What if your customer or prospect has one style of personality and you have another? Would it work? Would you be able to close sales?
If I said to you, people exhibit four basic social styles, would you be able to recognize them? They are:
- Powerful Directors – they like things done “My Way!”
- Popular Socializers – they like things done the “Fun Way!”
- Peaceful Relators – they like things done the “Easy Way!”
- Perfect Thinkers – the like things done the “Right Way!”
In some cases yes, in many cases no. When you come across a prospect that has a different social style from you, building rapport can be so much harder because people like people who are like them. Adapting your personality to a prospects personality will help you get into rapport. Once you are in rapport, then you have a greater chance of moving them through the sales process.
Supportiveness vs Directness
Your behavioral style reflects the effect you have on a prospect. Although attitude and style are quite different, it is how you’re perceived by your prospect that actually matters.
The two main observable factors that reflect your attitude is your level or supportiveness and directness. Supportiveness reflects how willing you are to outwardly show your emotions and feelings which are critical to building rapport and forming interpersonal relationships with a prospect. Directness reflects the amount of control you look to have over a prospects thoughts and emotions. Consider if a prospect is direct or indirect, think of them as being an extrovert or introvert.
Responsive people tend to be “people oriented” and assertive people tend to be “task oriented.” Prospects will predominantly fit into one or a combination of two of these dimensions. You do as well.
Your own personality and social style will have an influence on how well you relate to a prospect.
Characteristics of the four social styles
Characteristics of a Powerful Director
A person who displays Director characteristics is primarily a leader who is self-assured and determined and gets things done. Uncomfortable with small talk they tend to not have a lot of friends because their major weakness is they lack tact and diplomacy. They don’t consider other people’s feelings. They like to be in control and make decisions for others and don’t like displays of emotions. Results oriented, they fear losing control or being taken advantage of.
Under stress the Director will tend to dictate.
Characteristics of a Popular Socializer
The Socializer personality enjoys company. They tend to make friends easily and relate to others easily. However they aren’t always good at following up on details. They can be very impulsive and lose focus quickly. They are generally not very analytical and don’t see the relevance in detailed reporting. They seek recognition and like to be admired. They fear a loss of face and prestige.
Under stress the Socializer will tend to confront.
Characteristics of a Peaceful Relator
The Relator personality is easy-going and dependable. They are diplomatic peacemakers and have a tendency to procrastinate. They won’t take on more than they feel they can cope with. They are easy to get on with and most people enjoy working with them. They need to learn to be more assertive as they don’t like to say no. They seek acceptance and fear sudden change.
Under stress the Relator will tend to submit.
Characteristics of a Perfect Thinker
The Thinker likes to think things through carefully and is not quick to make decisions. Once a decision is made, they stand by it because they have analyzed all the possibilities. They are detailed oriented and seek accuracy and don’t like criticism of their work. They have a tendency to be negative and dwell on past hurts. They also have a tendency to be pessimistic. Because they are not people oriented, they don’t make friends easily but when they do, they are intensely loyal. They fear criticism of their work.
Under stress the Thinker tends to withdraw.
Selling to the four styles
The Powerful Director
Prospects who display director traits are usually very direct and extroverted. They come across as being very powerful and confident. Goal oriented, they don’t like you to waste their time or appear disorganized. They like to be the one to make the decision. They are much harder to build rapport with as they can come across as being blunt and arrogant. When dealing with them – be snappy sharp and don’t ramble. They don’t like detail so be brief and get to the point quickly. They will make up their own mind without a lot of prodding from you. The good thing is, they do make decisions quickly.
The Popular Socializer
The socializer is also direct, very expressive and often in your face. Extroverted, they love to do things the fun way. They are also people oriented. They were the popular ones at school and are the life of the party. Warm and welcoming, it’s usually easier to build rapport with a Socializer provided you are also warm and enthusiastic. They have a need to be liked and to look good so focus on what will make them be the hero. Ask them for their opinion and chunk up to the bigger picture as they are not very good with detail and are easily distracted.
You can close them on the spot by doing it with enthusiasm and demonstrating how the decision to buy from you will be good for them personally as it will make them look good!
The Peaceful Relator
The peaceful relator is usually indirect in their interactions with you and like to do things the easy way. They love to relate to others so building rapport and relationship building is very important to them. Relators are caring and sincere and will look to maintain rapport with you. You need to start by being personable, informal and non-threatening. Don’t be formal or abrupt or dominate the discussion. Ask them their opinion throughout your conversations with them.
As a general rule of thumb, they are not goal oriented and usually won’t make decisions on the spot. They need a little more work so you do need to keep in touch with them and follow up regularly. They might just need some gentle prodding to decide to buy from you.
The Perfect Thinker
If you are dealing with a perfect thinker – remember they are more task focused. They like facts, figures and detail. They are very methodical and analytical. They are harder to build rapport with as they are naturally distrusting. Take your time and do your homework. Be logical in your approach and deal with any queries they have all the way through as they are likely to ask lots of questions.
You can’t rush their decision-making process because chances are they like to mull things over. Allow them this time to think – if you rush them, you risk losing them. Once they make a decision, they will remain loyal and fully support you.
On a final note
If you can identify the social style of your prospective clients and adapt your own social style to build rapport, you will build a trusting relationship and close more sales.
In A Nutshell
Directors like dominance, control and freedom. They tend to reject openness and don’t like displays of emotions. Don’t ramble, be snappy and sharp and let them make the decision.
Socializers are expressive, prefer a direct approach and like to show emotions. Details are not their strong suit so make it easy for them to buy as they want to look good.
Relators prefer an indirect approach and like openness. Relationships are important to them so take your time to build rapport. They don’t set goals and will become stubborn if pushed for a decision too quickly.
Thinkers are task oriented and naturally cautious. They don’t like displays of emotion. Be organized, deal in facts and figures. They like all the details. Trust is important to them. Don’t try to close them too quickly or they will walk away.