Sales Psychology: How to Sell To Different Personality Types

Sales Psychology: How to Sell To Different Personality Types Parallax Image

Good salespeople know that everyone is different and the success of any sales strategy will depend hugely on tailoring your approach to the personality of the customer. One size will never fit all, but if you know how to identify the basic personality types, then you can structure your sales pitch accordingly.

Behavioural experts have identified four basic personality types: analytical, assertive, expressive and amiable. How salespeople react to each will have a direct impact on how successful they are at selling. So it’s important to learn how to identify each, using the right body language and questioning to reveal what sort of customer you’re trying to sell to.

The Analytical

Perhaps the most distinct personality type to look out for is the analytical. They’re fairly easy to spot as they’re less expressive than other personality types. Instead, they are thoughtful, reserved individuals; typically perfectionists – which means they can over-analyse things. Analyticals are interested in the finer details of what you’re selling and what it can do for them, so make sure you have plenty of facts and figures for them to mull over. They’ll scrutinize this data to make a purchase decision.

Be warned, however, these individuals are cautious and may take longer to complete the sales journey, so don’t rush them. Analyticals don’t make rash decisions. They’ll have done their research on you and your product - make sure you’re equally prepared.

The Assertive

These individuals are goal-oriented and competitive. You can identify them fairly quickly by their body language, which will be confident and animated – almost to the point of being aggressive. Winning them over means demonstrating efficiency and professionalism.

Assertives are highly ambitious, determined and typically found in busy leadership roles, so try not to waste their time if you want the sale. Get to the point and get to it quickly. Let them know how what you’re selling will give them a competitive advantage. Play to their competitive streak and make them feel that you’re on the same level.

The Expressive

Expressives are an interesting breed. You’ll see them coming from a distance. There are colourful, fun-loving and enthusiastic, and will immediately make small talk to attempt to bond with you on personal level. Expressives are team players and often care more about how decisions impact on others rather than themselves.

They tend to be creative and focused on building a relationship. They can talk a lot, so keep the conversation light and listen. Don’t push for a sale there and then. Expressives are people you can follow up on later, demonstrating that you want to build a mutually beneficial relationship. Too much technical detail bores them, so best not to rely on numbers here. Be as colourful as they are and use analogies to tell a story. Case studies are a good way to do this.

The Amiable

With amiables, it’s all about trust. They want to be walked through the sales journey. Along the way, you need to demonstrate that they can trust you. The typical amiable can be recognised as being somewhat shy and reserved. As a result, they’re some of the most difficult people to sell to. Friendly, calm, patient and, like expressives, amiables value relationships.

While they’re great listeners, they’re also indecisive, which makes it difficult to make a sale on the spot. To maximise your chances of success, you need to demonstrate how your product will deliver a better future for them or the company. So, try to get to know them, build a rapport, and gently guide them on the way to a sales decision. Usually, these people will go back to their organisation to get buy-in so bear this in mind when it comes to your sales pitch.

Everyone is different

Of course, this isn’t a set of hard and fast rules to personality types. Most people are a mixture of types and it’s your job to gauge their style and react accordingly. Use your opening questions and statements to hone in on who you’re talking to. After that, it’s a case of fine-tuning your sales pitch for the best outcome. It becomes easier with practice, and, by doing so, you’ll see your efforts translated into easier, faster, increased sales.

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