4 Customer Personality Types Your Sales Reps Must Be Able to Recognize

4 Customer Personality Types Your Sales Reps Must Be Able to Recognize

Without even realizing it, your salespeople may be pushing potential buyers away by using the wrong communication approach.

Every buyer has a unique personality style and will feel more comfortable and at ease when they are sold to in a specific way.

On the flip side, when your reps don’t adjust their own style to match, they risk overwhelming, bulldozing, or simply annoying the buyer—and losing a potential sale.

In this post we’ll cover the 4 customer personality types and ways your reps can adjust their approach to quickly build rapport and increase their likelihood of closing the deal.

The 4 Customer Personality Types

The 4 personality types (or buyer behavior styles) are based on the DISC personality assessment.

The tool separates people into four personality styles with common behavior characteristics and attitudes. The styles are Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance, and understanding them is key to understanding the decision-making style of a prospect.

Dominance Style

At The Brooks Group, we refer to this style as DOER.

Dominance or DOER types are direct and to the point. They tend to have a strong personality and speak quickly and in declarative sentences. In interactions they display confident body language and will lose focus and patience quickly if a sales rep doesn’t get straight to the point.

Decision-Making Style: These types tend to think in terms of the bottom line and often have a spontaneous or impulsive decision-making style.

Communication Tips: Salespeople should avoid chit chat, keep a fast pace, and give direct answers without a lot of “fluff.” Ultimately your reps should focus on how your organization’s solutions can help them reach their goals.

Influence Style

At The Brooks Group, we refer to this style as TALKER.

Influence or TALKER types are friendly and talkative. They tend to be extroverted and come off as amiable in conversation. With these types of customers, salespeople can feel more open to engage in small talk and present product benefits in an upbeat, positive way.

Decision-Making Style: These types tend to be less detail oriented and focus more on the big picture. They respond well to testimonials and social proof.

Communication Tips: Salespeople should be friendly, ask for their ideas and opinions, and provide personal stories on how other customers have benefited from your organization’s solutions.

Steadiness Style

At The Brooks Group, we refer to this style as PACER.

Steadiness or PACER types are easy-going and patient. They tend to have more reserved social styles but, in their interactions, maintain a people-oriented approach. You might describe this type of customer as a “thinker” who carefully weighs all available information.

Decision-Making Style: These types tend to have a deliberate and methodical decision-making style, and can resist change or anything they perceive as a risk.

Communication Tips: Salespeople should avoid rushing to a sales pitch. Instead, they should take time to explain benefits and show that they’re interested in building and maintaining a long-term relationship.

Compliance Style

At The Brooks Group, we refer to this style as CONTROLLER.

Compliance or CONTROLLER types are methodical and deliberate. They tend to pay careful attention to details and their goals are connected with doing things the “right” or “correct way.” These types of customers tend to be analytical people.

Decision-Making Style: These types can be skeptical and are often concerned with data and the effects of change.

Communication Tips: Salespeople should avoid asking too many personal questions. Instead, they should maintain a slow pace, focus on facts, and present data to back up claims about your solutions.

View the video below to learn about the Selling to Different Personality Types training program

Selling to Different Personality Types

How Can Your Salespeople Use this Information to Have Better Interactions with Prospects and Customers?

As a default, most salespeople approach buyers using their natural behavior style.

But when your salespeople are able to identify and adapt to customer personality types, they have an immediate advantage over the competition. That’s why our training program, Selling to Different Personality Types, is so powerful—especially in today’s competitive environment.

Here’s a quote from one of The Brooks Group’s long-time clients:

"We use “buyer styles” as a way to differentiate our salesforce from our competitors—it has become embedded in our sales culture to such an extent that we never have a discussion or strategy session without understanding the buyer styles involved.

It’s the “special sauce” in our sales culture that allows us to outsell our competition, because we “sell” to our clients the way they want to be “sold.” Our competitors sell everyone the same way; while we tailor each client interaction based on that buyer’s specific preference for communication.”

-David Finch
Owner, ATCOM Business Telecom Solutions

The Selling to Different Personality Types training program will arm your team with the self-awareness—and the ability to adjust to prospects’ behavior styles—in a way that will transform their ability to win deals and grow revenue.


Behavior Style Communication Guidelines

Understanding the behavior style of your team members and prospects is essential to better communication and sales effectiveness. Use this easy communication guide to learn the RIGHT and WRONG ways to interact with each behavior style.

This guide will show you:

  • The behavior tendencies and preferences for each of the 4 behavior styles in the DISC model
  • Ways you can improve communication with each style
  • Communication approaches that may potentially cause conflict with each style

Marcia Neese

Marcia Neese is a Business Partner at The Brooks Group. Her passion for training and development and her expertise in client and employee retention are what drives her to meet and exceed the goals and expectations of every client she partners with.

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