Selling encompasses the art of communication.  

The better you communicate, the more successful you will be in your sales career.  Communications is comprised of actions, words, appearance, sounds, moods, attitudes, voice, expressions and listening.  Another major aspect of communications involves personality.  There are thirty-two major personality traits that are boiled down to four personality types.  To better understand and learn their significance to communications, they are categorized as red, yellow, white and blue.  Each of these colors represents a group of traits referred to as a personality type.  Each personality type communicates in its own unique language.  It is the understanding of and speaking the language of personality types that will significantly improve the success of a salesperson.

To simplify these four languages and to help develop your ability to speak them fluently, I’m going to refer to them by different names and suggest some recognition factors so you will know which language to speak.  For each personality type I will also give you some key points for communicating with them.

Lion – Driver – Red: Recognition Factors

  • Entrepreneurial Spirit, Sense of Urgency
  • Independent & Decisive, Motivated & Persistent
  • Concerned with Results, Takes Action
  • Enjoys Challenges, Willing to take Risks
  • Does not Get Bogged Down with Details
  • Very Demanding, Dominating, Controlling
  • Lacks Diplomacy and Tact, Stubborn
  • Keeps Feelings and Emotions Private

How to Communicate With the Lion:

  • Be professional. Be on time. Be formal and businesslike.
  • Be direct, to the point, bottom line, don’t waste time.
  • Don’t sell relationships. Don’t be emotional.
  • Don’t tell them, make it their idea, don’t argue.
  • Be efficient and disciplined, focus on time, money and results.
  • Don’t pressure them; results are the only thing that matters.

Monkey – Expressive – Yellow: Recognition Factors

  • Creative, Artistic, High Energy, Outgoing, Innovative
  • Stimulating and Motivating, Fun to Work With
  • Excellent Communication Skills, Personable
  • Flexible on Rules and Regulations, Disorganized
  • Unrealistic, Impractical, Needs Direction
  • Easily Side Tracked, Relies on Hunches
  • Opinionated Without Facts, Emotional

How to Communicate With the Monkey

  • Be informal and personal, focus on relationships.
  • Be entertaining and fast moving.
  • Get them to talk about themselves.
  • Use stories, examples and personal anecdotes.
  • Sell the sizzle not the steak. Use pictures.
  • Avoid criticism or high pressure.
  • They are impulsive, keep it simple.
  • They buy when it feels right.

Owl – Analytical – White: Recognition Factors

  • Hard Worker, Organized and Systematic
  • Good at Follow Through, Planning and Research
  • Follows all the Rules, Serious, Detail Oriented
  • Lacks Enthusiasm, Overly Cautious, Lacks Urgency
  • Poor Communications and Humor, Needs Structure
  • Greets you Formally Without Enthusiasm
  • Shows Little Emotion, Analyzes Before Speaking
  • Takes Lots of Notes, Wants Facts and Figures
  • Not Programmed to Make Decisions

How to Communicate With the Owl

  • Be formal and well organized. Be prepared.
  • Place emphasis on actions not words. Be deliberate.
  • Don’t Rush; allow them to ask questions.
  • Give detailed answers. Maintain arm’s length distance.
  • Keep humor to a minimum. Avoid idle conversation.
  • Avoid physical touch. Trust comes from respect.
  • Provide solid tangible factual evidence; no opinions.
  • Facts and figures are king. Don’t rush decisions.

Dog – Amiable – Blue: Recognition Factors

  • Low-keyed, Likable and Caring, Good Team Member
  • Loves Structure, Cooperative, Good Listener
  • Makes Friends Easily, Mediator, Dependable
  • Diplomatic, Tactful, Patient, Organized
  • Excellent at Creating Processes and Procedures
  • Greets you Warmly, Interested in you as a Person
  • Not a Risk Taker. Avoids Conflict. Does not like Change
  • Easygoing. Wants to Please. People Oriented

How to Communicate With the Dog

  • Will decide quickly whether to trust you.
  • Be casual and down to earth. Be sincere and honest.
  • Focus on them not your achievements.
  • Speak softly and slowly. Maintain good eye contact.
  • Ask questions about them and family; listen actively.
  • Give emotional support. Establish a personal relationship.
  • They will readily accept your opinion.
  • Don’t debate facts, figures or details.
  • They need personal assurances.

Speaking the language of personality types could very easily become the most significant reason for your increased sales performance.  People like to deal with and associate with people like themselves.  As you communicate with others in their native personality language, you will discover greater insights, develop more relationships, uncover and solve more needs and sell more of your products and services than you ever imagined possible.  By the way, if our paths should ever cross, my native language is “dog”.