Lets do a quick exercise. I will share with you four personality profiles and I want you to think of any customers you currently work with, then try to match them up to the different personality profiles.
When I was doing a lot of one-on-one coaching work with salespeople, inevitably I discovered that salespeople would make more sales with people who are "like" them. In other words, where the products were basically the same, clients would be far more likely to say "yes" to a salesperson that shared the same personality driver. By the same token, the business that was "missed" was more often a client that demonstrated a different personality driver.
Obviously, the salespeople were failing to adapt, also failing at adjusting their body language, voice tone and personality to that of the client. So, once again, consider your clients as we take a look at the four different personality profiles...
The first personality profile is the POWER personality:
These people are driven by power and control. They are driven by a desire to be right. The fact of the matter is these people have never been wrong. . . just ask them! They are very results-driven and they process time in terms of the future. They tend to have a "what have you done for me lately" approach. If your boss is a Power Personality, they don't want to talk about last quarter when you had a good three months, they want to know how you're going to help them over the next three months.
When influencing the Power Personality, you have to be aware that they will make quick buying decisions if you can demonstrate you are the right person for the job. They are impulse buyers and will buy on the spot if they believe that you are going to deliver the results. These people often can be sold to immediately if we can demonstrate the results they will achieve in the future.
They respect eye contact, handshake, and they respect confidence and competence. So, notice their body language and match it. Notice their voice tone and match. Often, their body language and voice tone will more tense and intense.
The tendency with the power personality is that they control others through intimidation. So don't waffle. Get to the point and demonstrate that you are the one to get results. That is what they respect. That is what they want.
Because of the fact that they are very "future-focused", confrontations with these people may be volatile. However, provided that you are still a part of the long-term plan of these people, the confrontation will soon be forgotten. In other words, you could have a fistfight with these people and 15 minutes later they may buy you a beer. These people will not dwell in the past. They want to move on, move forward and get going towards what it is that they want to achieve.
Again, if your boss is a Power Personality, I don't recommend wandering into their office on a Monday morning and saying something like, "Ummm. . . you know, I'm not really feeling like working today. I guess I'm feeling a little bit. .. umm. . well, I'm feeling a bit vulnerable today. Do you think. . umm. . . do you think that I could just have a hug?"
My advice is to avoid this type of conversation.
Demonstrate your power. Match their intensity. Say what you have to say. Get in. Get out.
The second personality is the PARTY personality:
These people are driven by fun and living in the moment. These people tend to be enthusiastic, charismatic and optimistic. They tend to love a chat, talk a lot and want to be noticed and praised. These people tend to be the ultimate impulse buyers of the world and if it feels right, they will buy immediately. These people are the easiest people to sell to in the short term, but the hardest to ￼keep as long term clients as they tend to be fickle and go with how they are feeling at any particular moment.
These people are also the clients in sales that can really break your heart. Often, they will meet with you and you find that things went so well that you are convinced everything will go forward. You are sure that they are going to buy from you. In fact, when you get back into the car you are tempted to write the sale in your book because you're so confident they will go ahead. Then, when you call them the next day, they've decided to go with someone else. You can't believe it. You got along so well. What went wrong?
The only problem was they saw another salesperson after you and they got along even better with them. These people can easily make the decision to go with the last person to see them that they liked.
To influence the Party Personality, make your product fun and easy. Take the difficulty out of it. If you hand these people a 20 page proposal, they probably won't read it. Show them the graphs, the brochures, the photos, the pictures and take the risk out of it for them. Love them, praise them, compliment these people and make it easy for them and they'll be yours. . . at least in the short term!
My natural driver is the Party Personality. I have quite a bit of Power Personality in me as well. However, I am an impulse buyer who lives in the moment and does not necessarily want to be bogged down with the details. I see the big picture. I am terrific at taking action and getting projects underway. However, for me, I need to surround myself with people who are going to spend time with the details and make sure all of those details are followed through.
