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Dealing with Different People Differently

Have you ever had one of those presentations where you really hit it off with a prospect? It was as if the two of you had known each other for twenty years. Then, in the same day you talk with a prospect and no matter what you say or do, you can't seem to make any progress. Sound familiar? This is a common problem for business people. The reason for this is that every person has their own personality and in many cases it will be different from yours.

There are four distinct personalities, so if you are dealing with all people the same way every time, then you are only handling a quarter of the people correctly. It’s important to learn how to recognize the different personalities and learn how to deal with them in a way that makes them comfortable. It’s important to remember that no person is ever totally one personality. We are all mixtures, but you will discover that people operate primarily in one of the four types. Here are the four personality types you will encounter and the associated characteristics:

Analytical & Amiable:

Ask a lot of questions; speak softly; move slowly; very little eye contact; will lean back in chair; no hand gestures; patient; cooperative; calm.

Driver & Expressive:

Tells you things; speak loudly; fast movements; direct eye contact; lean toward you; animated hand gestures; impatient; competitive; excitable; enthusiastic; outwardly; positive.

As you meet prospects, try to determine their personality type. Take notes and compare them to the characteristics listed in this section. The more you study the personalities and the better you understand how to recognize them, the more effective you will be in business . . . and in life.

Now that you can more readily recognize the different personalities, you must know how to interact with them.


Let them feel they are right; give them facts first; stress the rational and logical facts; observe time constraints; compliment them regularly; give quick, precise answers.


Dress professionally; get right to the point; do not waste time; stress results; ask questions that force attention; change voice inflection to maintain interest; put everything in writing; let them feel they are in control; give them choices.


Be friendly and build rapport quickly; talk emotionally; don't pressure them; take your time; reassure them regularly; allow them to include others in decisions; give them one positive choice; help them justify their decision.


Present the "big picture"; talk emotionally; recognize them as being important; put details in writing and explain carefully; reassure them regularly.

There you go, now you can recognize and better communicate with the four personalities. Recognizing the different personality types and being capable of working with them at their level will help you attract more customers and build a successful business.

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