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How to Sell to the 4 Customer Types: which one are You?

Selling, like any other relationship, will be successful if you manage to communicate efficiently. Wouldn´t it be amazing if you just knew exactly what makes your customer tick and find a way to get your message through easily? What if you knew in advance how to sell anyone?

Fortunately, psychologists have found that people's behaviors and actions are consistent and you can adapt your sales pitch, tonality, energy level, and even the amount of information delivered, in order to Close the Deal!

In 1964 Dr. David W Merrill and Roger Reid began research to create a model that could predict the success in selling and management careers. As a result, four customer types have been identified based on their model: Driver, Analytical, Amiable, and Emotional.

It's important to keep in mind is that you’ll probably won’t meet a customer that fits perfectly on only one of these groups – most of them will be a mix of different personality types, with one being dominant.

Maria Pietruszewska, content writer at Tidio who specializes in customer service and

communications, shows us how to distinguish each type of customer you are selling your product or service to. By learning how their subconscious mind works, their emotional triggers, their expectations, and their concerns, you will improve your chances of closing the sale.

1. The Driver

You will usually find Drivers at managing job positions, CEOs of a company, or high ranking officials. Because of this, you should expect them to be dominant and controlling. They like to feel that they´re in charge. They don’t like to analyze too much and prefer to make a decision quickly, so they are not very patient.

The driver’s strengths are that they’re very disciplined, independent, productive and confident.

It´s important to find out if your customer is a "true Driver" or just Acting like one (maybe to mask that the spouse is really the decision-maker, or they are just acting assertively because they are scared of the sales process).

A few words to describe the Driver type:

  • Action-orientated

  • decisive

  • problem solver

  • direct

  • assertive

  • demanding

  • risk-taker

  • forceful

  • competitive

  • independent

  • determined

  • results-orientated

How to Recognize Drivers:

They will try to control the sales process from the beginning, either by time-closing you (telling you how much time they will give you), interrupting your pitch (they want to do the talking instead of the listening) or trying to steer the conversation and shortcut the small talk to get to the price.

How to Sell to Drivers

· Make them feel that they´re in charge – this is part of the "always agree with the customer" phrase you always hear in sales but using it to your advantage. Drivers are uses to calling the shots so instead of confronting them give them the feeling that they are running the show. Presenting the Drivers with a simple 2 option close and allowing them to choose will make them feel in charge.

· Show them how you’ll help them to achieve their goals – Don’t talk about your product or service for hours – instead, show them what problems of their business will you solve and how profitable the solution will be for their business.

· Be professional – Drivers often occupy managing job positions, they’re professional, and they expect the same from you. Be calm, patient, keep it short, and go straight to the point.

· Eliminate small talk – Cut out the fluff and go straight to the point. They have very little patience and they will see right through your attempts to charm them or stall the sales process and get to the bottom line.

2. The Analytical:

This type of customer is all about Cost/Benefit and risk assessment. Analyticals tend to take their time with decisions, and they don’t like to be rushed.

They also tend to analyze and plan, making careful decisions. Unfortunately, this careful planning often leads to the beginner salesperson to "data-dumping" (overloading the customer with product knowledge) and the customer having "Analysis-paralysis" (too much information to process). The Analytical´s response to either of these will be the dreaded: "I have to think about it". For them, taking no action is better than making the wrong choice.

A few words to describe the Analytical type:

  • controlled

  • orderly

  • precise

  • disciplined

  • deliberate

  • cautious

  • diplomatic

  • systematic

  • logical

  • conventional

How to Recognize Analytical

Most of the time you will recognize them easily, they might have accounting or engineering jobs. They are the ones who do all the research before any purchase, so expect a lot of questions. These might be inspired by a true interest in the product or they might be trying to uncover any hidden costs and fees, looking for reasons not-to-buy.

How to Sell to Analysts

· Show them the facts – Hard facts are what they need. For this, you must be prepared not only with the information but also the sources as well as media & brochures to back up your claims.

· Feed them just the right amount of information – since they tend to be indecisive, it’s important to give them enough time to process information. If they tell you that they "have to think about it" it's likely because you gave them too much to think about!

