Understanding the 5 Different Types of Salespeople Will Make You A Better Salesperson
You’re listening to the Apollo Podcast Network. In this episode, I’m going to talk to you about the 5 types of salespeople. This is an incredibly important episode for anybody in business or as an entrepreneur who wants to get in business or if you’re in sales now you’re going to want to make sure that you listen to this to find out where you are on the 5 levels of selling.
Welcome to my podcast everyone. Today, I’ve got a really exciting topic for you. We’re going to be talking about sales and the different types of salespeople. I’m so excited to do this because, for so many years in my life, I’ve been told by people that I’m not much of a salesperson.
And when I hear that I love it because what it tells me is that I’m doing a really good job when it comes to sales. In reality, the worst salespeople in the world are the people we think of as being good salespeople. Why? Because you watch these movies for example, and you see this car salesman who has this dazzling charm to them and they say the right things and they put pressure on people.
The reality of it is this, guys – the best salespeople in the world are not people like that. Those sleazy salespeople never get anywhere when it comes to selling. Now if you do better than the people who just sit around not doing anything, but trust me that is not the way to be a great salesperson.
In fact, the way to be a great salesperson is to sell from your heart, because you know that the product or service you are offering adds value to someone else’s life.
Characteristics of a Good Salesperson
This episode is not about that aspect of selling. And it’s something that I would say, probably my strongest suit is that when I’m selling something, first of all, I would never sell something I don’t believe in. Number 2, when I’m selling something I believe in, I make sure that I am sold first.
You see so many people who are in sales and they’re not sold on the product that they are trying to sell and they wonder why they struggle. See no matter how hard you try to be sincere, at the end of the day, if you’re not sold on your own product, you’re not going to be able to sell it to someone else.
So what I want to talk to you about today is something really unique about sales, something that I don’t believe any other author on sales and anybody else out there talking about it right now. You’re in sales, you’re in customer service, you own your own business or you want to get into any of those three things, I would listen very, very carefully. There are 5 types of salespeople and I’m going to introduce all 5 of them to you.
What Makes a Good Salesperson?
And as I introduce these 5 types of salespeople to you, you’re going to start to notice which one of these best describes you. And I’m hoping you’re further along the line. So if you identify yourself with the first type of salesperson, that’s probably not a good thing. We want to push you along to get you to level 5 salesperson and that’s what’s this thing is going to be about.
Type 1 – Laydown-Based Sellers
Here we go. Let’s start with the number 1 type of salesperson. This is someone who’s selling at level 1. Level 1 salespeople are what I call Laydown based sellers. Now, where does laydown come from? This comes back from my days. Back in the early, in mid-90, well early 90’s, I was a salesperson at Bank One Rewards Circuit City.
And a lay down is when someone walks in, I worked in a computer department selling computers and people would sometimes walk in and go hi, ‘my kids are going away to college tomorrow and I need a laptop for him’. Listen you’re going to make a sale today and I don’t care how good you are, I don’t care how bad you are.
You are making a sale today when someone walks in and says that. Or it’s three days before Christmas and you work at Nordstrom selling shoes, and some man comes in and says, ‘Hi, I need to get a gift for my wife. Can you please help me out, I really need to get her a pair of shoes.’ She says she wanted some shoes, and they name you a specific brand.
Listen, you’re going to make a sale, I don’t care how bad you are, you’re going to make a sale. It almost doesn’t even matter whether you have an inventory, they’ll just buy whatever you have. That’s laydown. So many salespeople are laydown based sellers.
What that means is that they sit around and wait for buyers to come to them. Now depending on the company you work for, you may or may not have that kind of business where you’re getting people coming to you on a consistent basis where they are actually coming to you and say ‘hey, I want to buy some of your product and I’m going to buy your services.’
And you see in companies where leads come in on a regular basis, what you see is you see a lot of these salespeople, they become laydown based sellers.
Because it’s so much harder to get out there and hunt for new business. And what they do is they realize that if they just sit around and they don’t hunt long enough eventually sales will come to them. And this is the number one thing that kills salespeople because they know that leads are going to come to them anyways. And so they don’t go out there and sell.
In other businesses what you see is that there are no leads coming in and sometimes it’s the best thing that can happen to a salesperson because now they have to go out there and generate their own leads. There’s no false hope and praying that leads are going to come to them.
