Interaction Styles and Sales
by Brad Cooper and Linda V. Berens


Adapted from Brad Cooper, Linda V. Berens, Groundbreaking Sales Skills: Portable Sales Techniques to Ensure Success (Telos Publications, 2004) *Used with permission



"What happened? I didn't do anything differently from the last customer, but she seemed turned off from the beginning. Why wasn't she interested?"

Sound familiar? This is a common complaint among sales people. In the midst of all the "can't miss" sales systems, something is missing. In spite of doing everything "right," the connection isn't made, and the sale is lost. Why?

The answer is often tied to the incredible differences that exist between potential clients in their individual Interaction Styles, or the way in which each person interacts with others. An ability to pick up on and address these subtle clues in clients can mean the difference between a connection and a turnoff.

The genesis of the Interaction Style model dates back to the works of many behavioral scientists in the 1920s who wanted to look at the way people behave in their social settings. Their work set the stage for identifying how each of us interacts differently and the influence those styles have on how the sales process takes place (or doesn't).

It is for this reason that successful salespeople come in all shapes and sizes-and styles! Despite expansive efforts, a sales person who is successful with one person may very well fall flat on his face with another. In the first case, there was a match. In the second, there wasn't. But what if you could begin to identify the style preference of a client? What if you could then (temporarily) tune into that preference and thus begin to solidify the connection with your client? What would it do to your sales if you could understand and match up your own style with that of your client?

You can-beginning now. We will show you how to not only identify your own Interaction Style and that of your clients but also specifically how to utilize that information to enhance your sales. There's no "magic pill," but sales people who consistently utilize this Groundbreaking Sales information effectively will undoubtedly find themselves connecting at a higher level.

First, we'll look at the Groundbreaking Sales® Methods; second, we'll explore the four Interaction Styles you are likely to encounter and help you find your own style; and then, we'll help you apply the Groundbreaking Sales Methods to ensure your sales success.

Interaction Styles and Cold Calling


Cold calling may be quite uncomfortable for you, but it doesn’t mean you can’t be successful by implementing the following:

  • Practice-read the scripts of others who have been successful and go through them time and again until you’re completely comfortable with them.
  • Write down your script and have it available right in front of you.
  • Take notes on what works and what doesn’t.


Cold calling may not be a natural choice for you, unless you include the following in your routine:

  • Be patient, realizing in advance that a majority of the people you call will not be interested in discussing your product/service.
  • Don’t take it personally when they are in a hurry.
  • Prepare, practice, and study those who are successful. Many good books are available that focus exclusively on cold calling. Take advantage of these and then bounce around your best ideas with others doing the same work.


You’re determined to make the sale and make it now. As a result, one of the most important steps you can take is to set up your expectations for success (and then beat them):

  • Set a goal for how many noes you’ll receive. (The more noes the more calls you’re making, and the more sales over the long run.)
  • Make one extra call per day beyond the norm.
  • If possible, have your results compared to those in a similar business (e.g., through your supervisor).


Cold calling isn’t a stretch for you, depending on the feedback and support you receive. Here are some tips to keep you going strong:

  • Debrief at least weekly (if not more) with someone else in your organization. Discuss successes and struggles, then brainstorm new ways to approach potential clients.
  • Remind yourself regularly not to take the responses of potential clients personally. They don’t know you.
  • Take breaks consistently, even if it’s just to re-energize by talking to a friend across the hall.



facebook share icon linkedin share icon