Sales Success Tip-How to Sell to Different Personalities

Greg Beverly

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You can see immediate results in your bank account by remembering that not everyone is like you. The very things that may help you make a sale to one person may just as easily disqualify you from the next. Bob may love to “shoot the breeze" before he gets into any specifics about what he wants to buy or you want to sell. Susie on the other hand may think “shooting the breeze" is a waste of time and because you waste time, she can only expect that your product or service will do the same. According to American Psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marsden, designer of the DISC Personality Profile, there four basic personality types:

1) Dominant
2) Influential
3) Steady
4) Compliant

How you interact with each will determine your level of success. The initial reaction I get from people who hear this for the first time is that they will not change just to make a sale. Poppycock. You do it everyday. Do you relate to your boss the same way you relate to your children? Do you relate to your wife the same way you relate to your Aunt Gertrude? Of course not! To do so would not only be foolish, but quite possibly dangerous! While this system is far from infallible as most people are not completely in one category or another, but most likely a combination of several, it can give you that small advantage that may make the difference. (If you don't believe that small things matter, simply look at the results of the Preakness. Even after having run over a mile, the difference between winning and losing was so small that it could not be seen by the naked eye. The winner was determine by a photo finish!)

To better understand how to use this information to increase your sales would require more than what I can explain here, but here are some very basic things to remember about the four personality types: Dominants tend to like control They are confident, outspoken and say what they feel. They like to be leaders, to do what no one else is doing. Appeal to them by showing them how they can be different or more successful or by being a trendsetter. Influentials are generally very friendly and outgoing, They don't like a lot of detail. You need to win them over and be their friend. If you don't show them that you care about them or that you like them, they won't buy from you. The Steadies don't like to rush things.

They like to plod along, thinking things over before doing anything. They don't like making quick decisions. You need to build rapport with them much more so than the others. Be reserved as they are and don't rush things. Compliants love to collect facts, figures, data, anything that can be analyzed before making a decision. They often resist change because change means the unknown and the unknown means a lack of data to support their decision. There is so much more to learn about each of these personality types and how to interact with each. Yet, simply being aware of the differences can help you to close sales you might otherwise have missed out on.

Greg Beverly, CPA, MBA has more than 21 years experience helping sales professionsals to be the best they can be and make more money than they ever thought possible. He has helped thousands achieve their goals in life. As an author, teacher, mentor and helper, he desires to see everyone reach their true potential. You can learn how to live your dreams by visiting


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