How to Mind Read Your Sales Prospects

Have you ever been put off by a salesman who was too pushy, too animated, too boring, or too much of anything? What if that salesperson mirrored your own personality?  Wouldn’t you be much more at ease with him and much more receptive to his messages? That is the goal of adaptive selling, in which salespeople mirror the personalities of their potential buyers.  Before you meet with a prospect, try to learn as much about their personality as possible by talking to coworkers, clients, friends, and/or other professional contacts.

When you actually meet the buyer, take a look at their body language, tone, and the general way they handle themselves. Look around their room and see if they have achievements placed on their walls, how their furniture is organized, and how they are dressed. Look on their online profiles to see what their educational background is. You’ll find that people fit into one of 4 categories…


Usually study things like engineering, science, or other technical field. Dress conservative and have awards prominently displayed on their office walls.

This is a no-nonsense results-oriented individual that takes charge and has no time for small talk. They make their decisions fast and tend to care a lot more about current results than results that may have appeared in the past or may appear in the future. They are willing to take risks based on hardcore facts and don’t spend much time going over every single detail.

When selling to drivers, get straight to the point in regards to how your product or service can solve their current needs.


Also come from a technical background and have a very organized office.

Analyticals share the same “stiff” nature of drivers. However, rather than taking risks with a take-charge type attitude, they carefully think about their decisions before taking action. Furthermore, they are “stiff” not because they are dominating like drivers, they are emotionally distant because they think logic and analysis trump any competing form (small talk, relationships) of getting things done.

When selling to analyticals, make use of any numbers at your disposal. For example, tell them about the payback period, the ROI, the Net Present Value (NPV) of their investment. You want to give the impression that you do your homework before coming to them.


Have a background in liberal arts and office seems warm and inviting.

Amiables are like analyticals in that they are not comfortable with taking charge of things from the get-go. However, unlike analyticals, they believe that time is best sent forming relationships with others. They are very friendly, nice, likeable, and warm.

When selling to amiables, be as friendly and warm as they are. Before talking to them about the benefits of your product or service, engage in some small talk and match their friendly vibe. Amiables like to form mutually beneficial relationships based on friendliness and trust. Make sure that your offline and online reputation gives others the impression that you are a likeable, trustworthy person.


Also come from a liberal arts background. Unorganized office. Often wear “showy” attire.

What do you get when you combine the assertiveness of drivers and the friendliness of amiables: an expressive social style. Expressives base all of their present decisions on future consequences. They think about things like prestige and recognition and put relatively little weight on analysis like analyticals do. They are willing to take risks and are willing to listen to people who already have some sort of power or prestige. Although they value the company of others, just like amiables, they see personal relationships as a tool and not a necessity. They surround themselves with people who support their ambitions and ego, not people who may be of real use.

When selling to expressives, sell yourself by noting your (or your organization’s) accomplishments, recognitions, and licenses. When presenting your products, make use of testimonials and third party approvals.

Of course, trying to put every potential prospect into one of the four aforementioned social styles is not realistic. Some of us are a mix of all four because how we react socially can depend on what mood we are in or the situation. Regardless, all of us tend to portray one of the above personalities more than the other three.  As such, when selling, keep in mind the 4 aforementioned social styles the next time you are trying to sell, whether that be a product, a service, an idea, or yourself.

Nickolay Lamm is an internet marketing specialist at InventHelp who helps inventors avoid the selling practices of scam invention promotion companies.


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