How to recognize and sell to different personality types

If you recall from last week’s article, we introduced you to the DISC personality profiles and how understanding each style and its nuances can enhance the effectiveness of working in an open office environment.

This week’s blog is about recognizing the characteristics of these personality types first because you rarely have the opportunity to send them to take the test before you engage in a conversation. Once you can identify the personality type of your customer, you can next adjust your style to close the deal. Now, if you didn’t read the last blog about personality types, I urge you to go back and read about DISC and take the test for yourself. Don’t worry – I’ll wait for you.

The fast-moving extroverts: Direct and Influential

You can recognize these folks quickly from their fast pace and louder volume of speech. They will be more animated when speaking, with their inflection and hand gestures. When they sit with you, their posture will be more forward and alert, so you know they are engaged. The good news is that if approached correctly, these customers will close the deal quickly.

Here are their differences:

Direct D’s

The D’s will appear impatient and strong-willed. They are naturally competitive, and they make fast decisions.

Selling to D’s

Use a closed posture when conversing with a D and concentrate on the subject. They don’t care for small-talk, so focus on the topic at hand and keep your interaction formal. They are interested in the big picture over the tiny details and prefer the sales process to be quick.

D’s are motivated by status and achievement, so focusing on the strength and unique qualities of Iron Age Office furniture will impress them. Stress being ahead of the crowd by the cutting edge design.

Avoid with D’s

Don’t spend too much time on non-essentials unless they ask about them. Don’t restrict their power to make a decision. If they are ready – they are READY.

Influential I’s

The I’s and the D’s share many traits, but the I’s will show themselves through being social, open, and talkative. In fact, they are known to talk more than they listen. They also purchase with their emotions. These are your enthusiastic and energetic impulse buyers. If you can hit the right button, you can close the deal today by appealing to their social side.

Selling to I’s

When selling to I’s, you use an open posture and match their animation with your genuine warmth. These customers like a more casual exchange and a fun experience, so focus on the positive. If you know any influential big hitters sporting IAO design, it makes a difference to I’s, who will be impressed and enthusiastic about sharing in this popular choice of influential people and companies. The I’s also look at the big picture over the tiny details. Focus on the “feelings” of those who will use the furniture and the new vibe that they will take credit for bringing to their company.

Avoid with I’s

The last thing you want to do with I’s is squash their enthusiasm or boggle them with details. They prefer you to keep everything light and positive.

The slow-moving introverts – S’s and C’s

These individuals move at a slower and more careful pace. You will notice it with their softer and slower speech. When seated, they are leaned back and more relaxed. For this group, have your notes and details ready for the multitude of questions they are about to throw at you.

Steady S’s

Your S’s are very warm and amiable subjects. They are modest and trusting, but very indecisive.

Selling to S’s

S’s are motivated by security and reliability, so focus on the quality of the furniture, the craftsmanship, and how it will remain a prominent statement to their design for years to come. Promote the community of an open office if they are shopping for workstations. If they don’t have someone with them, they will likely want to get approval from another before deciding. Have brochures to send with them, or encourage them to snap pictures to send to their missing partner. Also, focus on how every piece is made to order.

Avoid with S’s

S’s are not the group to apply any sales pressure, for it will deter them instead of encouraging. Also, avoid making any promises that you aren’t positive about fulfilling. 

Conscientious C’s

Your C’s share a lot of the same characteristics as the S’s, however they are the most analytical of personality types. They are quiet and may give an impression of being void of emotion. Know that they are analyzing everything they learn as they speak with you. As the D’s they are more formal and disciplined, but they will have the most questions for you.

Selling to C’s

The C’s will appreciate your attention to the quality of the furniture. Use a closed posture as you do with the D’s, and mimic the unexpressive and cool mannerisms. Focus on why Iron Age Office is a superior product. You probably won’t close the deal on the first day, but give them plenty of information to analyze. They will come back if yours is better than the competition.

Avoid with C’s

Don’t try to use small talk to loosen them up – it makes them uncomfortable. Also, don’t try to pressure them into a decision. Your attention to every detail is what will win them over.

Yes, you can sell to anyone

One thing I found is that the majority of people in sales are either I’s, D’s, or a combination of the two. This detail makes sense with the confidence and drives to close a deal. I met an S in sales once, and her approach was very different. She approached her sales as a means of resolving problems, and it was brilliant for her. As an I or a D, though, selling to the slowerpaced (half of them being S’s) personality types may be more distracting to both of you. As you take note and adjust your approach, you may find yourself closing more customers than you ever did.


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