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How to Sell to Different Personality Types

By rod nichols

Your sales training has taught you how to find prospects, make initial contacts, ask questions to uncover needs, develop solutions, give great presentations, handle objections and close the sale. Most likely it did not prepare you for the different personalities you will encounter.

If you deal with every customer in the same way, you will only close 25 percent to 30 percent of your contacts, because you will only close one personality type. But if you learn how to effectively work with all four personality types, you can conceivably close 100 percent of your contacts.

We all know how unlikely that is, but wouldn’t it be great to get close? How would that impact your income?

No one person is ever totally one personality type. We are all mixtures, but you will discover that people operate primarily in one of four types. Here are the four personality types you will encounter and the associated characteristics:

Likes facts and detail
Money and numbers oriented
Wants to know “bottom-line”
Works best independently
Very neat and organized
Stickler for timeliness
Not much of a risk taker

Gets right to the point
Limited on time
Always busy
Wants immediate results
Risk taker
Likes multiple choices
Needs to have the power
Works best independently
Focuses on positives

Likes to build relationships
Friendly and likable
Traditional attitudes
Not a risk taker
Needs support of other people
Makes careful decisions
Somewhat “wishy-washy”
Less time-oriented

Uses hunches to make decisions
Needs to be with people
Makes quick decisions
Likes to plan
Takes risks
Focuses on generalities
Less time-oriented
How can you identify these personalities on a sales call?

Analytical & Amiable:
Ask a lot of questions
Speak softly
Move slowly
Not much direct eye contact
Leans back in chair
No hand gestures

Driver & Expressive:
Tell you things
Speak loudly
Fast movements
Direct eye contact
Lean toward you
Animated hand gestures
Outwardly positive

Analyticals and Drivers are less responsive so you will notice:
Serious attitude
Very few facial expressions
Formal approach
Heavy time-orientation
Will not touch you
No chit-chat
Direct conversation
Rigid, calculated movements

Amiables and Expressives tend to be more responsive, so you will notice:
More personal questions
Warm, friendly approach
Animated expressions
Changes in tone and pitch
Will try to build close relationship
May touch you
Many hand gestures
Fluid movements

Begin studying the people in your life to determine their personality type. Take notes and compare them to the characteristics listed in this article.

Next, you will want to know how to handle each personality type:

Let them feel they are right
Give them facts first
Stress rational, logical reasons for buying
Observe time constraints
Compliment them regularly
Give quick, precise answers
Use a direct close

Dress professionally
Get right to the point
Do not waste time
Stress quick results
Ask questions to force attention
Change voice inflection to maintain interest
Put everything in writing
Let them feel they are in control
Summarize key benefits before closing
Use 2 or 3 option close

Be friendly and build rapport quickly
Don’t rush into the presentation
Don’t pressure them
Allow for plenty of time for conversation
Stress emotional benefits
Reassure them regularly
Allow them to include others in decisions
Give them one positive choice
Help them make the decision

Present the “big picture”
Use emotional benefits
Show them proofs — testimonials, articles, etc.
Recognize them as being important
Put details in writing and explain carefully
Use a direct close and reassure them of their decision

Recognizing personality types and being capable of working with them at their level will make selling more fun, help you reach your sales goals, and have a very positive impact on your income.