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I’m sure we’ve all experienced it; we’re in the process of buying something, but the sales person just doesn’t seem to get you, they’re not listening to you or they’re jumping to conclusions about what’s important to you. Maybe they’re talking too much when you just want to ask questions.

Our individual personality has a huge influence on how we like to buy, so if the sales person doesn’t recognise our personality type, the way the prefer to sell can simply annoy us.

In simplistic terms, there are four typical personality types. Understanding them and how they prefer to buy, and being able to recognise them can drastically improve your chance of making the sale.

Types of Buyers & Their Personality Types

  1. Assertive

Assertive personality types are driven by goals, they’re decisive and competitive. They care more about results than personal relationships. They might not keep in regular contact, but if you deliver on your promises, you’ll maintain a healthy business relationship.

They’re also relatively impatient and controlling. They want information and they want it now, so they can make a decision and move on.

 Assertive personality traits:

 Assertives usually tell you what they want and ask few questions, so if you notice your prospect quickly listing what they want, you’re probably dealing with an Assertive personality type.

 How to sell to them:

Make sure you’re prepared for a meeting with an assertive personality type. If you don’t know the answer to a question, let them know you’ll follow up instead of trying to “wing it”. Don’t waste time repeating facts. Extra features won’t impress them unless you can demonstrate why they will be useful.

Avoid personal opinions and testimonials. If you’re describing a successful customer, talk about the ROI generated rather than how much they loved the product.

  1. Amiable

Amiable personality types value relationships and want to trust their business partners. They like the excitement of new challenges and will dive into finding creative or unexpected solutions, but conversely, they probably won’t do much research before meeting with you. That means you can guide them through the purchasing process.

They don’t make decisions quickly and want to establish rapport with and will likely seek out the help or approval of multiple team members. Expect a longer sales process than usual.

Amiable personality traits:

Amiables are great listeners and might ask more personal questions in an attempt to get to know you outside of your professional role. They will be friendly, calm, and patient during meetings. Conversations with Amiables are generally laid-back and informal.

How to sell to them:

Demonstrate a vision so that they can visualise the outcomes they could achieve with the help of your product or service. Take time to build rapport because they need to feel safe in their relationship with your company before they’ll be comfortable doing business with you. Describe similar clients who have successfully used your product, especially why the client chose you, what they liked about your product and the features that were most important to them.

If you can, give them guarantees. Amiables are risk-averse, so promising a refund if they’re not satisfied or explaining that they can cancel at any time will calm their anxieties and make them likelier to buy.

  1. Expressive

Like Amiables, personal relationships are very important to Expressives. They tend to make decisions based in part on emotions, and are often concerned with others’ well-being. Whether it’s their employees or their customers, the expressive personality type will want to know how decisions they make affect the people around them. They might be people-pleasers, but they’re likely to have powerful personalities and use them to convince others of their strongly held convictions.

Expressive personality traits:

Expressives tend to be very enthusiastic and colourful. They’ll want to bond with you but they’re sure of their beliefs and speak more in statements rather than questions.

How to sell to them:

Present case studies as they need to believe that you understand their interests and emphasise an ongoing relationship. Summarise along the way. You want to continually get their buy-in, so ask questions like, “So, we agree that you can use Templates to automate the prospecting process?”

  1. Analytic

Analytics love data, facts, and figures. They’ll ignore your wordy sales pitch and want to get straight to the facts. They’ll typically ask a lot of detailed questions, and they’ll research you and your business before meeting you.

Analytics like deadlines, but they won’t make quick decisions because they need to understand their options first. They’re logical and cautious, but once they make a decision, they won’t reverse it.

Analytic personality traits:

Analytics are less expressive and are concerned with facts rather than emotion, so are less likely to want to know you on a personal level.

How to sell to them:

Never rush and be prepared for a longer selling process, as they’ll take as much time as they need to make a decision. You can expect to spend less time talking basic features, and more discussing customised solutions for their business. Provide as much detailed information as possible. You can offer more information than they ask for without risking them becoming overwhelmed; they’ll probably welcome it.

Don’t try to force a relationship that’s not there. Analytics might become annoyed by those they feel are overly flattering or obsequious.


But just to confuse matters, most prospects will be a mix of these personality types and won’t necessarily fit neatly into one of the four categories above. However, once you’re familiar with these core personalities, you should be able to adapt your selling strategy to fit any situation you come across.

Do you struggle to sell to particular types of people? If so, maybe we can help.


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