Flooring Sales Tip: Empathetic Selling Personality Types
Industrial psychologists Dr. David W. Merrill and Roger Reid developed four basic personality types based on two determinants. First, is the personality mostly extroverted (assertive) or mostly introverted (nonassertive)? Second, is the personality mostly empathy-oriented (relationship-oriented) or mostly non-empathetic (not relationship-oriented)? The answers yield four personality types: The Director, The Analytical, The Socializer and The Amiable.
In part one, we examined two of the four classifications: the Director and the Analytical. This issue will discuss the remaining two personality types referred to as the Socializer and the Amiable. Keep in mind that people do not fall neatly into just one personality type. Every individual is a mixture with different degrees of assertiveness and relationship needs.
Extroverted/Empathy-oriented personalities are referred to as socializers, talkers or expressives. The Socializer is the one who loves being the center of attention. Socializers are fast-paced and are often great entertainers. They enjoy being in relationships and enjoy being with people. Socializers may slightly exaggerate and generalize. They are talkative, spur-of-the-moment types. They tend to be enthusiastic, friendly and optimistic. Socializers also tend to go with their intuition. Socializers enjoy building relationships first. Socializers are good communicators, but they often lack initiative.
To persuade the Socializer is not difficult at all, but it is time-consuming. Socializers have little concept of time. Socializers are seldom concerned with the facts or details and even try to avoid them as much as possible. Questions that refer to concepts, ideas and dreams will stimulate a Socializer.
When selling to a Socializer, ask lots of questions about color, style, and happenings while avoiding technical details; be enthusiastic and entertaining. You need to frequently acknowledge their self-worth as they need recognition. Try to genuinely support their answers and get agreement on important issues. Cushion with “Good point!”, “Good choice!”, or “I’m glad you brought that up!” In presenting products, it helps to point out how their decision to buy will enhance their status in their community of family and friends.
Closing for a Socializer should feel like a spontaneous decision. You must presume the sale with them by making it a “we-us” decision. Say things like, “Let’s go ahead and get this going. You will be glad you did.” You’ve got to figuratively put your arm around Socializers or give them a slight shoulder tap and help them make that spontaneous decision. Keep it simple and fun!
Introverted/Empathy-oriented personalities are referred to as “amiables” or “relators.” Just about everyone loves an Amiable. They are relaxed, casual and love relationships. Amiables, like Socializers, enjoy building relationships first. Amiables are great listeners and they are feeling-oriented people.
Amiables particularly like to become friends first before doing business. If you come on as aggressive, excitable or too enthusiastic, you will probably repel her. Feel free to ask lots of questions, especially the “get to know you” questions.” They love sincere small talk. The focus of Amiables is on getting acquainted, building trust and genuineness.
The Amiable has to “feel right” before any kind of decision can be made and needs constant reassurance she is making the best decision. Plan on spending time with them.
Take time to get this client to spell out personal objectives and concerns. The reason: Amiables are reluctant to tell you of their concerns or dislikes of your product or company out of fear of hurting your feelings. They tend to tell people what they want to hear rather than what they need to know.
Use lots of conversational door openers, such as, “Tell me more about that?” or “What are your feelings on this?” Support her statements often by cushioning with statements like, “Good point!” or “I’m glad you brought that up!”
Amiables rarely confront; they simply shop elsewhere. Get agreement on important points by asking, “Does that make sense?” or “Does that answer your question?” and then look carefully for the real answer through facial or body expressions.
Amiables have a hard time saying no, but they also have a hard time saying yes. Amiables are slow decision makers and prefer involving significant others in the final decision. Try to support the Amiables’ feelings. Discuss many options, styles, and colors and urge feedback. Show the Amiable you are actively listening and that you are open to change in your discussions. Avoid technical detail while giving supportive advice once you know what she genuinely likes.
Amiables fear buyer’s remorse. There are two words that must be asserted when closing Amiables: “guarantee” and “assurance.” For example, you might say, “I would like to read this guarantee for you.” Once you have read this promise out loud, give her a shoulder tap, and say, “I give you my personal assurance on everything I just told you.” Once you have given them the guarantee and assurance, you’re on your way to closing the sale.
In dealing with different personalities, we must prepare our message in our customer’s own code of psychological acceptance. One of the ways we can achieve this is by mirroring other personality types, careful never to be phony. In other words, find a common ground within your own personality and adapt to the person you are speaking with. Most people connect best with people like themselves—especially in buying situations.
Good selling to you.