[E32] Behavior Week: Analyst Part I – Fears, Confrontation and Empathy

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[E32] Behavior Week: Analyst Part I - Fears, Confrontation and Empathy
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When you see the patterns in the basic, general personality and behavior style groups of humans, we can see four groups that emerge.

Of course, everyone is different, and you would be able to apply these high level generalizations to an entire group, but you can use this information as a jump off point in relationships.

Especially in sales.

The first group, which I will cover over the next two episodes, is the Analysts.

If you are familiar with DISC Profiles, it’s the Conscientiousness group.  

In Analyst Part 1, I cover this groups biggest fears, how they feel about confrontation, and the way they empathize.

If you think you might be an Analyst salesperson, in a relationship with an Analyst, manage anyone that is an Analyst, or come across prospects that are analytical and struggle with understanding them – this is the episode for you.


Episode 32 – Transcript

On this episode we talk about the group that loves spreadsheets, to do lists, and making life difficult for sales people.

Welcome to episode 32 of The Sales Experience Podcast. This is the second episode of the Behavior series. Yesterday’s episode was a nice overview and set up for what I am going to cover, but now it’s time for specifics. I am going to give you as much actionable value as I can, like I always strive to do, but please know that this topic of personalities, behaviors, and how to use this information in your sales career is usually a half day workshop that I do for sales teams, with follow up assessment sessions of prospect interactions. I am going to do my best to cram this into two weeks of ten minute episodes, but just know this is scratching the surface but also giving you things you can use right away.

Alright, the first group I am going to cover is the one that I know really well. It’s the group I will call the Analysts. If you are familiar with DISC, which is another personality assessment with four groups, they refer to this group as Conscientiousness. This is my group, my people. I am an Analyst. Well, let me clarify – my default personality and behavior is that of an Analyst. You see, we all have our primary style, a secondary mode, and then over time as we mature, experience life, and become more self-aware, we can also shift away from being in one category and more fluid around the groups. However, each person will always have a personality style that feels like ‘home’ to them. For me, as an Analyst I an do things that are outside of the Analyst comfort zone but will always prefer my spreadsheets.

Let’s start with an overview. Analysts, like the name suggests, views life through analyzing data, facts, and lists.  Their default mode is as a maker and user of checklists, to-do lists. The pro level Analyst will completed something that wasn’t on their list, add it to the to-do list so they can then cross it off. They like data, facts, and spreadsheets. They are planners, which comes from their biggest fears, and prefer planning and structure over being spontaneous. When asked ‘Do you ever do anything spontaneous?’ a typical Analyst responds with ‘Yes…on my calendar I have ‘be spontaneous scheduled from 1 to 3 pm.’

Now lets talk about what Analysts are afraid of. This is about spiders or heights or clowns, it’s a deeper fear. And again, you might be thinking there is no way I could generalize fears for a quarter of the population as a group. Yes I can, watch me. I will do it for all four groups in fact. The Analysts biggest fear is looking wrong or stupid. It’s the fear of making a mistake that leads to some type of public shaming or negativity. They are okay being wrong, uninformed, or messing up in their own little private bubble, but not in any way that someone else might see. This group is the one who would rather die than do public speaking. Why? Because what if they mess up, what if people laugh at them or make fun of them, what if they look stupid or get asked questions they cannot answer. That is a fate worse than death to a pure Analyst.

They also have a fear of the unknown. Its why they don’t default to being very spontaneous. Why? Same reasons I just mentioned. The unknown could be filled with mistakes, screw ups, bad choices, hurt, embarrassment, and or shame or ridicule by others.  New experiences are fraught with opportunities to fail or look bad, so an Analyst will feel stress with new situations. Flying somewhere new. Going to a new restaurant. Going to a new town. Who knows what could happen! For the personality group opposite to the Analysts – they love the idea of something new and the excitement that comes with that unknown. Analysts do not relish that idea.

Again, please keep in mind, if you are listening to me and you are saying to yourself, I love spreadsheets and to-do lists AND trying out new things – they you are either not an Analyst by default or you have matured to a level where you have expanded your comfort zone. But remember, this topic is all about helping you understand other people as well.

Now, lets talk about confrontation. If you were to analyze it then you would already know how Analysts feel about confrontation. Analysts don’t like confrontation. Doesn’t mean they can’t do it. We all get into situations that require some level of confrontation – where there is a chance the other person won’t like what we are going to tell them and they might react negatively. So it only makes sense that the Analyst would not like this because their biggest fears fall under the category of not liking to be wrong, to fail, or look stupid. In a confrontation where the other person is upset and says things that are potentially hurtful or shameful back to the Analyst, the thought of this in advance will make them want to throw up. I have had the unfortunate duty of terminating many, many people – kind of the nature of running sales organizations. Each and every time, no matter how clear it was that it was a terrible fit and the best thing for the other person was actually for them to move on, leading up to the conversation I still felt like I was going to go to the bathroom and throw up at the same time. Of course, no one really likes firing someone, but other personalities are way more comfortable with confrontation. There is also an unknown with confrontation, which again is what Analysts fear. When you are firing someone – will they accept it graciously, thank you for the opportunity, apologize for letting you down, and say goodbye quietly? Or will they threaten you, yell at you, maybe throw stuff across the office as they have a temper tantrum while packing their stuff and walking out, making a huge scene and blaming everyone except themselves? Door number two is the unknown scenario running through an Analyst’s head.

Last trait for this episode is empathy. Of course, everyone has a level of empathy for other people. I am not going to say that Analysts have no empathy, but on the empathy scale, Analysts are very low in the way that people expect empathy. Their style is more of a practical empathy. When a child falls off their bike and scrapes their knee, the Analyst will help them get up, dust the gravel out of their cut, and tell them to keep on riding and having fun. They won’t necessarily be the one running in with bandaides, ice cream, and joining in with the tears. They take a more practical approach…analyzing the situation and see where the hurt was caused by choices or factors that could be done differently. “Its okay that you fell, that is life, just keep practicing and getting better” versus “stupid bike. I can’t believe they put that dirt on the road that made you slip.”

Alright – that is it for the first half of my breakdown on Analysts. Come back tomorrow for the second half where I tie this information together to help you in your sales role. Make sure to subscribe wherever you are downloading episodes from so you can get the latest episodes each day.

And until next time, always remember that everything in life is sales and people will remember the experience you gave them.

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