One component you’ll see mentioned whenever you research psychographics and market segmentation is the word “personality.” That is because personality is a huge part of the psychographics profile, and I believe it is the most important aspect.
A psychographic segmentation by definition “divides the market into groups based on activities, attitudes and personality characteristics.” If you want psychographic examples of the first two categories of that definition, you’d see things like: opinions, religious beliefs, tastes, and lifestyle choices.” It is the last category, “personality,” that gives us the reason why people buy from you rather than your competitor. You and your competitor are chasing the same customers, but you need an edge which you can get when you know why customers are buying from you.
Personality research gives you the strategic edge and also gives you powerful tactics that you can use to persuade your prospect to choose you over your competitor. Why is this?
The reason it is so powerful is that personality leads to an understanding of your prospects values. It is a simple equation: personality » values.
Why is this? What is personality after all?
Personality is a simply a way of simply describing the consistent behavior of another person. It is a shortcut for our brains. If someone tells you that they have a friend with a bubbly personality, you know exactly what it means. It describes the behavior of the friend as someone that easily laughs and is usually happy. The key here is that the person isn’t always that way, but that more often than not, they behave that way in public.
So what we’re saying is that personality is tied directly to “behavior.” Again:
Personality » Behavior
Where does behavior come from? A behavior comes from a “decision.” You choose to act that way.
Is the decision always conscious? No. Most of your decisions are carried out unconsciously. For example, when you got out of bed this morning and walked over to the bathroom, which foot stepped forward first? I bet you can’t remember because it was an unconscious choice. But it was a “choice,” none the less.
It is the unconscious choices that occur over and over that people call our personality.
So now the equation is:
Personality » Behavior » Decisions
Now the question becomes, “where do decisions come from?” An easier question, if you think about it is, “how do we make decisions?” That is easy. If there are multiple choices that are available, we will always make the one where the result is one that has a higher value.
If you had a sell one pair of shoes in your closet, the pair that you’d get rid of is your least favorite, not the ones that you like the best.
Our personality equation now becomes:
Personality » Behavior » Decisions » Values
If you get rid of everything in the middle, Personality » “Values.”
What does this mean? I’ll tell you that it is profound because the implications to your ability to persuade other people just got a whole lot easier.
The key is this: “People that have a similar personality temperament have similar values.”
You don’t need to talk to a person to know what they value. If you know the values of a person that has a similar personality temperament, you can be assured with an 80% confidence, that they have similar values.
What good is this information?
What if someone said to you that they had a friend with a grumpy personality? How does that information change how you react when you finally meet the friend. Of course, it affects how you treat them. You will be prepared for their demeanor.
But more importantly, you can look to other grumpy people and find out what they value. Then when you finally meet the friend, you will know what topics to stay away from that cause them to be grumpy.
This is just a simple example, but it goes much deeper than this. If you know a person’s values before you utter a single word to them, you have the advantage! How’s that? You can steer the conversation to those topics that will be important to them. Not only do you build rapport very fast, but you can more easily persuade them by showing the value (their value, not yours) of the result of their choice.
The importance of “Personality = Values” is so important, that I etched it into a rock that I often keep in my pocket. I like to remind myself of this, and I can use it as a conversation starter when I meet people that want to learn more about how to persuade others.
So as you study psychographics segmentation, I want you to remember this: “Personality is the most important part of psychographics.” Learn how to use personality, and you have a huge advantage over your competition.
Want to start you discover tour of personality and what each personality temperament values? Start by reading about the Warrior temperament. They make up about 38% of the human population, so you’ll see them everywhere, especially on TV shows. Once you know their values, just watch them for a week. You’ll notice how their behavior is influences by the values and the decisions that they make.