by Guest Blogger – Alf Foster

Recently I wrote a blog about selling using personality type theory. To further explore selling something to a valuable client in a way that plays to their personality here is a brief overview/refresher of the MBTI.

The MBTI sorts people into 4 areas of preference:

  1. Where they get their energy from and what they focus on – Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I)
  2. How they take in information – Sensing (S) or Intuition (N)
  3. How they make decisions – Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
  4. How they deal with the world – Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)

An Extravert gains energy from plenty of interaction and thinking aloud as opposed to introverts who could lose energy from the interaction.

“Tell me more about this” vs. the introvert thinking some quiet would be good cause I’m a little overwhelmed or simply saying “can you give me that in writing” so they can go away and reflect.

A sensing person will notice facts, specifications, step by step, how they can put the information that is being imparted to good use and they would have done their homework. They also have been known to test the salesperson’s knowledge and their trust is built/eroded depending on the accuracy of the response.

An individual with an intuition preference will not be so caught up in the detail. They require big picture information and can enjoy putting all the parts of what the salesperson has said into meaning by connecting it back to memories or ideas. Given folks with an intuitive preference rely on gut feelings they will pick up on things/undercurrents that are not what they seem.

A thinking person may want a pause in the selling process to step back and consider the consequences of the choices you are giving them (pros & cons). Would it not be important to recognise this moment when it arrives? Do not insincerely flatter these folk. If they do not think it themselves it will not always be well received.

If you are dealing with a feeling person you may need to show them how your offer will affect not only them but also the people around them. Unlike the Thinkers they will want to step into the situation to make the right call for everybody. They will also be aware of their emotional response to the options they are presented.

If you want to incorporate something into your pitch for a Judging preference then you better make good use of the time they give you by being prepared and systematic. Do not ramble with this preference.

On the other hand give the Perceivers plenty of options and don’t try to tie them into too many binding agreements with little wriggle room. They may start looking for the closest exit if you dare.

So there you have it. A 70-year-old personality type tool rich in theory lending itself to what happens during the act of selling.

And word on the street is that the few Australian companies that have tried this approach were able to:

  1. Form stronger relationships with their clients
  2. Increase repeat business
  3. Gain greater exposure with the end user than competitor offerings, which has led to significant sales growth.

Using the MBTI to communicate in a manner aligned to your audiences preference does not only apply to salespeople. Marketing, negotiation, customer service, project management, training, and management are a few of the areas where you will have to persuade others which takes us back to the first blog on this subject – the highly transferable nature of the skills associated with selling.

Given these skills are so transferable wouldn’t it be wise to intermingle them with another highly transferable tool?

Alf is presenting a free afternoon seminar on the MBTI tool on Thursday 25 September 2014. At this seminar, Alf will give you an insight into your own personality type, how this instrument strengthens teams, develops leaders and gives organisations all around the world a competitive advantage. Find out more and register here.