Although it is a surprising fact, 75% of the population is very different to you. And this is not just whether they like watching post-apocalyptic zombie films on a Saturday night or enjoy eating Marmite with a teaspoon from the jar.

In fact, people are different to the core of their personality.

And the worrying thing is… some salespeople believe their way is the right way.

If they have a bad meeting, they say the customer was difficult, or dominant or quiet.

What they don’t realise is that the customer has a different personality type, and their way of connecting with them just didn’t work.

This ultimately leads to frustration, lost time and lost opportunities, all of which could be avoided with an understanding of how to adapt to different personalities.

So what are the different personality types?

One way of looking at personality types is through Insight Profiling, which gives us four useful categories:

Expressive, Driver, Analyst and Amiable

“Expressives” are talkative, fast paced story-tellers. If they were a car they would be a showy red convertible. They have big social circles and love being the centre of attention.

“Drivers” are task-driven, fast paced go-getters. If they were a car they would be a fast, sharp sports car. They are born leaders and get things done… now.

“Analysts” are slow paced, methodological task lovers. If they were a car they would be a reliable German auto (with excellent fuel economy). They are great thinkers and will analyse the detail before making any decision.

“Amiables” are steady paced, friendly team builders. If they were a car they would be a big people carrier they could fit their friends, family (and dogs) in. They build deep relationships and care about their close circle.

How can we use different personality types in sales?

The first step is to identify your own style. A simple test can be spookily accurate as to your preferences. This knowledge helps you understand you better, and the difference between yourself and others.

The second step is to start thinking about your current prospects. What clues are you picking up as to their personality type?

1. Their role
Have a think about their role in the company. Are they doing a fast paced, socialite job (sales), a driven leadership role (CEO), an analytical job (IT, finance, data) or a people-focused job (HR)?

2. Their Social Profiles
Google them and check out LinkedIn. What personality flags are you picking up? Are they wearing bright, expressive colours, a sharp suit, earthy, comfy clothes, or practical attire? What language do thy use on their social profiles?

3. The Meeting
If you have met them, pay attention to the speed they talk, the pictures in their office, the awards on the wall, the questions they ask and the stories they tell. What clues are they giving you about their personality type?

Finally, and most importantly, be sensitive to their personality type and adapt your behaviour accordingly.

If you think you will be seeing an “Expressive”, charge yourself with big smiles, lots of energy and ask them about their life.

“Driver”? Go straight to business and ask about their big picture goals.

“Analyst”? Come with detail and figures and give them lots of space to think.

“Amiable”? Spend time talking about their role, their team and discover how what you are selling could help the people in the organisation.

Adapting your style to theirs will make them feel more at ease and will ensure you are communicating and serving them in the way that they most desire.

In Summary…

Some salespeople only connect fully with 25% of their prospects.

To become a high-performing salesperson, you must understand that 75% of your prospects are different to you and require a different approach.

The secret to connecting effectively is through understanding the different personality types, their associated drivers and adapting your communication style accordingly. Ultimately this will allow you to connect with more prospects, pick up on more buying signals and convert more satisfied customers.

Understanding personality types empowers effective client relationships. To progress your sales career, take a look at our live jobs and get in touch.