Has a member of your sales team ever returned from a customer call frustrated that they didn’t “click?” While you may chalk it up to a difference in personalities, your salesperson isn’t far off the mark. It’s the failure of two brains to “click” that causes the disconnect in communication.
The way we think involves a number of factors, but personal preferences eventually result in specific characteristics becoming dominant. Information processing styles fall within one of four distinct quadrants based on these characteristics. Your salespeople have a natural bias toward their own way of thinking, which prevents them from presenting information in a method that appeals to a customer’s preferred style.
Fortunately, thanks to the wonderful complexity of the brain, the story doesn’t end here. We are all capable of whole brain thinking, which allows us to access all four quadrants in order to understand another person’s style and leverage that knowledge for greater success.
The Four Quadrants of Thinking
* The blue quadrant is analytical, marked by a logical and linear thinking process. Blues love facts and leave emotion out of their evaluations.
* The green quadrant is practical, with a need for order and stability. Greens always have their ducks in a row and they are remarkably consistent and disciplined.
* The red quadrant is relational, valuing communication and relationships. Reds are the type referred to as “people persons” or “team players.”
* The yellow quadrant is experimental, full of creativity and imagination. Yellows are forward thinkers who rely on intuition and are not afraid of risk.
Incorporating Whole Brain Thinking
So what does whole brain thinking mean to your salespeople, and how can they use it to become more successful?
1. Ancient Greek philosophy gave us two simple words that carry great weight: “Know thyself.” Once your salespeople determine which mode of thinking they employ, they will be better equipped to guard against biases and blind spots that interfere with customer communication.
2. Behavior is situational, but thinking is deeply ingrained in the core of our being. Paying careful attention to a customer’s comments and questions provides valuable clues to their preferred thinking style. 3. Have your sales team develop buyer personas centered on the four quadrants and come up with strategies for interacting with each one. They can also provide the basis for role-playing exercises.
4. Encourage your team to think of themselves as consultants and problem-solvers. This will help them develop an empathic mindset that makes it easier to determine the most effective approach.
Modeling whole brain thinking for your team will boost their buy-in of the concept. Use your knowledge of their dominant quadrants to facilitate your interactions and training activities.