When I discuss the potential of using personality-based psychology as a tool for persuasion (making a sale), I’m almost always met with resistance. The basic comment I receive is: “You can’t predict what a person is going to do!”
The evidence shows that you can.
You may not be 100% accurate with the prediction, but I believe that you’re way better than 80 percent. And if you consider that the casinos in Las Vegas only have a 2% advantage – and you see how much money they are taking in – then this level of accuracy is simply astounding!
The problem we face, is that we get cocky with our ability to predict what a person is going to do. We think we can tell them in advance what decision they’ll make.
But as soon as you reveal this information, they get upset, and they do something completely unexpected (or so it would seem).
Let me give you an example. Say you’re talking with a prospect for one of your products or services. It doesn’t matter what there personality temperament is, but let’s say they are a Morale Officer type. You say to them:
“I can tell that you’d like this option…”
It sound pretty benign. You know in advance that the option you’re giving them is one that the Morale Officer types would naturally gravitate toward. But now all of a sudden, you get unexpected resistance. Why?
Why Do People Rebel At Being Predicted?
The reason is that you told them your prediction, and you’ve painted them into a box. Essentially, you’ve triggered one the the fears that everyone has. This is the fear of entrapment. Entrapment is being caged up and not allowed to make decisions. It is the absence of freedom.
In fact, you’ve gone past triggering their fear. Fear is triggered when you threaten a value. In this case, the value of the person is ‘freedom.” You didn’t threaten to take away their freedom to choose, you actually “took it away.”
In other words, you attacked their value of freedom. This is important, because an attack on their values is the trigger for anger. And the anger is always directed at the person that attacked the value – in this case, it is “you.”
That is why you see anger when you tell someone that they will like one option over another. I can’t stress enough how important this concept is to selling, so I’ll repeat it:
“Never disclose to the prospect that you’ve read their personality type, and you know what will appeal to them based on their temperament’s preferences!” It always triggers anger, and you ALWAYS lose the sale.
That is why I titled this blog “Keep your Pie Hole Shut.” That means do less talking, and let the prospect talk more. Don’t try to speed up the sales process more than is comfortable for the prospect.
Don’t Speed Things Along Too Fast
In a sense, everyone has an internal clock that lets them know they’ve invested enough time considering the purchase – based on the price of the product or service. For higher priced products, like a car or a house, they will want to weigh all the issues in their mind for a longer period of time. For cheap items, like a candy bar, the decision to purchase may be instantaneous.
You’ll have to learn the “average time it takes for the customer to feel comfortable to say yes.” Then adjust your presentation to fill out the time. I know you want to do things faster; I do too. But this is one aspect of selling that can’t be rushed.
But there is some good news. If you’re dealing with a Strategist type person, they will have usually done all of the consideration before they meet with you. They are the ones you just have to hold out your hand and collect the money. But as soon as you open your mouth and start adding more evidence for the right-choice, you’ll delay the sale. If you add more information that they haven’t considered already, they’ll have to reweigh all the options.
You can almost do no wrong by keeping your mouth shut when selling. Better yet, plan in advance what you’ll do for each of the four personality temperaments.
How you sell is more important than the words you use.