Personality and Sales: Your Influence on How You Sell
Your personality totally impacts HOW you sell – and vice versa – it’s important to understand who you’re selling to. We can assure your sales personality type, strengths and weaknesses directly influence the outcome of a sales deal. Won or lost. On the other hand, understanding your buyer’s persona is a powerful insight that leads to more effective sales communication and conversations.
In this article, we’re going to cover how understanding your personality, strengths, and weaknesses can help enhance your sales style. We’ll also discuss how to identify buyer personas and what you can do with that information in order to have better, more productive conversations with your prospects and customers.
Sales and Personality
Having self-awareness helps you discover how your personality helps and hinders your sales conversations. Think about it, there are certain characteristics that make you a natural salesman – that could be your trustworthiness, curiosity, and confidence, or your ability to develop strong relationships, and always put the customer first. These are all positive, and effective traits that contribute to sales success, and chances are one of these comes to you pretty naturally. On the other hand, our personality types can negatively impact sales – maybe you’re overpowering, passive, unorganized, you forget to follow up, or take rejection personally. These, of course, all stem from our personality and who we are as individuals.
While some traits help, others hurt. Yet, having an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses will give you insight into how your sales and personality are related, and in what specific areas you could see improvement.
Enneagram and Sales Personality Types
Ever heard of the Enneagram? While it’s not created specifically for the workplace, it provides a well-rounded personality assessment of your strengths and weaknesses. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the enneagram, you answer a series of questions based on your preferences. From there, you are categorized into one of 9 types based on your characteristics and behaviors. The 9 types include:
- Reformer – The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic
- Helper – The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive
- Achiever – The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious
- Individualist – The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental
- Investigator – The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated
- Loyalist – The Committed, Security-Oriented Type: Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious
- Enthusiast – The Busy, Fun-Loving Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered
- Challenger – The Powerful, Dominating Type: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational
- Peacemaker – The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, and Complacent
While you may assume you already know yourself best, using an external tool gives you even better insight into who you are, where you thrive, and where you dive. While there is truly no “right” or “wrong” sales personality type to be successful, there are certain elements that can help or hold you back.
To learn more about how your personality affects your sales style, listen in on this episode from the Sales Unscripted Podcast, on Personality & Enneagram Types in Sales. Here, Covideo’s Director of Marketing, Margaret Henney, and veteran sales coach and podcaster, Bryan Neale, take part in some personal self reflection sharing their enneagram types, strengths, weaknesses, and how their personality traits have landed (or lost) a deal.
And if you haven’t taken the enneagram before, discover your personality type now!
Different Types of Selling Based on Personality Types
Understanding the persona of who you’re selling to helps you prepare and tailor the conversation in that direction. Maybe your prospect is analytical, then you’ll want to be direct and present all the facts. Or, if you’re selling to someone more relational, then you’ll want to put more effort into building trust and rapport. Regardless, understanding your prospect’s personality allows for more productive and effective sales conversations.
Yet, how do you figure out a prospect’s personality type? We’ll unpack 3 different methods that help reveal more about who you’re talking to.
1. Gain personalized insights with Crystal Knows
Crystal Knows is a sales tool that offers suggestions on how you optimize your sales pitch based on your prospects behavioral traits and preferences. It’s a gold mine of information, providing personalized insights into your buyer’s persona. Crystal Knows is a widget that lives on your Google Chrome browser. When you visit someone’s LinkedIn profile, it coaches you on how to speak to them, how to sell to them, and how to talk price with them. They provide do’s and dont’s based on their personality type – so you know exactly what to focus on, and what to avoid. It’s a great insight into what’s important to your prospects and what they value – so you can prioritize those things.
2. Tune in to your prospect’s every word
As they say, words are windows into the soul. In order to reveal what’s important to your buyer, tune into their every word and listen intently. From there, you don’t just want to interpret it as is, you have to draw it out and reveal the meaning behind the words.
How so? Be curious and ask questions. For example, if you’re in the middle of a sales discussion and a prospect says, “I just want to make sure my team’s on board here,” then this is your opportunity to ask clarifying questions. You might ask, “What is your team dynamic like? Are they always on board with new systems and ideas, or do they push back frequently? Take me through that.” Asking those deeper questions with sincerity and curiosity will reveal more about your prospect and what’s important to them. Ultimately, this leads to greater understanding and better rapport between you and your prospect.
3. Give it time
Unfortunately, there’s no way to shortcut building rapport and getting to know someone. It takes time to establish trust, develop a connection, and discover what they’re truly like. It’s important to note, Crystal Knows helps you prepare before heading into the meeting. While understanding your prospect’s words helps in the midst of your conversation. But ultimately, it takes time and authenticity to truly get to know someone. The best way to do this naturally is to be sincere, empathetic, and most of all, yourself.
How To Be a Better Salesman By Understanding Sales and Personality
There’s no doubt your personality has a major influence on the way you sell and your prospect’s response. By understanding your strengths and weaknesses, as well as the personality of your buyer’s, you are able to prepare for a more productive and effective sales conversation. Discover how to be a better salesman and how to sell to different personality types with this episode from the Sales Unscripted Podcast.