6 Selling Styles Uncovered: Which Kind Of Salesperson Are you?

Simply stated we can say that sales people have evolved from product-oriented to service-oriented, then advice-oriented and eventually relationship-oriented. George Dudley and Shannon Goodson have developed a six-factor model that represents the different selling styles that we can find today in more detail.

Competition-oriented selling

The competition-oriented salesperson is persistent and tries to persuade the potential customer. He or she overcomes objections and doesn’t take no for an answer. He will do everything to close the deal. This selling style is about persuasion and direct, interpersonal influencing.

Image-oriented selling

The salesperson is a professional and has a businesslike attitude. They command everyone’s respect, ooze credibility and stand out from other ‘regular’ sales people. This selling style is about selling a professional self-image first.

Need-oriented selling

The salesperson is tactful and asks relevant questions to discover and understand the potential customer’s needs. They are true problem solvers and manage to reduce sales resistance. This selling style is all about discovering the customer’s existing needs instead of creating new ones. The salesperson provides the solution to the client’s problem.

Product-oriented selling

The salesperson has great product knowledge. He knows all details, features and benefits about the product or service and is happy to share these with the customer. This selling style is all about describing, explaining and specifying product features and benefits.

Rapport-oriented selling

The salesperson is relationship-oriented and builds and develops long-term relationships. He or she is more of an advisor or consultant than a true personal seller. Rapport-oriented sales people gain trust, work at customer relations and function as true business partners for their clients. This selling style is all about interpersonal communication, mutual trust, care and understanding.

Service-oriented selling

The sales person explains the terms of service, provides outstanding after sales support and always tries to exceed customer expectations.

Your turn now

Which style of salesperson are you?
Are you happy with this or would you like to evolve towards another style?
How do you respond to other styles as a customer?


Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Print

Related posts:

  1. The Ten Commandments Of The Ethical Salesperson
  2. The 7 Definitions Of Selling
  3. The Journalist Or Finisher, Which Type Of Salesperson Are You?

6 Responses to “6 Selling Styles Uncovered: Which Kind Of Salesperson Are you?”

  • Tom on August 11, 2011

    Hi Wim,

    Great post – I reckognise all the styles you describe.

    I think true sales people should be able to master them all.

    Which style you should use depends on a combination of your own skill set, your product or service, your client and your company values, in my opinion.

    Hope that adds!



    • Wim on August 15, 2011

      Indeed Tom, to become an allround salesperson we need to master different styles and look for the right combination for the specific situation and customer.

      New blog layout looks awesome btw, congrats!


  • Justin Awtry on August 11, 2011

    Great post! Currently I think I am more of a Need-oriented seller. I am working on moving more towards a Rapport-oriented seller. Taking the time to analyze yourself and realize where you are is the first step to improving. Never stop learning and your sales will continue to improve.

    • Wim on August 15, 2011

      You’re right Justin, know yourself (strengths and weaknesses) and use this knowledge to become the best you you can possibly be!


  • Tonia on August 12, 2011

    I think I used to be a competition-oriented sales person (as I was in a very competitive industry) but as I’ve switched jobs now I tend to take a more consultative approach and it fits me much better. I focus more on the strengths of my own products and what it means to the customer

    • Wim on August 15, 2011

      Even in competitive industries it is best not to compare yourself to your competitors. Work from your own strengths and don’t focus too much on what others are doing. Great perspective!


Leave a Reply