The Sales Consultancy Blog

How to Generate Better Relationships and Start Increasing Sales!

1 June 2015


Have you ever asked anyone a question that can be answered in a sentence or two – and yet they’re still talking 10 minutes later?

Or maybe asked for more detail on a subject – and been given a one line answer?

Are you the person that is only interested in the big picture? That is you tend to give very brief responses regardless of the question? Or do you prefer to give a very detailed response to questions?

What about others?

Have you ever noticed that some people in your team or company complain that they’re never given enough information about what’s going on – whilst others feel that they get too much information to digest?

The level of detail we like to deal with in any given context is another example of the beautiful diversity that is the human race!

And it’s this diversity that will be at play when you interact with your customers, your potential customers, your colleagues, your team and yes, all of your personal relationship too. When you speak; When you write; When you present; When you promote.

Which one are you?

So do you personally prefer THE BIG PICTURE? Or maybe you simply can’t survive without THE DETAIL? Whatever your personal preference, there’s a very good chance that somewhere in your life, whether at work or at play, you’re prone to irritating someone whose preference is at the opposite end to yours.

I suggest that for those colleagues and others near and dear to you that you deal with regularly, tell them! Don’t expect them to have automatically worked it out. Where you can, indicate the level of detail you prefer when they communicate with you, so they know how to structure reports, suggestions, presentations and so on.

And your customers?

The customer with the General (big picture) preference will go into shutdown when given too much information. Those with the Specific(detail) preference will often be dissatisfied because as far as they are concerned they haven’t received the level of detail they need!

Communicating with your clients and prospects

It’s fairly straightforward to identify whether who you are dealing with is a Specific or General person. Just by talking to them or reflecting on past conversations or emails will give you the best clues. Do they communicate using lots of detail, or are they a person of few words? Beware though that the Specific or General trait is context dependant – meaning for example that someone could be very specific and into their detail at home, yet come to work and be very general. And vice versa.

Your ultimate aim if you wish to generate better relationships and ultimately better results, is to vacate your own personal preference – and match the preference of the person you’re relating with. That way you’ll generate rapport, or stay in rapport, improve the connection and achieve a more fruitful relationship.

Remember, too many details will confuse and irritate a General person and too much vagueness will upset the Specific person. So give them the precise level of detail they need – and check for understanding.

Back to you

So do you have a Specific or General preference? What about your customers and prospects? Learn to quickly clarify whether their communication preference, match it – and you’re well on your way to your increasing sales!

Until next time.


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For previous ‘Tricks of the Trade’ go here

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