Jun 09, 2017

Know your clients and speak their language

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I have been selling for years. The key to being an effective reseller is the ability to quickly adapt to different types of customers. It is not hard at all if you have prepared your customer typology in advance. You do not have to invent it anymore - Carl Gustav Jung already did it. 

Carl Gustav Jung - psychiatrist and psychologist, but also a scientist and a painter. Based on many years of research, he came to the conclusion that human attitudes and preferences are not accidental. He defined the personality as a resultant of:

  • Extroverted or introverted attitude,
  • Cognition or intuition (collecting information);
  • Thinking or feeling (decision-making).

The above properties are dichotomous, i.e. mutually exclusive. For example, the more introverted you are, the less extroverted you are; the more intuitive you are, the less importance you attach to dry facts. Jung came to the conclusion that the way of gathering information or making decisions is our dominant feature.

The idea of using Jung's concept to describe clients was suggested to me by a colleague, a clinical psychologist. At first, I could not understand the idea. Should I apply psychoanalysis in sales? Martin, because that was my colleague's name, patiently explained to me that every type described by Jung prefers specific behavior.

So, I thought, I can act in a specific way to win the favor of my interlocutor. Thanks to Jung's typology I will know how to present my offer.

Great - I said to Martin – that’s the way I was looking for. Show me how it works.

He drew a matrix with pictures of a brain (at the bottom), heart (on top), ear (on the left side), and mouth (on the right side). Then he told me: people make decisions because they are driven by emotions or logic. Behaviors reveal whether we are extroverted or introverted. Then you can think what kind of action would be best to sell to that type of client. 

After many hours of testing “in the field”, many meetings, presentations etc., I managed to fill the matrix with the typology of a client that works for me. It looks like this: 

How to approach them:

Each type of a client requires a separate approach, thus requiring a specific message. After a few moments of conversation, you may be able to determine which type predominates in your interlocutor.