Understanding Personality Types in the Workplace: Part 1, “The Driver”

June 28, 2013


In sales, understanding the different personality types in the workplace, and therefore of the buyers you will encounter, can help improve sales results. After all, if you can better relate to the people you are dealing with, you can probably sell them better, right?

While human behavior is full of nuances and everyone is very much different, nonetheless most people can be grouped into one of four general personality types while at work, which will allow us to predict their behavior and adjust ours to achieve greater sales results.

In this four-part series, I will be introducing you to each one of them, and provide some tips for how to best interact with each in order to gain their trust and close the sale. Here is the first.

Personality Type 1: The “Driver”

This personality type in the workplace often wants to beat the competition as a primary objective. They are generally aggressive, leader-types, who want to get down to business and move on to their next task as quickly as possible.

Other characteristics:

  • Task and fact-oriented
  • High Ego drive
  • Impatient; short attention-span
  • Extroverted
  • Fast-paced and in action
  • Likes to take control, assertive
  • Can come across as abrupt or rude
  • Doesn’t care about details, cares about results
  • Risk-taker
  • More inflexible and close-minded than other types: sticks to his or her “guns”

Drivers tend to make decisions quickly and stick by them. Their word is their bond, and they expect the same from you.

How to deal with a “Driver”

Drivers can be intimidating to face…unless you yourself are a Driver as well. These are the “hardboiled” executive types known to throw fits if they don’t get their way, and are also known as mavericks in their chosen fields. Think Donald Trump or Clint Eastwood. However, like anybody else, they can be sold if approached correctly.

Here’s how:

  • Don’t bog them down with trivial details and endless PowerPoint slides. Instead, speak to them directly and confidently about how you can solve their problem.
  • Stick to the point.
  • Let them control the sales interview and tell you what they want. Then, tell them how your product or service gives them that.
  • Selling points: money, time, efficiency, power, status, shortcuts.
  • Don’t try to dominate them. That is like challenging a gorilla: prepare to be charged by an angry beast if you do.
  • Be very organized, and avoid waffling.
  • Avoid getting too personal.
  • If you a Driver type personality, be willing to accept second place in the sales conversation. Leave your ego at the door and concede dominance to the buyer, or you will lose the sale.

Regardless of the workplace personality type you are dealing with, remember to subtly mimic their body language and mannerisms to enter into rapport almost subconsciously. This means to lean forward when they do, speak as fast or slowly as they do, and even try to match breathing rate.

In the next part of the series, we will cover the “Motivator” personality type. To learn more about personality types and aptitude testing for sales growth, contact us here or visit our training schedule to see the next time we are in your area.