wonder why with some people you’re ready to be buds the instant you
meet, and with others it’s like being introduced to a social porcupine?
It’s because the old saying
“Birds of a feather flock together” is true. We click with people like
us; people with our fundamental personality style. We are skeptical of
people who aren’t like us.
How’s your sales job
But if you’re in sales—which you
are if you’re alive—you have to figure out a way to connect with those
people who don’t have the same social style you do. You’re selling to
editors and agents if you’re prepublished. If you’re published, you’re
still selling; to bookstore owners, potential customers at your
signings, and editors as you try to snag that next contract.
I used to teach sales training.
One of the most overlooked aspects of selling is how to interact and
sell to each of the four basic social styles: the Driver, the
Expressive, the Analytical, the Amiable.
If you took one hundred people,
roughly twenty-five of them would fall into each personality type.
People like people who are most
like themselves. People tend to buy from people like themselves. Do you
see where this becomes a problem?
If you present to people the
want you’d want to presented, you’ll be doing it the wrong way seventy-five
% of the time.
Let’s dive in
First let’s take a quick look at
the basic motivations of each style:
• Drivers are all about results. The bottom line.
“I don’t care how great a writer she is and how wonderful a person she
seems to be, how many copies did her last book sell?” or “Don’t bore me
with all the details, are we going to be able to sign this guy or not?”
• Expressives are big-picture people. They’re
visionaries. “Think of the line extension! This book could be a movie.
We could do a follow-up study guide. We’ll do a book signing on top of
Mt. Everest. Can you imagine the Web site we’ll create to promote this
book? What? We don’t have the money for all that? Don’t bore me with
the details, let’s go Nike and just do it.”
• Analyticals are exactly what the name implies.
They’re number crunchers. They love facts and figures; the more data
the better, and they can tell you what it means. “Based on current
figures, we should be able to move fifteen point eight percent more
copies of her next title if we publish across all e-book platforms—if
they’re accurate, of course. Oh, and by the way, you owe two dollars
and thirty-seven cents for your part of the tip. Yes, I calculated that
in my head.”
• Amiables are all about relationships. “She’s
great, I could talk to her for hours about not only her books but
everything going on in her life. She cares about people, you know? She
cares about everyone here. This business is about more than numbers.”
Do you see how selling to a
Driver with an Amiable style will make the Driver nuts? Do you see how
going over pages of figures with an Expressive will make him look for
of each Style
Drivers: As I
said, they’re all about results. They thrive on challenges. They want
to succeed. They get stuff done. Fast. They’re direct and to the point.
They’re often seen as decisive, direct, and pragmatic. Also, they’re:
• Fast talkers
• Fast movers
• Often more formal in dress
• Not big huggers
• Less emotional
• Problem solvers
• Risk takers
High energy, enthusiastic, and they’re great idea generators but often
don’t have the ability to see their ideas through to completion.
They’re fun to be around (yes, they’re
life of the party) and can
infuse others with their passion easily. Sometimes seen as overly
dramatic and impulsive. They’re also:
• Faster talking
• Faster moving
• Less formal
• Often huggers
These people love details, and facts, lots of facts. There’s never
enough facts and you can’t over analyze a situation. My brother-in-law
is an Analytical. When he decided to get a family dog, he researched
which would be the best breed for three years. No, not months, years.
They’re systematic, well organized, and deliberate. Don’t bother ’em
with the hype or emotion. They do things by the book. Also, they’re:
• Slower paced
• Slower talkers
• Often dress more formally
• Hugs are kept to a minimum
• Less emotional
They’re dependable, loyal, easy going … and love people. They’re
described by others as warm, friendly, and sensitive to other’s
feelings. They sometimes have trouble making decisions. They’re also:
• Team players
• Slower talkers
• Give me a hug!
• Slower moving
• Less formal dressing and action
Why It’s Important
If you can identify someone
else’s style, you’ll understand the best way to interact with them,
unlocking the ability to get along, and present yourself effectively to
everyone (which means a better chance of getting that first or next
contract—and more readers for your current book) .
Can you tell what style you are?
Can you tell what style your friends are?
Next month I’ll give you
specifics on how to sell to each social style and how to determine what
style someone is in thirty seconds or less.