Fortunately for us we are all different. Unfortunately for salespeople we are all different. That means that there is no one strategy that will work for everyone. Sure, there are some tips and tricks for sales in general, but it's also necessary to approach different people in different ways that are suited to them. Your approach should be tailored to their personality, otherwise you risk losing the sale without ever having had a chance to talk about the product.
Types of People
Most people can be divided into four main groups, with each person having different amounts of each group as part of their personality. The amount of each determines how you should approach the individual. These four groups are Dominant, Calculating, Steady, and Outgoing.
Dominant - Strong-willed, demanding and aggressive. They care about the "big picture"
Calculating - Like structure, are cautious. They care about the details.
Steady - Calm and relaxed. They don't like sudden change.
Outgoing - Talkers, usually emotional. They operate by "feel".
Although there are four main groups, each individual will have a combination of all groups with some groups being dominant over the others. As a sales-person it's your job to determine which category or categories they fit into most and tailor your message and interaction to them.
Here are some tips on how to approach the different groups.
Keep communication short and get to the point quickly. Don't waste time going into details about how or why the products works a certain way unless asked. This type tends to make a quick decision and don't require that a lot of research be done before they make it.
Provide lots of information and be prepared to answer a lot of questions. These people do not like to do things a second time and aren't fond of making mistakes. They will generally want to do research and look at many different options before making a decision. People with a lot of this group tend to not be "touchy-feely."
Be prepared for a long process and lots of convincing. These people tend to be resistant to sudden change so it may take them time to warm up. Try to work with the system rather than disrupt everything.
Lunch meetings, Dinner meetings, Breakfast meetings. These people love to interact and are "people-persons." For this type the facts are less important than the feeling they get from you. Place emphasis on building good rapport with the individual because it will likely have a big influence on the process.
Since each person will have a combination of the different groups you need to practice and become great at identifying their main (or two main) groups quickly. Once you've done that you can use what you know to sell more effectively to their type, rather than swimming upstream throughout the process.