Sensitivity Training and Your SalesMy aikido instructor—Edgar Johansson Sensei—made an interesting comment in class the other day. He said we spend the first five years of our aikido training learning sensitivity. Specifically, learning to be sensitive to how we need to train with our partners.

For example, the way you train with a 250-pound man is different from the way you train with a 110-pound woman. You work with a tall person differently than you do with a short person. You interact with a black belt differently than with a beginner. The principles and techniques remain the same, but you need to subtly adapt to the unique characteristics of the person you’re working with.

He’s absolutely right. (As he typically is. That’s why he’s the sensei.) What’s more, his insight also applies to sales.

Prospects are not all the same. Female buyers are different from male buyers. Older buyers are different from younger buyers. European buyers are different from Asian buyers. Further, individuals are unique. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. You need to be sensitive to your prospect’s needs, desires, concerns, values and priorities, then adapt appropriately.

Fortunately, there’s a simple way to do this: Ask good questions and plenty of them. If you ask enough of the right questions, your prospect will tell you everything you need to know. That will make it easier for you to adjust your approach to how they want—and/or need—to buy.

The more sensitive you are to your prospect’s personality, culture and situation, the better your sales will be.

Live in the Denver area and interested in aikido? Check out Denver Aikikai.