What motivates your clients and prospects to act? The reasons people make decisions tend to be deeply personal, and all clients and prospects are not created equal. It’s extremely helpful to understand the personality of the person with whom you are communicating—whether you’re taking part in a conversation or delivering a sales presentation.

You’ve heard it before, but personality really does have a major impact on buying behavior. If you can craft your communications to fit your prospects’ personality types, you’ll be more effectively able to encourage them to act. And when you’re keenly aware of your own personality type, you can better identify how your clients differ from you and then alter your approach.

Author Mitch Anthony states in his book, Selling With Emotional Intelligence, that when clients have a choice, they are most likely to go with the option that presents the least amount of emotional annoyance. If you are able to pinpoint your clients’ personality types, you can more easily understand how they take in information and how they may feel about decisions and outcomes.

The most effective assessment tools for assessing personality types are:

  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
  • Kolbe A Index
  • FIRO-B (Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation)
  • My personal favorite: The Connector IQ (presented in my book, The Connectors)

Assess yourself first. And if you have already taken one of these assessments, pull up your results and think about how you can account for your own personality type—as well as your prospects’—when making your presentations. It can really help you to make a connection.

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Maribeth Kuzmeski is the founder of Red Zone Marketing, LLC, which consults to Fortune 500 firms on strategic marketing planning and business growth. For more information, go to www.redzonemarketing.com.