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Knowing Your Gems Leads To Masterful Selling By Dawn Lyons and Ivan Misner

What makes a consumer say “yes” to a purchase? Is it the product? The service? Is it you, the salesperson? People buy “stuff” worth tens of thousands of dollars a year. But, why should they buy from you?

To better understand buyers’ motives, let’s start by focusing on people skills. If we understand people better, we can understand why they buy, when they buy, who they buy from, and what they like to buy.

Your approach to prospects is so critical that we recommend you get GEMS training (a personality type model created by internationally-known speaker, sales trainer and self-made millionaire, Dani Johnson):

Here’s a brief peek at each GEM in Johnson’s system:

* Rubies are risk takers, go-getters, and like challenges. They like to win, be right, and are fast paced. They need control, authority, and thrive on commission. Their bottom-line approach helps them make quick buying decisions. Sellers, be prepared!

* Sapphires are stimulating, enthusiastic, and on-the-go people. They like fun, being the center of attention, and receiving tons of recognition. Enjoying people, influencing others’ decisions, and being popular is their style. Skip the details with them, just make the buying process easy, fun, and spontaneous.

* Pearls are patient, relational, and incredibly harmonious. The quality time they spend with others is seen as supportive. Their relationships are longstanding and oriented to helping the team. Don’t push them from their low-key approach, or your sales style will overwhelm and scare them away.

* Emeralds are effective, thorough, and detail-oriented. Their behavior of following rules, collecting data, and completing tasks pushes them toward excellence. These are the detail people who need to carefully conduct their research before making a buying decision.

Know thy Customer … and Adapt Quickly
Masterful sellers learn to quickly asses the type of GEM their prospect is as they walk into their appointment (more often, they have a pretty good idea even before getting to the meeting). Knowing your GEM is critical to the success of each appointment. It definitely helped Glenn Antoine, president of eSystems Design Inc.

The following is his GEMS testimonial:
Two days following our GEMS training, I met with a potential client who was very stressful and in no mood for a sales pitch. It suddenly hit me. I was meeting with a Pearl — a person who prefers harmony, rather than discord.

I dropped my agenda and inquired how I could help. After listening to the many stresses he had had that day and the previous week, I noticed a significant mood change. An hour later he was smiling, more relaxed, and open to my pitch. I gave a very brief description of our vision of the project. Lastly, I explained that I would leave information for his team to review, so they could deal with their more immediate challenges. My friendly follow-up call the next morning resulted in our selling them a new project.

My immediate return on the GEMS training was a $40,000 sale!

Wow, change your game plan mid-stream when it is apparent that your GEM needs different treatment, and see what happens. Glenn completely gave up his agenda to focus on helping his Pearl client. All he really did was back off and listen, leaving his material and follow-up for the next day.

Digging Deeper
To sell like a pro, we must understand why people buy, when they buy, who they buy from, and what they like to buy. Here are some examples of the why, when, who, and what for each GEM.

Why: They buy because they have to have it or just want it.
When: They buy on the spot … typically before you can even finish your presentation.
Who: They buy from great salespeople who give a great first impression.
What: They buy whatever they spontaneously want, or the best, or the most expensive.

Why: They buy because it’s new and cool to have, and they want it.
When: They buy spontaneously, or when it’s easy and they have the money.
Who: They buy from fun salespeople who aren’t negative or rude.
What: They buy new, exciting stuff; they are shopaholics and will always find the sales.

Why: They buy because it is a necessity or it offers functionality.
When: They buy after a lot of thinking and ensuring it is right for them.
Who: They buy from people they trust, people who do not push or rush them.
What: They buy things for other people, or necessities for themselves … nothing overboard; it must be within reason dollarwise.

Why: They buy because it is the right choice; it is a correct and practical selection.
When: They buy after researching all the alternatives so they know it’s the proper selection.
Who: They buy from people with integrity who do what they say and follow up.
What: They buy practical, above-average quality items that are efficient and long lasting … things that make sense by adding value to their lives.

Every sales appointment is like going into a jewelry store. There are lots of GEMS around, and you just have to identify what type he or she is and polish them just the right way … the way that brings forth the most luster.
By Dawn Lyons, Executive Director of BNI San Francisco, and Ivan Misner, Founder & Chairman of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization, both co-authors of Masters of Sales: Secrets From Top Sales Professionals That Will Transform You Into A World Class Salesman (Entrepreneur Press, September 2007). Visit www.MastersBooks.com.

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