3. The Amiable

The Amiable type of customer is someone who is sociable and great at forming relationships with other people. Amiables are calm, friendly, and outgoing.

They like to establish a personal connection before making a business decision. Since they’re highly empathic, they’re also great listeners. Amiables like to ask personal questions to get to know you better.

The strength of Amiables is that they’re easy and outgoing – they’re good with people, and they’re easy to get along with. They’re highly empathic, which makes them great team players. They avoid conflicts, which makes is both their biggest strength and weakness at the same time (they may be unassertive and hold back).

A few words to describe the Amiable type:

  • patient

  • loyal

  • sympathetic

  • impressionable

  • relaxed

  • mature

  • supportive

  • stable

  • considerate

  • empathetic

  • persevering

  • trusting

  • congenial

How to Recognize Amiables

Amiable refers to friendliness or goodwill between people or groups. An amiable person is good-natured and easy to get along with. Amiables can have a hard time to gather their thoughts and understand the message that is being communicated.

How to Sell to Amiables

· Build a personal connection – Amiables love to form relationships with other people, so approach them with a friendly and warm attitude. They’re looking for trustworthy partners, so make sure they feel safe and comfortable with your store.

· Act as a personal advisor – this type of customer values having someone to help them with a decision process step-by-step. Act as a friendly-neighborhood salesman and guide them through the decision-making process.

· Give them a nudge in your direction – Amiables are not risk-taking individuals, so you might have to help them take action. They don´t need pressure, just to create enough urgency and allowing them to realize that they already made a decision in their heads, its just time to take action!

· Show interest in their needs – ask many questions – it’s a clear sign of your concern and care, and that’s what Amiables value.

4. The Expressive or Emotional

Expressives are team players and often care more about how decisions impact on others rather than themselves. They tend to be creative and focused on building a relationship. They can talk a lot, so keep the conversation light and listen. Don’t push for a sale there and then. Too much technical detail bores them, so best not to rely on numbers here. Be as colorful as they are and use analogies to tell a story. Third-party stories are a good way to do this.

The weaknesses of Expressives may lie in their lack of organization – they’re often undisciplined, talkative, and lose focus of their goals. All of their decisions are based on intuition, which in fact is very much prone to a change.

A few words to describe the Expressive type:

  • verbal

  • motivating

  • enthusiastic

  • convincing

  • impulsive

  • influential

  • charming

  • confident

  • dramatic

  • optimistic

  • animated

How to Recognize Expressives

There are colorful, fun-loving, and enthusiastic, and will immediately make small talk to attempt to bond with you on a personal level. They engage easily in the sales process but if their gut feeling tells them that there's something wrong, you will lose them. They will ask you personal questions as well, so be prepared with an "elevator pitch" to quickly tell them about yourself and get back on track to the sale.

How to Sell to Expressives?

· Explain how they’ll benefit from your product or service – focus on showing them some examples, e.g. case studies. Don’t present too much data – Expressives prefer real-life examples, visual aids, and personalized approach.

· Aim for a long-term partnership – just like Amiables, Expressives want to build a trusted partnership. Make sure to treat them like potential long-term partners rather than a one-time customer. Once they bond with someone, it’s harder to get rid of them.

· Speak based on your experience – these customers are sociable and value the opinion of others, so feel free to share your thoughts on what’s best for them. Often, they need a second opinion to make sure the final decision isn’t based on an error of judgment.

· They love listening to Stories – the best way to deal with their objections is with a great 3rd party stories explaining how someone else resolved that objection. Use the "feel, felt, found" technique

Recognizing the pros and cons of each personality type won´t only help you understand how to better deal with your customers, it will give you a better understanding of how you, and the people around you, can interact more effectively. If you are a Driver, be careful how you interact with driver clients, as both of you will try to control the conversation. If you are an Emotional salesperson, talking too much with another expressive might deviate the conversation and lose the momentum. Be a chameleon with your clients, follow these tips, and Close the Deal Today!

In this Video, I´ll show you another angle on the different Categories of Salespeople there are:

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