Remaining competitive in today’s shifting sales landscape requires more than sharp selling skills. Human connections, likability, and genuine customer focus set truly successful salespeople apart.
As a keynote speaker for sales teams globally, I’ve developed proven techniques to adapt your approach and create lasting buyer relationships. Read on to learn how small adjustments to your mindset, conversations, and strategy can pay big dividends.
Why Adapting Your Sales Style Matters
Sales looking very different today than just a decade ago. Customers have more choices and power with instant online access to pricing and reviews. Attention spans are shorter. Loyalty is fleeting.
This means old-school sales tactics like rehearsed pitches, pressure closes, and talking over customers backfire. 74% of buyers now say salespeople are unprepared and lack knowledge of their needs .
To thrive today, embrace change and continually evolve your style to build trust quickly and deliver true value. Focus on genuine connections over transactions.
Here are benefits of adapting your sales approach:
- Increased Likability: An adaptive, customer-first style makes you more appealing to work with. This gets more meetings and referral business.
- Better Questions: Adaptive selling relies on asking thoughtful questions to deeply understand customer needs. This reveals new sales opportunities.
- More Impactful Conversations: Adjusting your content and style to individuals makes conversations stickier and more meaningful.
- Higher Win Rates: Salespeople who tailor their pitch based on customer feedback see win rates spike by over 15% .
- Stronger Loyalty: Adaptive sales focused on the long-term customer relationship keeps clients coming back.
Core Adaptive Selling Skills to Master
Here are the top adaptive selling techniques I recommend sales teams develop:
Active Empathetic Listening: Listen fully without thinking about your response. Reflect customers’ emotions and unspoken meanings.
Situational Flexibility: Vary your pace, content, and style “in the moment” based on verbal and nonverbal cues.
Questioning Skills: Ask smart open-ended questions that reveal customer motivations and perspectives.
Conversational Persuasion: Naturally lead conversations based on customer input vs. rigid scripts.
Confident Improv: Confidently handle curveballs and new objections on the fly vs. relying on rote responses.
Observation Skills: Closely watch prospects’ body language and microexpressions for deeper insights.
Feedback Application: Apply customer feedback to fine-tune your approach throughout sales conversations.
Equipping your team with these skills empowers them to confidently connect with diverse prospects in any situation.
Actionable Ways to Boost Adaptive Selling
Here are proven techniques salespeople can use to become more adaptive:
Record Calls and Get Feedback: Review recordings of sales calls with managers to improve conversational flexibility and listening abilities.
Roleplay Challenging Scenarios: Practice handling surprising customer comments, objections, and questions. Work on thinking on your feet.
Study Improvisational Comedy: Applied improv training helps salespeople gain confidence and quick wit. I highly recommend taking a class.
Observe Successful Peers: Shadow adaptive salespeople who thrive across customer personalities. What conversational nuances can you incorporate?
Read People: Study body language books and microexpression resources to interpret unspoken cues from prospects.
Personalize Pitches: Research prospects’ backgrounds beforehand and highlight relevant points that align with their goals.
Reflect After Calls: What might you do differently next time based on this customer’s unique needs and style?
Adapting Your Style Through the Sales Funnel
Here’s how to weave adaptive selling techniques into each phase:
Prospecting: Experiment with different outreach messages and mediums to see what persuades each prospect to take a meeting.
Presenting: Rearrange talking points based on which benefits resonate most. Share different use cases and testimonials tailored to that individual.
Handling Objections: First validate objections to show empathy before responding. Match the pace and tone of replies to the prospect’s energy.
Closing: Avoid high-pressure closes. Guide prospects based on their cues, strategically easing lingering doubts.
Account Management: Note feedback and adapt talking points for future discussions to continually add value.
Helpful Mindsets To Increase Adaptiveness
In addition to specific techniques, adopting these mindsets boosts sales adaptiveness:
- Focus Outward: Concentrate completely on prospects without getting distracted by internal thoughts or scripts.
- Embrace Uncertainty: See unexpected comments and objections as opportunities, not threats.
- Stay Present: Don’t over-optimize for future sales. Be fully engaged in this conversation only.
- Love the Challenge: Get energized by tough prospects who keep you on your toes.
- Drop Ego: Check your ego at the door. It’s not about you, it’s about creating value for customers.
- Growth Mindset: See every conversation as a chance to improve by applying what you learned.
Start Selling with Heart
In our distraction-filled world, customers crave real human connections. Sales professionals who adapt to relate to customers on a deeper heart level will thrive.
I’m passionate about helping sales teams evolve their approach to drive revenue while staying true to their humanity. To discuss bringing an adaptive selling keynote to your team, reach out today. I’d love to exchange ideas on how we can conquer change together.
 Gartner, Reimagine Your Selling Experience, 2021
 Harvard Business Review, The New Science of Sales Force Productivity, 2017