Understanding our style is important because it enables us to operate effectively in the world. They say that relationship selling is dead. I don’t agree. People buy from people they like. Yes, you need to have a solution that enables them to increase revenue, customer satisfaction, streamline a process, provide value. Value is a perception, not a calculation. Value is something people feel not something we tell them they get.
Connecting with people is a two way street. You need to know who you are and who they are so that you can connect in a meaningful way. It is psychological and emotional. Learning how to speak to other people in words and actions that they understand is a critical element in connecting and creating relationships. It’s like when you’re in a foreign country and each of you is speaking a different language. Other than using sign language, it is difficult to communicate effectively. The same concept applies to speaking to different personality types. They have to hear you in a way that they understand. So, you have to speak to them in their language.
Understanding who you are is important, but it is even more important to understand them, because how we communicate with them needs to be in their style, or they won’t understand us!
In my experience, there are four personality types.
1. Driver: Bottom line, results oriented, efficient, high level focus and vision
2. Motivator: Cheerleader, relationship focused, feeling oriented, can see the forest and the trees
3. Thinker: Fact oriented, detail focused, organized, methodical
4. Supporter: Service oriented, people focused, patient, helpful
When a Motivator speaks to a driver, it needs to be in their language full of bullet points, ROI, and what’s in it for them. Thinkers want lots of data, research, and testimonials to ensure they have done their due diligence. And Supporters, they just want to help, educate, and provide a service that you will find meaningful.
So whether you’re in B2B or B2C sales, a short-cut to figure out who they are is to ask yourself whether they speak slow or fast, and are warm or cool? If they speak fast and are warm, they’re a Motivator. Fast and cool? They’re a Driver. If they speak slowly and are cool, then they’re a Thinker. Slowly and warm, you guessed it. They’re a Supporter.
Some do’s and don’ts for each type are:
- When speaking to a Driver, be clear, specific, brief, and to the point.
- Selling points: money, time, efficiency, power, status, shortcuts
- Don’t emphasize a relationship, talk about details, exaggerate features/benefits
- Examples of Driver personalities are Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Clint Eastwood
- When speaking to a Motivator, be warm, friendly, use stories, experiences, compliments
- Selling points: enthusiasm, testimonials, patience, feelings, their opinions and feelings
- Don’t be cold, competitive, argumentative, erect barriers, cut them off, emphasize facts
- Examples of Motivator personalities are Oprah, Bill Clinton, Ellen DeGeneres
- When speaking to a Thinker, be organized, on time, prepared, accurate, and realistic
- Selling points: research, facts, numbers, written materials, patient, persistent
- Don’t be informal, loud, disorganized, overly friendly, expressive, or emotional, waste time
- Examples of Thinker personalities are Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates
- When speaking to a Supporter, be casual, tactful, appreciative, personal, service oriented
- Selling points: slow paced, conservative, relationship oriented, soft, feelings, helpful
- Don’t be domineering, demanding, disruptive, rush them, erect barriers, expect quick responses
- Examples of Supporter personalities are Mother Theresa, Princess Diana, Angelina Jolie
Dating sites also use this technology to identify personality traits to suggest matches, which is what operating in the world is about, understanding your self and others to create a deeper level of connection. Sales is not different. They are buying you first, the company second, your solution last.
The ability to quickly identify the type and communication style of others will enable you to speak in their language, connect at a deeper level, and be more successful in your personal and professional life. A fun exercise is to map the types of people who you work with, customers, prospects, and friends. You’ll see the types you resonate with and the ones that require you to adapt your style to align with theirs. It works! Try it! Then you can take your word for it!
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