Sales: Increasing Interpersonal Effectiveness and Closing Ratio

by | Apr 3, 2013 | Consulting

I’ve long said that “sales” is really only helping people find what they’re looking for. But usually, people have different personality types that dictate how they prefer the transaction: Some, for example, prefer quick; and others more methodical. But importantly, the transaction is a partnership – a dance, as it were, based on their personalities and how they prefer to walk through the process. And because the ability to close sales is often related to the degree of connection between the parties, it’s important to provide this information in a way that’s meaningful to them, such that the relationship – and transaction – moves forward. (This becomes increasingly important as the relationship is ordained to be longer: a lease vs. a purchase; or service after the sale vs. a commodity, etc.)

As it turns out, each of these personality types prefer to “fulfill their quest” in very different ways. And they need to be “sold to” very differently. A partner in the process, therefore, would do well to understand how they seek their information. So we sum some of the major personality types here:

Assertive vs. Passive:

Assertive: For those who are assertive – and you usually can hear this in the language: “I am” vs. “I might be” or “Do you think I am?” – these require making their own decision. And attempting to override such will only ever result in a contentious situation.

Passive: Those who are more passive need a little more help with the process. It’s not that they ever desire someone else to make the decision for them; these simply are a little less willing to bear the risk of a wrong decision.

Self-controlled vs. Emotional:

Self-controlled:  This is the characteristic very methodical in its manner: Everything in its form, and in its place. These are best sold to by providing information – as it is information that helps them to “fill the boxes.”

Emotional:  As the name implies, this group responds to a rapid heart rate: Urgency is a positive motivator, as are touch and feel and imagery.


As you can imagine, finding the combination of characteristics, one from each group, will provide you the roadmap of how to communicate with them. If you’re losing a sale, regroup and resell: Based on what you know to be their “language”, provide more information, or more emotion, or more help; or ask for the close. And in all things, it’s important to understand that it’s not ever about categorizing someone in a box, but about better knowing how to talk their language. Enjoy the dance!


For those who have sales organizations, one of our aspects is in-house sales training. Give us a call.



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