If your business is large enough, you likely employ a diverse sales staff, with each individual bringing to the table their own unique skill set, sales personality, and communications style. But which of those individuals will be the best fit for your next in-person event or trade show? Should you send the entire team to the show, or only a select few?

Key Characteristics of the 4 Types of Salespeople

In general, there are 4 primary recognized salesperson types. If you have the budget and you’re operating in the B2B space, it’s wise to have at least one of each of the four types on your sales team. This is because B2B sales often require a longer period of time to close, and the prospective client will have different needs and require a different level of attention over time as he moves along his journey to becoming a valued customer.

  1. Closers

The closer sales personality focuses on making contact, establishing an emotional connection, quickly assessing a prospect’s needs, and closing the deal. Closers tend to have a churn-and-burn mentality in which getting to the next sale or next prospect is the top priority, time is of the essence, and rejection is simply not something to be taken personally.
According to an article from the Chally Group, closers are most often described as:

  • Extroverted
  • Energetic
  • Optimistic
  • Competitive
  • Highly self-confident

Closers also tend to possess a:

  • Strong work ethic
  • Success image
  • Positive mental attitude

When it comes to staffing your trade show booth, you want at least one closer on hand. They are masters at sizing up prospects, building enthusiasm and creating a sense of urgency — making them perfect for in-booth product demonstrations and qualifying potential customers.

  1. Consultants

The consultant sales personality focuses on assessing situations, problem-solving, listening and coaching the prospect toward the sale. Consultants are not widely known for being impulsive or for taking unnecessary risks during the sales process, but they can still be extremely aggressive when pursuing a hot lead. They are considered the most well-rounded of the 4 sales types.
Consultants are most often described as:

  • Career oriented
  • Status or image conscious
  • Academic
  • Self-confident
  • Independent
  • Team-oriented

If your product line is high-tech and/or high-dollar, the consultant is your best bet on the trade show floor. Consultants are incredibly smart and simply love to learn, so they’re the folks who can explain your sophisticated technology in the simplest terms to prospective clients.

  1. Relationship Builders

The relational sales personality focuses on establishing long-term, emotionally satisfying connections with prospects while patiently educating and shepherding them toward an eventual purchase. The relationship builder is your cross-country runner and is in it for the long haul.
Relationship builders are most often described as:

  • Self-sufficient
  • Independent
  • Cooperative
  • Patient
  • Conservative

Relationship builders also tend to possess a:

  • Strong work ethic
  • Strong and sometimes rigid value system

If you already have a closer and a consultant lined up for your next trade show or event, let the relationship builder stay back home or at the office. Hers is a skill set best needed in the weeks and months after the show.

  1. Order Takers

Also known as transactional or display salespeople, the order taker personality focuses on servicing a prospect or client who has already decided to make a purchase and does not need to be sold on the idea. That doesn’t mean, however, that an order taker is a slacker; in fact, order takers are extremely service-oriented and can be very good at the art of upselling or cross-selling with the proper training.
Order takers are most often described as:

  • Impulsive
  • Physically energetic
  • Passive
  • Easily bored

Orders takers also tend to exhibit:

  • Low career ambition
  • A genuine enjoyment of working with other people

Despite their mixed bag of characteristics and personality traits, order takers are a valuable asset for any business. If your booth situation requires a nice-looking staffer with a pleasant voice and an engaging, energetic personality to sign up prospects for a product demo, for example, or invite qualified candidates to an exclusive upstairs cocktail party, etc., then an order taker may be the perfect addition to your trade show staff.

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