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How VAK is the route to more successful print sales

We all know that everyone is a little bit different

  • Some people are tall. Some people are short.
  • Some people dress smartly. Some are scruffy.
  • Some people are very formal. Others are more relaxed.

There is a novel way in which people are different, too.

People have different learning styles


How do you build successful relationships with different types of people?

Sales people who take this into account will create more successful relationships. They will not put prospects off by communicating in a way that the prospect is not comfortable with. That means the sales person has a better chance of controlling a meeting or conversation. It means they have a better chance of achieving their sales goals.

Sales people who stick to their own preferred method of communication risks alienating some prospects. That means they will struggle to achieve the same number of worthwhile relationships. They will find their sales targets harder to achieve.

One useful model for different learning styles is called VAK

This model was created by Neil Fleming. It is based on neuro linguistic learning styles.

The model outlines three key ways that people take on information. I have outlined them below, together with some information on how you might apply these in a print sales meeting.

Visual – seeing

Some people prefer to picture things. They respond best if they see pictures or a diagram. A good salesperson will come armed with a few slides. They will be prepared to draw diagrams of processes and structures. They may also be able to represent figures through charts. But these are not the only tools a salesperson should be prepared to use.

Auditory – hearing

Many people like to listen to what is being said. If you talk to an auditory prospect, you will get through to them. This is the way in which most salespeople are comfortable communicating. Remember that many auditory people will learn through a good story. However, sales people should think about at least two other means of communication as well.

Kinesthetic – touching

A number of prospects will take in information through touch. They will gain more through being able to examine samples. They will react well to marketing giveaways such as branded pencils or stress balls. It is a good idea to be able to give them a brochure or a set of notes after a meeting.

These are the three key senses through which people take in information. Knowing about these raises an important question

How do you know which learning style someone prefers?

Most people taking in information in all three manners. However, they also generally have a preferred learning style. Until you know someone better, you won’t know which style they prefer. If you are meeting a prospect for the first time, you’d better be prepared for anything!

I recommend having something to support all three learning styles at any meeting. This means you are prepared for anything that might happen. It also means that you have the best chance to connecting with everyone if you are meeting with a group.

I would also advise you to bring along something nice to eat

A few people are gustatory. This means they take in information through taste. They are more likely to pay attention if they have something good to eat.

In any case, you will normally get a big smile from your prospect if you bring something tasty along!

It’s time to plan for your next meeting

  • Make sure you have something interesting for people to listen to
  • Make sure you are ready to show some pictures of your factory, some charts or some graphs
  • Have some samples or brochures for prospects to handle

Bringing along something nice to eat!

If you remember these four strategies, will be on the way to holding a very successful meeting. You will be able to cater for a variety of learning styles. You will have remembered that everyone is a little bit different.
P.S. If you want more ideas on how to build successful relationships with people who buy print, sign up to the “View from the buyer” newsletter.  You’ll also receive this free e-book:

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