Volume 37, Issue 8, August 2002


Meet the Three Types of Glass Buyers:
    Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic

by John  Baker 

Prospects and customers of glass generally receive and process information in three ways, and one style usually dominates the other two. Early in your sales calls, through creative questioning and listening, it is important to identify what type of buyer you have at the table.

Visual Prospects
Visual people see all the colors; their lives are a streaming video. Power Point presentations, colored charts and architectural drawings are of great interest to the visual prospects. They will check out your clothes, briefcase and the car in which you arrived. For example, visual people are not happy at a large concert unless they have seats down in front, so they can see the musicians’ faces, clothes and instruments.

If you talk during 90 percent of the sales call, you’ve probably lost the visual prospect. It is rare that this type of prospect will buy anything unless he has a clear visual picture of your product or service. Visual buyers use language like “it appears that we have a deal” or “looks like you know a great deal about storefronts.” 

Selling to a Visual Prospect
Let the visual prospect control the pace; use visual aids such as charts, color samples and before and after pictures; maintain good eye contact; paint a picture with metaphors such as: “takes off like a jet” or “black as night.” 

This type of visual language is very helpful to closing the sale (example: “Can you visualize that wall completed covered in peach mirror with gold filagree?”)

Auditory Prospects
Auditory people are great listeners who will focus on your words, tonality and content. They will listen closely for deceit, mistruths and overselling. The five-color brochure, test results and the detailed drawings are lost on the auditory customer. They tend to speak at an even pace and articulate well.

You will notice that there is very little direct eye contact or body language; they often lean forward and close their eyes during a meeting or an important conversation.

When selling to an auditory prospect the clarity and tonality of your voice is critical, but it is important to keep them talking, and try to move them from intellectual to emotional. Finish by clarifying and confirming what was important to them.

Kinesthetic Prospects
Kinesthetic prospects love to pull things off the shelves at stores like Home Depot. If they can’t touch it, they probably won’t buy it. At the music concert they have to get autographs and try to get backstage. Slow speech and good listening skills are probable indicators of a kinesthetic buyer. They are generally the touchy-feely, artsy-crafty type that enjoy developing, building and showing others their projects. They like to use physical, descriptive language like “ I can grasp what you’re saying” or “I feel your pain.” 

Selling to the Kinesthetic Prospect
To sell to the kinesthetic buyers of the world it is important to: speak clearly and decisively; show honesty at all times; use hands-on type sales aids such as glass and aluminum samples, bolts and anchors and mock-ups; relate feel-good stories and testimonials.

The only way to find out the type of prospect or customer with whom you’re dealing is creative questioning and listening closely for some of the clues and traits listed above. Practice with family or friends and get a feel for these characteristics. 


BAKER John Baker is an instructor for the Sanders Sales Institute in Irvine, Calif. Baker has been involved in sales training for more than 15 years and has several years of experience working with companies in the glass industry. 


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