Now if you’re a laydown based seller, let me tell you, you are not a salesperson. At best you are a good customer service person and you got to move on from this level. This is a horrible place to be because the only time you can sell is when someone comes to you asking you for your product or service. If you don’t know how to go out there and get your own leads, you’re not going to appreciate what’s going to come to you easy.
Type 2 – Handoff-Based Sellers
So let’s move on to Level 2. Level 2 salespeople are called Hand-Off based sellers. Now, who are hand-off based sellers? I’ll tell you. These are the people that when you ask them at the end of the day how their day went, what they’ll tell you is that they’ll consistently tell you about these proposals that they’ve sent out. They’ll be like, ‘Oh, I’m waiting on the proposal from the XYZ company.’
And yeah, I sent out these proposals to these people, and I sent out this proposal to these other people. I made a presentation to this company. And they’re always talking about what I call lower sales funnel activity. Now we are not specifically talking about the details of a sales funnel here.
But what it is, these are the things that will happen later in the sales process, but they are not the actual level of actually selling. When you talk to these people, they don’t typically talk to you about prospecting, which is a higher function on the sales funnel.
And then they’ll talk to you about closing sales all the way about the bottom of the sales funnel. They talk about this kind of proposal thing. Now, why is it that they focus on this? Well because a lot of people get names of potentially interested parties and what they do is they’ll send them an email. They’ll send them a proposal. They’ll make a presentation or something.
And then they sort of just sit back and hope that this thing is going to come through. These are the second worst type of salespeople. Better than laydown salespeople, trust me, because at least they’re getting proposals out there. But they’re still not the kind of people who are actually going to succeed.
Type 3 – Prayer-Based Sellers
So then we go to Level 3. Level 3 is what I call Prayer-based selling. Now, believe it or not, prayer-based sellers do better than hand-off based sellers. What do I mean? well hand-off based sellers, they do just that. They hand things off to the customer, to the potential client. They just say, here’s the proposal and they sit around waiting for the client to come back to them. Now prayer based sellers do something a little different. They focus actually on the very, very top of the sales funnel.
You know you have a prayer based seller when you ask them, ‘How was your day?’ Oh, today I had a great day. ‘What did you do?’ Today I went to the Chamber of Commerce meeting and I met 25 people. And then what I did is I did this luncheon and in this luncheon, I met these two guys who work for this company.
I think they could be an excellent company for us to work with. And after work when we went out to go out with friends, I met this guy who owns this huge company and I think they could definitely be a client. See, what they’re doing is they are focusing on the very, very first step of the sales funnel.
But I call it prayer-based selling because their whole hope is if they meet enough people, and they get enough people to the top of their sales funnel, they sort of just sit around and pray that it works out. And in fact, believe it or not, that is a much better way of selling than hand-off based selling. So you get to level 3 here where you’re not just sitting around where leads to come to you.
And you’re not just constantly focused on how many proposals you make. You’re now focusing on how many people you’re getting on the top of the sales funnel. See when you do that, when you focused on the top of the sales funnel, you have a much, much better chance of succeeding in sales.
Because if you get enough people into the top of the sales funnel, I can assure you, you are going to make a lot more sales than the people who are after laydowns and you’re going to make way more sales than the people who do nothing but focus on sending out proposals. The reasons for that are completely separate but in reality, you’ll see it if you ask the salespeople that you know.
Sort of asking what kind of day they had based on their answer you can see this. Those who tell you about all the people they met typically are much better salespeople than the ones who tell you about proposals.
Type 4 – Results-Based Sellers
The fourth type of salesperson is the results-based seller. What’s results-based selling? And by the way, this is not the best way to sell. But it is a heck of a lot better than laydowns, hand-off based and prayer-based. What results based sellers do is when they ask you, ‘what kind of day that you have?’
And they’re either going to tell you they have a good day or a bad day. And we ask them why and they’ll always going to involve how many sales they make. Like when you say, how was your month? And they’re like, ‘Oh it’s terrible. I only made about 10 grand in sales.’
Or you say, ‘hey, how was your week last week?’ I had a great week. Why? See they never tell you, oh I sent out these many proposals. Oh, I met these many people. They’re like, I sold X amount of dollars. ‘How was last week? Oh, last week was amazing. I made 40,000 dollars in sales. Or ‘how was last week?’, oh it was terrible.
And then when you say why, they don’t say ‘oh, because I only sent out 2 proposals. Oh well, this and that.’ They may have sent out proposals during the time that you talked to them. They don’t count that as making the week a great week.
