No human being is the same! We all have unique personalities, learning styles, ways of communicating, and different ways of perceiving & processing things around us. Have you ever wondered what your learning style is? Are you a visual, auditor, or a kinesthetic learner? Or a combination of all 3? Wait a minute! You might be wondering what this has to do with sales now? In fact, my friend this knowledge of VAK learning style can help you build a long-lasting relationship with your customers. Also, it can help you close deals faster. As a matter of fact, leading sales professionals all over the world are implementing the knowledge of the VAK learning style in growing sales.
Great salespeople don’t give the same pitch or presentation over and over again. To close the deals faster – you first need to understand your customers’ pain points, understand their personality, and most importantly, present information in the way they prefer. In other words, you need to identify their learning style and optimize your sales strategy accordingly.
What is VAK learning style?
Neil Fleming devised the VAK model of learning styles. This model outlines 3 key ways people learn and process information:
- A visual learner is a person who learns better if the information is visually presented to him/her. For instance: PPT presentations, flow charts, videos, etc.
- An auditory learner is a person who learns better via hearing. For instance: The classic lecture method, audiotapes, webinars, etc.
- A kinesthetic learner is a person who learns things by actually doing them. For instance: Practical mock-ups, demonstrations, etc.
Remember in order to apply this knowledge to grow sales, you first need to identify your learning style and also identify the learning style of your customers. In this post, we will be discussing how to spot if your customer is a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner. And how you can benefit from implementing the understanding of VAK learning style in growing sales.
Benefits of executing VAK learning style in growing sales
1. Visual learning style
Customers with this learning style tend to visualize and picture things. Also, they will respond best to the materials/information presented visually to them. How to identify if your customer is a visual learner?
Look for cues your customers provide during the conversation. Visual learners often use words like imagine, look, see, perspective, etc. For instance, they may say – “ I am not getting a visual on how that might benefit the company,” or “Can you paint a picture of how that will look?” etc.
So, remember to take a handout or your presentation when you have a meeting with customers with a visual learning style. Also, enhance your presentations with useful visual aids. And instead of describing a feature, show screenshots or diagrams that depict how it works.
Note, they will likely be watching your body language and facial expressions carefully to help contextualize what you’re saying. So be a little expressive when you are explaining things. By expressive I mean, give emotions to the information you are presenting to your customers.
2. Auditory learning style
Customers with this learning style are most receptive to the information they can hear. They enjoy talking and listening to people explain their ideas. Remember, auditory learners are not fond of slides and written information is not helpful for them at all. In fact, when presented with written information, you may find them reading the text aloud to reinforce its meaning.
If your customers use phrases like – I hear you, that sounds right, that rings a bell, loud and clear, that’s music to my ears, etc. – then they are likely to be auditory learners.
Note, auditory learners will often mirror your speech. In other words, they repeat back or paraphrase what you’ve said to confirm if they have understood it right. Don’t feel offended if they are not looking at you while you are presenting. Because they might just be focusing on listening to your presentation and looking at faces might just distract them!
So when you are meeting a customer who is an auditory learner, prepare a solid presentation with a strong storyline. In other words, auditory learners will want to have a discussion about what different features mean for their business instead of watching you narrate your pitch deck. Also, keep written materials as concise as possible, and summarize the key information in bullet points instead of paragraphs.
3. Kinesthetic learning style
Customers who are kinesthetic learners prefer a hands-on approach. That is, they prefer to explore concepts/information by themselves instead of listening to people talk about them.
Because of this kinesthetic learners might come across as a bit scattered when compared to visual or auditory learners. As a result, sales conversations may not go as expected.
How to identify a kinesthetic learner? Generally, you may find these people moving around in meetings. They might use a lot of hand gestures while communicating. Also, they use a lot of action words or verbs like do, drive, hurry, etc. and phrases like – can you run me through this point, my gut is telling me…, I can’t get a grip on this, etc.
So when you are meeting a customer who is a kinesthetic learner, it’s better to prepare for a demo session or take a sample of your products. The key is to get them involved in your presentation. In other words, don’t just tell, but show it to them.
It’s always a good idea to include a mix of all the 3 learning style elements in your sales strategy. Most importantly, you need to get the learning style of your customer right otherwise your strategy might backfire big time. So, use the above cues to identify the learning style of your customers and devise your sales strategy accordingly! And see how this small value addition such as incorporating the learning style of your customers in your sales strategy can yield greater results.