Last week was my turn at Lanarkshire Business Group to do the ‘education spot’, a short talk on an educational topic that is delivered in the first half of the group before we break for breakfast. I chose to speak about the impact that different personality types can have on business peoples’ prospects of gaining and retaining business from individual customers. This isn’t a particularly radical concept but I thought it worthwhile covering it for the benefit of those who were not familiar with it.
The general principle which was developed by Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist involves classifying individuals by their dominant personality type. This gives an insight into how they should be approached and handled to achieve the best outcome. By this I mean tailoring presentation of a pitch or other tasks (such as preparing reports and other output) to avoid turning them off by your manner or information format.
The approach adopted by an individual may be well received by one person and regarded as irritating and frustrating by another. Assuming that the person delivering the message does so in an identical way to both individuals why should there be such a difference in their respective reactions? – the answer lies in their differing personality ‘types’. For simplicity the four main types are given colours for ease of reference. The four types are red, blue, yellow and green and a brief summary of each is given below:
- RED people are decisive, fast paced, task focussed, strong willed, goal orientated and competitive. These qualities often mean that they are decision takers for potential clients.
- BLUE people are deep, correct, precise, conscientious, perfectionist and knowledgeable. They may have more of a measured approach but may also be decision takers for potential clients.
- YELLOW people are cheerful, inspirational, outgoing, enthusiastic, persuasive and uplifting. They may be at the head of a company through their ability to win contracts because of their network of contracts and their sociable and outgoing nature.
- GREEN people are accommodating, encouraging, low key, relaxed and calm. You are unlikely to find them as a decision maker for a potential client unless it is a charity or similar social organisation.
As I touched on earlier the differences between personality types influence how a person needs to pitch to them. If they get it wrong they have little chance of success. As we all know you only get one chance to make a first impression. A few pointers are listed below:
- RED people are short on patience and you need to pitch quickly and simply
- BLUES need information in writing for them to consider in their own time and don’t like to be rushed.
- YELLOWS are more interested in having a good time and you are selling the person as much as the product or service.
Taking account of this a person needs to research their target contact and prepare accordingly. Useful tips include:
- Don’t try to go into detail with a RED person.
- Don’t try to get a snap decision from a BLUE person
- Do try to get to know a YELLOW person socially or invite them to a function where you can pitch to them.
Apologies if the above is a bit superficial but this is a subject worthy of more in depth study by people interested in developing and maintaining healthy relationships with their clients/customers..
Kevin Sergeant 22 September 2014