Recognising challenging personality differences: Part 1
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For every individual working in a customer services or sales role, highly developed people skills are the single most important attribute they need to succeed. While most of us are adept at communicating with those who share similar experiences or outlooks as ourselves, the skill of a sales professional is in their ability to communicate effectively with those from diverse backgrounds and with challenging personality traits.
While we use numerous scales and personality groupings internally (StrengthsFinder, Myers Briggs etc.), we find Jay Conrad Levinson’s approach to be the most beneficial in sales situations.
Jay Conrad Levinson’s approach was first outlined in his 1992 book ‘Guerrilla Selling’, which built upon elements of the work of Piaget (Swiss philosopher), Maslow (American sociologist), Sperry (Nobel laureate), Kohlberg (Harvard Professor) and the esteemed psychologists Schoonmaker, Wolf and Black. The approach Levinson identified was adapted from clinical environments, validated in business situations and is still just as reliable today as it was when ‘Guerrilla Selling’ was first published.
The benefits of Levinson’s approach
Levinson’s approach is particularly effective as it provides individuals working in customer facing roles with the ability to:
- Move from one phase of the selling process to the next at will
- Identify where personality conflicts are created
- Improve the atmosphere that surrounds selling relationships
- Gain the psychological high ground
- Exhibit confidence and inspire it in others
- Create relationships which are based on mutual trust, shared concerns and open communication
Perhaps the biggest boon provided by this approach is the ability to identify and isolate the most challenging personality types within the first minute of a sales interaction.
The three most common personality types
In his book, Levinson identified and outlined the seven personality types sales and customer services professionals will encounter. These include:
- Pleasers (Amiables)
- Authorities (Analytics)
Of these, egos, pleasers and authorities are the most common personality types. To learn more, stay tuned to the LiveseySolar blog, where each of our next three posts will identify and outline the traits of one of these three personality types and provide actionable tips to improve your selling techniques. In the second part of our Recognising Challenging Personality Differences series, we will have a closer look at the egos.