Selling to Different Personalities.
By Kelley Robertson, President of the Robertson Training Group
Sunday, 7th May 2006
When we interact with prospects and customers - we should be aware of the four distinct personality styles we encounter because each style requires a slightly different approach. The individual styles are the Driver, the Expressive, the Amiable, and the Analytical. Here is how you can improve your results when selling to each:

The Driver or Dominator. This individual is easy to spot. During your first contact they will display a strong, assertive handshake. They tend to dominate conversations and will interrupt frequently. A Driver will maintain direct eye contact and will often point or use other hand gestures to take control or emphasize a specific issue.

Drivers are high achievers and are very results oriented. This means you need to gain a good understanding of their goals and demonstrate what you can do to help them achieve these targets. When you encounter a Driver allow them to tell you about their accomplishments. During a recent meeting with a Driver, he told me about virtually every change he had facilitated within his company. He was proud of his achievements and wanted me to know that he was someone who could get results. When I presented my solution, I focused on the results he would experience.

Drivers have no hesitations telling other people what they want. However, they do not like to be "told" what to do because they want to remain in control. They are very direct and to the point. In fact, they may come across as rude, blunt and arrogant. When you are selling your product or service to a Driver, avoid wasting time on small talk or discussing issues that are not relevant to the matter at hand. Get to the point quickly.

The Expressive or Influencer. These individuals are also easy to pick out in a crowd. They tend to be flamboyant and often strive to be the centre of attention. Using their well-developed powers of persuasion, they tell stories that encourage people to take action or buy into their beliefs. Influencers are very people focused. Their workspace will be decorated with photos of people they have met, awards they have won, and letters they have received. Recognition is extremely important to these individuals and rejection is their greatest fear.

To achieve the best results when selling to an Expressive, focus on developing a relationship and try to show how your ideas, products, or services will improve his or her image or stature within the company. Be open and demonstrate your willingness to talk. Be sure to use plenty of gestures along with plenty of enthusiasm.

The third personality style you will encounter is the Amiable. Amiable's are somewhat more difficult to identify because their outward behaviour is more reserved and controlled than a Driver or Expressive. Amiable's are great team players and are very easy to get along with. They love to have information presented in writing and will take their time when making decisions. Their greatest strength is their ability to listen while their biggest concern is conflict or lack of stability.

When selling to an Amiable, provide a written plan of your ideas and take your time explaining your product or service. Avoid rushing them into a decision; otherwise you will lose their trust. Use the word "we" frequently throughout your discussion – Amiable's have a strong desire to be included. Above all, listen more than you talk. Remain silent longer than normal to allow them time to process your information. 

The last style is the Analytical. These people are polite, reserved and logical. They are very fact-oriented and strive for perfection. This means they need a great deal of information before they make a decision and will analyze each decision from every possible angle. The Analytical needs to be right and will not usually discuss ideas openly until they are confident in their decision.

Present facts, figures, and compelling evidence. Take your time during a presentation, allowing plenty of time for questions. Expect to repeat yourself as a form of clarification and be prepared to answer "how" questions. Most importantly, avoid trying to get too personal - they do not like to share personal information.

Adapting your personal approach to match the style of your customer or prospect takes focus and concentration. As a start, identify some of the personality styles of your existing clientele and determine what one or two modifications you can make. During your next interaction with each person, incorporate the change into your presentation or discussion and watch the results. People feel most comfortable with others who portray similar behaviours. Modifying your behaviour slightly can help you garner significant results.

Copyright 2004, Kelley Robertson. All rights reserved.

Kelley Robertson, President of the Robertson Training Group, works with businesses to help them increase their sales and motivate their employees. He is also the author of "Stop, Ask & Listen – Proven sales techniques to turn browsers into buyers." Visit his website at www.RobertsonTrainingGroup.com and receive a FREE copy of "100 Ways to Increase Your Sales" by subscribing to his 59-Second Tip, a free weekly e-zine.
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