Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel
Issue: July/August 2013
How Different Leadership Styles Impact The Sales Process
By: Velton W. Showell III

Each salesperson has his/her personal leadership style to influence clients and close out deals. Some are natural leaders who light up a room with their personality and charisma when they enter it. Others are slow and deliberative and depend on analysis and facts to help customers make their purchasing decisions. The best sales people adopt different leadership styles depending on the situation. It is essential that you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your leadership style and how to modify it depending on the client and the situation. In this article, we look at the different leadership styles adopted by most successful salespeople.


Controlling sales persons are extroverted, efficient, punctual and well-organized. They have a commanding presence and personality. Controllers focus on eliminating frivolous tasks and concentrate only on those that contribute to the bottom line. Their communication approach with clients is frank and straightforward. On the flip side, they hesitate to delegate tasks to others as they prefer to take charge of important tasks themselves. Controllers don't believe in forming personal relationships with their colleagues. Because of their personality, they have difficulty dealing with clients who do not communicate directly with them.


Promoters are extroverted, expressive, witty and creative. They are popular among their peers because they have a great sense of humor and believe in having fun while working hard. Promoters are optimistic and motivate others to think positively. Their developed socializing skills and extroverted personality help them network widely and form relationships easily. Promoters want and thrive on recognition for their personality and work achievements. On the downside, these leaders lack organizing and focusing skills and do not pay attention to punctuality. They may not be successful with quiet or serious clients who insist on paying minute attention to details.

Supportive leaders are a bit introverted and believe in nurturing their subordinates and colleagues. They bond well with clients who are moral and family-oriented, and develop close relationships with them. Supporters have consistent and stable interactions with their peers and clients. They believe in forgiving and forgetting others' mistakes. But they have trouble in handling stress and could become overwhelmed. Supporters do not gel well with clients who do not believe in having strong values.


Analysts pay minute attention to quality, details and statistics. They are non-intrusive and introverted. Their strength lies in their planning skills and the ability to gather accurate information, enabling them to make detailed sales presentations filled with plenty of relevant statistics. Analysts are good at managing risk. They do not prefer to tackle problems directly but try to withdraw from open confrontation. Creativity and spontaneity are not their strengths, so some may think they are boring. Analysts may have trouble dealing with flamboyant clients who pay more attention to style than substance.

We hope our analysis of the different leadership styles of sales people will help you realize which one you use in your professional life. As mentioned earlier, it pays to be flexible and adopt different leadership styles seamlessly depending on the client and environment to close out deals and build lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with your colleagues and customers.
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