February 6, 2012


You’ve identified a prospect and are ready to begin your sales process. You have great product knowledge, you have information about the prospect’s needs, you may have even begun to formulate your opening pitch. But what happens if your style of communication, or area of focus doesn’t sit well with your contact? Psychology may not have been part of your sales training, but being able to make an assessment of personality types can help you to avoid making a negative first impression.

It doesn’t matter how good your company and its’ products or services are, and it doesn’t matter how successful you may be as a sales person. There are simply certain personality types that require a specific approach. We have already reviewed 3 of those types, and now we will examine the fourth – The Supporter.

The Supporter
A Supporter possesses a low Ego Drive and high Empathy and therefore place more of a priority on relationships. Their low Ego Drive provides them with patience and tolerance, while their high Empathy allows them to be perceptive about other’s needs and to build long-term relationships.

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan, the late Princess Diana, and actress Grace Kelly are all well-known examples of the Supporter personality.

Characteristics
A Supporter is a well-liked, friendly sort who is sensitive to others. They are reliable, relaxed, modest, non-competitive, and easy going. If your contact is a Supporter, they will likely be slow to make decisions, want to avoid risks, and will not care for intellectual analysis. They are a team player and will be apt to pass your ideas around the office to get consensus. What drives them is the feelings of others, they want everyone to be happy, and they enjoy open, honest relationships.

Recognizing a Supporter
Here is some insight to help you know when you are meeting with a Supporter.

  • Greet you warmly and with enthusiasm, and have transparent facial expressions.
  • Their workspace will have photos of loved ones.
  • They will demonstrate an interest in you, and will want to please you.
  • You will find them to be slow-paced and easygoing.
  • Supporters avoid conflict and keep opinions to themselves.
  • You may witness them seeking advice from others.
  • Supporters say “I feel”, rather than “I think”.

Getting a decision
As with any personality type, there will be certain actions that can either make or break the interaction. Making the right choices can help build trust, and promote further contact.

Do:

  • Use a casual, down-to-earth approach.
  • Give a presentation that is slower in pace.
  • Emphasize personal relationship building.
  • Be tactful, appreciative, non-threatening.
  • Have patience and emphasize service to others
  • Be a good listener, and encourage discussion of concerns or fears
  • Provide validation that is conservative, but well established
  • Discuss feelings instead of facts
  • Ask them for their help

Don’t:

  • Erect barriers
  • Be domineering or demanding
  • Push too soon on the decision process or force quick answers to your questions
  • Provide solutions without structure
  • Disrupt the status quo

Being able to finesse your way through the process with a Supporter can create a solid, trusting relationship. That trust can help you to win their support for your proposal.

We all have our own gut reactions to certain people and their style of approach. Being more aware of that, and knowing how to navigate encounters with different personality types should become a part of your repertoire. Assess the type of person you are dealing with, then make the necessary adjustments to your approach. If you do, you may find that prospects will respond more positively to you and your solutions.

Have you ever wondered why certain sales didn’t happen, or why certain relationships didn’t gel? Could it have been due to a misunderstanding of a personality type? Let us know about your experiences.

For more information on Sales Training, including personality assessment, contact us today.