Have you ever wondered why you seem to hit it off right away with some prospects, while with others it’s more like oil and water? That’s because we respond intuitively to the natural chemistry, or lack thereof, between temperament styles. Our temperament style not only determines our behavioral traits, body language patterns and buying style, but it also influences our compatibility with other people.
Today we have access to innovative tools, such as smartphones and email, designed to enhance our communications and support us in selling more effectively. Nevertheless, even with all the technological tools at our disposal, the alarming number of failed relationships, dissatisfied employees and lost sales all reflect the fact that none of us are as effective at understanding others as we would like to believe.
For example, what about that sale you thought you had made, but for some unknown reason, your prospect changed his mind and didn’t buy … or at least didn’t buy from you. Chances are you lost that sale because of your inability to recognize and adjust to your prospect’s preferred buying style. This temperament mismatch is often referred to as a “personality conflict.”
Research in the field of psychology tells us that we are born into one of four primary temperament styles: aggressive, expressive, passive or analytical. A person’s temperament style is determined genetically and has nothing to do with his or her astrology sign, birth order or childhood experiences. Our temperament style is also unrelated to race or gender. Each of these four primary behavioral styles requires a different approach and selling strategy.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, is credited with originating the basic theory of the four temperament styles 2,400 years ago. Since the days of ancient Greece, there have been many temperament theories and a wide variety of evaluation instruments, but essentially, they utilize the four temperament styles that Hippocrates identified. Hippocrates observed that these four styles have a direct influence on our physiology, character traits and outlook on life.
The aggressive or worker style is:
Their major weakness is anger management. Under pressure, the worker will work harder and may become ill-natured or explosive.
The impatient and goal-oriented worker prefers a quick, bottom-line presentation style. They expect you to be on time and well prepared. They like it when you avoid small talk and get right down to business.
Workers are generally quick to make a decision. They are focused on results and ask “what” questions. Key words to use when presenting to a Worker are results, speed and control. Give them options so you don’t threaten their need for control.
The expressive or talker style is:
Their major weakness is emotional management. Under pressure, the talker will talk more, shop or eat, and may display an emotional outburst.
The playful and friendly talker prefers a fast-paced and enthusiastic presentation style. Use a short warm-up and allow extra time in your presentation for them to talk. Talkers can be impulsive shoppers and are generally quick to make a decision. The key to making a sale to a talker is to keep them focused on the presentation and allow time for them to express their feelings.
Talkers seek social acceptance and are concerned about what other people think of them. They ask “who” questions. Keywords to use when presenting to a talker are exciting, fun and enthusiastic. Keep your presentation big picture and avoid giving them too much detail. Consider using colorful pictures, pie charts or graphs when presenting to this style.