
you from putting too much on the table and talking yourself out of a sale
Keep in mind that your prospect also has access to multiple styles. You are likely
to see combinations of the behaviors described above. However, you will get a
sales advantage even if you only focus on their dominant style.
Your Sales Profile
This report is focused on your primary sales style. However, most people
have some ability in each of the four basic directions. The graphic below gives you
a picture of your total sales profile in all of its directions.
YOUR SALES PROFILE
You can use the above graphic to get an idea of your capacity along each
dimension. Generally, the higher you scored on a style, the easier it will be to use
that style in your sales approach. The strength also indicates how long you will be
able to stay within that style. For example, if you scored low in a given dimension it
is likely that you will only be able to effectively use it for a short time. You can use
this knowledge in planning your sales forays that use your peripheral powers.
Your profile describes the way you navigate life, as well as the way that you
prefer to sell. Other people live in different situations and have developed different
strategies. No one is right or wrong. They are just different.