You see the difference here, the subtle difference with the last 3 types I have gone over here. Hand-off based sellers are focusing on the lower sales part of the sales funnel, the prayer based sellers are focused on the top of the sales funnel, results-based sellers are focused on the absolute bottom.
So what you get, the worst place to be looking is sort of in the lower end of the funnel but not all the way at the bottom. Then the next one is looking at the very top. And then finally you have the people who are better than both of those who are looking at the very, very last step which gets us to the best type of salespeople.
Type 5 – Funnel-Based Sellers
Who are the best types of salespeople? Well, they’re what I call funnel based sellers. Funnel-based sellers are the people who are focused on their funnel activity. Put 1, 2, 3 and 4 together.
Whenever you ask them, how was your day, how was your week, how was your month, they rarely give you a single answer. See they don’t tell you how much sales they make because they realized that the sales they made this week were just a result of some of the proposals they sent out last week.
And the proposals they sent out last week was just a result of the people they met at the Chamber of Commerce meeting last month. And they realized that not all of the leads are people they have to go prospect to. Some leads find them so they’re focused on how many incoming leads they had and what sort of percentage they have in terms of converting those.
And so they’re typically giving you funnel-based numbers. So what that means when you ask how was your day yesterday, you’ll never get a simple answer. They’ll answer to something like. ‘Yeah, I think I had a really good day.
I‘ve got about 100 calls. I set up about 4 presentations. And looks like I made 1 sale. I’m really excited. That brings my total sales this month up to $25,000.’ See they’ve got numbers. They’re very fact-oriented, they’re very much about the various different aspects of the process.
And without even knowing it many times, they’re telling you their sales funnel. And some of these people have never even heard of what a sales funnel is. And now when you simplify this and talk about this in terms of a retail location.
Now you talk to someone who works at Nordstrom and you’re asking them how their day went, they’re focused on how many people they talk to, how many people they had try on shoes and how much sales they make. And they’ll probably give you some kind of numbers on how many people they followed up with who maybe haven’t been in the store for 6 months or something like that.
So they’re giving you all of these numbers. Now, where do these numbers come from? Will they come from having an established sales funnel? Now I’m going to tease you guys here. Because the next episode is what I’m actually going to talk about is the sales funnel.
And I’m going to do something I’ve never done before with sales funnels which is I’m going to simplify your sales funnel to just 4 steps. Typically my sales funnels have 5, 6, 7, 8 steps but what I found in working with people is that this is a little difficult for some people to handle. So in the next episode, I’m actually going to get into the actual steps, the simplified sales funnel.
The four-step sales funnel works in 95% of businesses. So let’s go back and do a quick review of all these before I send you off and get you back in a few days to learn about the specifics of a sales funnel, Five types of salespeople:
- Laydown based sellers
- Hand-off based sellers
- Prayer-based sellers
- Results-based sellers
- Funnel based sellers
With the concept being that the best salespeople in the world are those who track the various steps of their sales funnel that leads to them selling. If you want to be a great businessperson and this is a podcast targeted towards people like you who are entrepreneurs or want to be entrepreneurs, I want you to understand you’re going to have to sell. You’re going to have to learn to be a salesperson because no matter how good your product or service is, if you don’t know how to sell it to people, people will never get the benefits of your product or service.
I’ve got an event coming up, Titanium Live, that’s my passion. I love it. We don’t even make any money doing it but that’s what I love to do. But you have to understand, I still have to get out there and sell to get people to come to this event which is, by the way, one of the reasons why I’m mentioning it to you now.
I want you to come to my event, come to the Titanium Live. Spend three days investing in yourself and taking your life to a level like you never thought possible. Find out the science is behind success because that’s what I’m all about, giving you the science behind success. But let me tell you I have to sell. It doesn’t matter that my events literally saves people’s lives, save people’s businesses, save people’s relationships, I still have to sell them. So if you want to be a great salesperson, learn that you’re going to have to tackle sales at all of these different levels. And you’re going to need to track your results. In the next episode, we’ll get into the details.
I love you guys, I’m so excited that you are on this journey with me. You’ve got a business or you’re in sales, this is massively, massively adding value to what you do every day and I’m so appreciative of the fact that you trusted me this time. And join me on this journey. I’ll talk to you in a couple of days. I love you guys and I want to always remind you to lead with your heart.