People process information very differently. The Party Personality tends to be more visual by nature. As the old saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand WORDS." Visual people love to talk because they are seeing the world in pictures. Don't bore these people.
The third personality is the PEACE personality:
These people are driven by peace or really, non-confrontation. These are the nicest people in the world. They are genuinely kind. Others tend to like people who display the Peace Personality driver. They seem to get along with just about everybody. They tend to be independent, adaptable, not political, they go with the flow, are very good listeners, tend to have a softer voice, and dry humour. They want to be able to get along with all of the other personalities and are most likely to be the chameleon. They are most likely to be able to change their colours to adapt to the environment around them.
This is a critical distinction as their adaptable nature should not be confused with weakness. The Peace Personality tends to be better at adapting to the personality of others more easily than the other three personalities.
For example, a Power Personality may have a harder time working through a colleague's vulnerabilities or perceived weaknesses. A Party Personality may have more trouble listening and working through the details of a project. A Perfection Personality may have a challenge in just "going with the flow" when appropriate. On the other hand, the Peace Personality is most easily adaptable into any situation. It may, however, be more difficult to uncover their true feelings about a situation.
When selling to the Peace Personality, you have to recognise that they will hold their cards much closer to their chest. They will also do everything to avoid confrontation. They do not want to hurt your feelings and make an uncomfortable phone call to tell you that you didn't get the job. They may put you off and not return your phone calls because they don't want to tell you, "No." These people do not respond to pressure salespeople and will not make a favourable decision to go with you unless they feel totally "comfortable" with what is being presented. If you are trying to influence ￼a Peace Personality, the worst thing you could do is start to pressure them and put them on the spot to make a decision. The worst thing you could do is make them feel "uncomfortable".
To make a decision, these people may need to hear the same message more than once. They may need to hear the same message every time. Take your time to discover what is really driving them in making this decision. Ask questions. Make suggestions. Find out how you can help. Ask them if they are comfortable with what is being discussed.
Once again, notice their body language and match. Notice their voice tone and match. It will be very different than that of the other two personality types. Notice the language that they are using. Take your time and focus on them feeling comfortable in your presence. Once these people get on board with you, they are extremely loyal. Treat them well and they will be clients for life.
The fourth personality type is the PERFECTION personality:
This is the personality type that is most often seen in corporate Australia. These people are driven by perfection and process and have a very systematic approach to what they do. They succeed in the corporate world because they have high expectations of themselves and of others, and they do not respect mistakes. They want polish and professionalism. They tend to be driven to improve themselves. They can be compulsive and hard on themselves at times.
When selling to the Perfection Personality, you have to respect the process through which they are going to make this decision. For them to move forward, the decision will have to "make sense." If it doesn't make sense, why would they do it?
If you have a 20 page proposal as part of sales presentation, these are the people who actually will read it. At an extreme, these are the people who will also correct it and hand it back to you with the spelling mistakes circled in red ink. Make sure the spelling is correct, the outcomes and objectives are clearly stated and they are able to understand "how" you plan to achieve those outcomes. Sloppy work here may well do you in. Think professional and you'll be professional.
These people will ask you to demonstrate why you are the right person for the job. Once again, these people are harder to get on board, but as long as you are professional and maintain that connection, the perfection personality is very loyal. They are very loyal provided it continues to make sense to use you.
At different times everyone will display all of these personality types. One of the gifts of truly influential people is they are able to play the role of the chameleon. They are able to match each of these personality types and journey to each client's particular view of the world.
Everyone has been given some well meaning advice, like, for example – "Just Be Yourself." This is well meaning advice from people who cared about you. However, what if just being yourself and your natural personality style upsets half of the people that we come into contact with? When we work in an environment where every single client counts, we have to have greater precision with how we influence those around us.
I invite you to watch, pay attention and enjoy new insights into human behaviour, what drives people and how we can influence them. Match the body language, match the voice tone and match the personality profile that your clients are demonstrating at that time.