Selling to people with different somatotypes: MESOMORPHS
In the last two Gonzo Selling! blogs we looked at how to get a quick, basic understanding of needs and wants when you’re selling to endomorphs and ectomorphs.
Today, we do the same thing, but looking at mesomorphs.
This is an easily understood concept that can quickly and easily increase your sales production in a fun way.
I was a young salesman setting up a new hypnosis clinic franchise in Gainesville, Florida when a doctor there taught me about constitutional psychology and selling to people with different somatotypes.
Constitutional psychology and Somatypes are concepts developed in the 1940s by psychologist William Herbert Sheldon.
I was leading a discussion about selling to people based on their psychological needs.
The doctor took things one step further by showing how to get a jump start on identifying those needs by identifying a person’s physical body type.
I was familiar with the concept of somatypes from a trip to the Smithsonian Museum in my youth.
For some reason the exhibit had a profound effect upon me and registered strongly in my mind.
To this day I vivdly recall the three statuettes that were on display.
Three statuettes, one for each different body type, rotated on platforms beneath dramatic overhead lighting, with grading scales posted to denote the scoring of 1-7 in three different categories to determine the degree of fit into each type of physical body.
The perfect Mesomorph is 1-7-1 (think Arnold Schwartzenegger), the perfect Endomorph is 7-1-1 (think Chris Pratt – yes, Chris Pratt! watch here…), the perfect Ectomorph is 1-1-7 (think Tobey Maguire), pretty much as shown below:
Sheldon’s “somatotypes” and their associated physical and psychological traits are characterized as follows:
Mesomorphic: characterized as hard, muscular, thick-skinned, and as having good posture; described as competitive, extroverted, and tough.
Ectomorphic: characterized as usually slender and tall; described as intelligent, gentle and calm, but self-conscious, introverted and anxious.
Endomorphic: characterized as fat, usually short, and having difficulty losing weight; described as outgoing, friendly, happy and laid-back, but also lazy and selfish.
Some academics view constitutionial psychology with somatotypes as a questionable science and it is often discussed and sometimes disputed.
But William Sheldon’s work remains popular in anthropomorphic research.
It’s been said in academic circles that, “With modifications by Parnell in the late 1950s, and by Heath and Carter in the mid 1960s somatotype has continued to be the best single qualifier of total body shape”.
I know one thing, it helps make sales.
For further exploration of the subject, this article helps physically identify people among the three basic body types.
Because it’s published in Muscle and Strength Magazine, it also suggests certain training and diet programs for each different physical body type. Your Body Type – Ectomorph, Mesomorph or Endomorph?
Today we’ll examine selling to those competitive mesomorphs.
Last week in our examination of selling to endomorphs we used an example of selling cars. Well, we’re going to dance with the one who brung us again, so in this example once again, you’re selling cars.
You’re up on the floor and a guy walks in.
He’s about 6’2″ and weighs 225 pounds. If he’s in a full suit, it may not fit him too well. It may be too tight around his arms, shoulders and thighs. That’s because he’s built like Mr. Universe. This guy throws around steel plates in the gym like they were tiddly winks.
Right now, it doesn’t matter what he dresses like, talks like or what kind music he likes.
He’s a mesomorph.
The example above may be a bit extreme, but it’s to make a point via caricature.
Mesomorphs are athletic people. By nature they are competitive, and they’re used to being recognized to some degree for their physical prowess. They tend to be high achievers, and high achievers need recognition of their achievements to fuel them to go accomplish more – achievements.
You can bet that buying this car from you is another goal, achieved.
Mesomorphs respond favorably to competition and recognition.
If I’m up on the sales floor and a mesomorph walks in I’m going to ask his needs and wants first, of course.
Then, I’m steering him to a gleaming red Corvette.
“Here, Mr. Mesomorph, try this red Ferrari spyder on for size.”
I’m talking about the performance of it, the sexy new mid-engine design, the 500 horsepower, the targa top roof, and the fact that it is the hottest car on the market in 2020. I’m talking about how he’ll feel when he pulls up to valet parking at his favorite restaurant or night spot, and gets out of his shiny new Little Red Corvette.
If he insists on a different car, let’s say it’s a broad departure from the Corvette, let’s put him in a Cadillac, as well. I stick to the mesomorph modus operandi and prioritize the benefits of having a Caddy with 640 horsepower, and bring up their recent racing history.
Mesomorphs respond to challenges
A challenge often works wonders with Mesomorphs, as well. Naturally competitive, they rise to a challenge. So I might say something like, “You know, maybe you’re not ready for a Corvette, yet. We have the new Chevy Spark right over here … “
Then I’d wait for him to slug me.
Not really, but you get the point. If you challenge a competitor (read: Mesomorph) with a takeaway, the preponderence of odds predict that they’ respond by snatching it back. “What do you mean, I may not be ready for a ‘Vette?”
“Oh, nothing – maybe you are ready to try one on for size … why don’t you slide right in here and take a look at the gauge cluster layout … (whew!)”
This may not be the factor that wins the deal every time, but it will almost always give you an instant jump start on identification of needs, which helps you win a lot of the time.
The point is, selling using somatotology helps you frame your approach more accurately.
Your odds of a successful approach are higher based on knowledge of your prospect’s somatotology body type.
Consider how this might be of help to you with your clientele and prospects.
Selling cars, selling homes, sellling clothes, selling athletic equipment …
The concept generally holds true. It works.
“If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share.” W. Clement Stone
Please SHARE with your friends and colleagues
Be sure to read next week’s
Getting Your Ph.D in Selling
(aka: The Dummy Curve)
Becoming The Boss
(aka: HIRED GUN III)
Robert Danger Workman writes from his consistent track record of top-tier success in both outside and inside sales at different companies, in different industries, as a sales rep, sales manager, EVP, entrepreneur and owner of several companies. Four decades of in-the-field, face-to-face selling and leading winning sales organizations provides the background and experience prevalent in his HIRED GUN brand such as the best-selling and award winning book, HIRED GUN – You’re #1 and Somebody Hates it, and the new, HIRED GUN II – The Essential Guide for Top Salespeople.