The core values that people use to make buying decisions are classified into four categories. Knowing the most important type will help you make more sales. It is important to know the values people use to make decisions if you want them to trust you enough to buy from you. Most people will say that values come from our parents and our environment.
I’ll say that this is partially true. But I believe that 80 percent of your decisions are not from those environmental values you learned from your parents and your surroundings. I believe they are instinctive and you were born with them as part of your personality. Here’s why…
I have identified four categories or types of values that people use when making a decision. To make them easy to remember, I selected words that start with the letter “P.”
To start, when I say “values,” I define it as those things that people hold as being important. So when you make a decision, which is always a choice between two or more options, you will “usually” pick the one option that is more important to you. For example, if your favorite color is red, and you have a choice between two identical objects (like an automobile), you would probably select the one that is red.
Category 1: “People”
The first category of things that we value is other people. Specifically, some people are more valuable to you than others. The people closest to you, such as your family, are more important to you than the family of your neighbors. You pay a lot of money to send your kids to college, but I doubt you’d even offer to pay for your neighbor’s kid to buy a bus ticket to go to college.
Category 2: “Possessions”
The second category of things that you value is your possessions. For example, your car is more important to you than the one parked across the street from you. You even pay insurance for it in order to protect its importance in your life. If it was stolen, you would want it to be replaced because it has such high importance to your lifestyle.
Category 3: “Passions”
I took some liberty on the name for this category of things you value. But the intent was to show that those things you enjoy doing are important to you. And you base some of your decisions on promoting them in your life. For example, you may have a hobby like finding out your genealogy and who your ancestors are. Or your passion might be a sports team in the nearest big city to where you live. For a lot of people, their passion is their occupation, and they love to talk to others about it.
For example, you may have a hobby like finding out your genealogy and who your ancestors are. Or your passion might be a sports team in the nearest big city to where you live. For a lot of people, their passion is their occupation, and they love to talk to others about it.
The important thing here is your passions guide the decisions that you make. You probably schedule what free time you have around the passions in your life.
Those Were The Environment Values
Those first three categories of values are all environmental and are probably somewhat out of your control. You follow the local sports team rather than one across the country because of your proximity to the games and the amount of news you receive about the team. And the family in your life (other than your spouse) are mostly out of your control too. Even your passions are somewhat out of your control because someone introduced it to you. What if that person missed the opportunity to show you how to get started, so picked up a new passion to take its place?
But because some values are environmental, I can see why that most people think that we learn values from our surroundings.
But there is a fourth category of values, and I believe it is far more influential in how you make decisions. That fourth category is what I call your “guiding principles.”
Category 4: “Principles” – The Core Values
Your guiding principles are used in a majority of the decisions you make. I truly believe that. For example, your spouse is chosen, not just because they live in the same neighborhood as you, but because they have similar values to what you hold dear. I espouse this as being one of the laws of personality: “people with like personalities are drawn to each other.”
The major point I want to make is this: your guiding principles are not really from your parents, although many people think so. They are connected directly to your personality.
The reason people think that values come from your parents is that there is a direct link between personality and genetics. Just like there is a link between your eye color and the eye color of your parents. Your values are part of the package you were born with.
Because they are genetic, there is a higher likelihood that you have a similar personality temperament to your parents because your personality genes are passed down from them. So your guiding principles are similar to your parents because your DNA is similar.
From an outsider’s point of view, because your personality is similar to your parents’ personality temperament, they think that they “told you” to act that way.
But if you aren’t genetically linked to your parents, like children that are adopted, there is a good chance that you are not like your parents. In other words, you behave differently to what they would do. Even if your adopted parents tried to force them on you.
What Does This Mean To Salesmen?
First, as salesmen, we want to know the values that our prospects hold because that is what will guide their decisions. We have to assure them that buying our products will uplift their values (as opposing their values). If we minimize the importance of their values, they will see you as an enemy, and they will never buy from you.
Second, of the four categories of values, three of them are environmental. And those are the ones that most people talk about when they are trying to build rapport with the prospect. They ask stupid things like: “how is your family doing?” or “did you see the big game on TV last night?” They are hoping to connect to one of the prospect’s values that will bring them rapport. While these values are somewhat useful, they are weak compared to the prospects principles. There is a better and faster way to build rapport.
Third, the most important values of the prospect are their guiding principles. These are the ones that guide 80% of the decisions that they make. If we realize this fact, then we could easily build rapport with them and how we are like them. Remember the law: “people with similar values are attracted to each other.” What this means is that if you project that you have similar values to the prospect, they will trust you more and are more likely to buy from you rather than your competitor.
Fourth, our guiding principles are instinctive. In other words, they are built into our DNA. I know this one is hard to believe, and it may be some time before it is accepted as true. But I believe it 100% in my bones. Everything in the personality is based on this concept: “personality temperament is synonymous with values.”
The Physical Clues to Personality
Because personality is genetically based, it leaves physical clues on the human body. Just like the color of your eyes is based on the genes in your body, so is your personality temperament. If you can read the physical clues, you can tell what personality temperament a person has, just by looking at them. I call this “flash typing,” where you can instantly peg their personality temperament just from a glance at them. An example is here.
I know this is hard to believe, but it is true. You can be trained to recognize the physical clues that a person has that reveal their temperament. If you need help, please let me know. I can teach you how to read personality temperament from those physical clues.
Why is Typing Important?
The reason you need to determine their temperament from the clues they give off is so that you can project their values back to them. That is the missing ingredient you need to earn their trust and make the sale.
Building rapport is quick and easy if you know ahead of time what the prospect values. At that point, you can feed back to them the exact information that they want to hear.
That is why I wrote this article. I wanted you to know the four categories of values that people use to make decisions, and how their guiding principles are the most important.