Bullseye: Understanding Personality Styles for Targeted Pitches

Customers come in all personality types. These tips will help you target your sales pitches, for better results.

By Gary Oetker and Tom Wittman

Growing your customer base is the key to boosting sales and revenue, and one key to winning new customers is adapting the sales process to each customer’s personality style. Here’s a look at the typical customer personality styles you’ll meet in the field, along with tips on how to sell to each one.

No matter the personality type, heed this advice: Listen to understand, not just to respond. That way, you can appreciate how your customers view the problem and how they’d prefer to solve it. As you listen to each customer, and as you listen to many customers over time, you’ll become good at spotting these types:

  • Driver types are usually introverts who may not be up for small talk because it tires them out. Drivers are often busy and results-focused. Drivers want the relevant information delivered quickly without extraneous details, and they prefer to make decisions sooner rather than later. Customers who want to know the big picture, the bottom line, and when you can get it done are usually Drivers.
  • Analytical customers are also introverts, but you can expect to spend more time in conversation than you would with a Driver. That’s because Analytical types want to carefully consider all the information so they can make the right decision. You’ll need to give a much slower presentation and offer as much detail as they need to feel comfortable. Customers who ask lots of questions, ask you to repeat information, and want to know the best options for each possible scenario are likely Analytical.
  • Expressive types are often extroverts who like conversation and are energized by meeting new people. Customers who want to talk with you about their HVAC system, their kids, your kids, and whatever else comes up are Expressives. They generally view decision-making from a personal perspective. These folks want to establish a rapport and a sense of trust before they buy from you.
  • Amiable customers are also extroverts, but they tend to be quieter than Expressives and they do not like confrontation. Customers who are polite and welcoming but seem resistant to making a decision are probably Amiable types. You’ll have to use your conversational skills to set them at ease and draw out their objections so they can express themselves without feeling like they’re in conflict with you.

When you understand your customer’s personality type and decision-making style, you can communicate better with them; more easily identify their needs, and educate them in the way they prefer to learn. It’s also worth your time to learn more about your own personality type and how you relate to customers. The personalized approach takes practice and patience, but the payoff is stronger customer relationships, more referrals from customers who believe you understand their needs, and a larger customer base for the business.

Want more tips? Whether you're a veteran salesperson or have only been on the job for a couple years, enroll in Master $elling to become a master of your craft.

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Guest blogger Gary Oetker is The Lennox Business Coach, and Tom Wittman is the national business and sales trainer for HVAC Learning Solutions.

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