Sales Training: How to Recognize and Handle Different Personality Types

If you are a small business owner or manager, chances are you play the role of salesman quite often. The better you are at sales, the more successful your business will be.

If you’re taking a “one size fits all” approach when you deal with prospects, chances are you’re limiting your sales potential. You need to recognize different personality types and modify your presentation accordingly.

I divide prospects into 4 personality types and to make it easy to remember, I use animals and their behavior to help remember them.

The animals are: Owl, Love Bird, Cow and Rhino

Owls are Wise. They get that way by asking questions. They want to know all of the details.

So, if you are dealing with an Owl, you better know your product. The good thing is, if you answer all their questions, they are usually ready to buy.

Many salemen get along great with their customers. They talk sports, remember the names of their kids and treat them to lunch whenever they can. These clients are Love Birds. It’s called relationship selling and it works. As you discover common interests with your prospect you make a connection. When two people find out they have things in common they tend to trust one another and we all know that trust is a very important factor in closing a sale.

The Cow personality type is a bit tricky to deal with. Cows have a herd mentality. They take their direction from what others around them do. They like recommendations and are probably the easiest to sell. But there’s a problem with cows. After a sale, if they talk to friends or even your competition, they may have 2nd thoughts – you know, buyer’s remorse, and want to cancel or modify their order. So you better make sure they understand features, terms and conditions.

The Rhino is our fourth personality type and can be the most difficult to handle. He’s usually busy and wants to get to the “bottom line” or price asap. He doesn’t have patience to listen to your sales presentation and will want to take control of the conversation. So how do you handle a Rhino? By being a Rhino. Show him that your time is valuable too. Get to the point quickly and convince him that the benefits of your product or service are worth taking the time to review.

To be successful in sales, you have to be able to recognize and handle all 4 personality types. Ask yourself this question. What personality type am I? Chances are most of your customers will be a lot like you. To be a top sales person, you need to be able to sell all types of prospects. To do that, you need to recognize and adapt to all four personality types.

Once you master this concept you will be on your way to becoming a top producer.