[E31] Behavior Week: The Golden Rule Is Wrong

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Authentic Persuasion Show
Authentic Persuasion Show
[E31] Behavior Week: The Golden Rule Is Wrong
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7 Billion people on the planet.

Everyone is different. They have all had a unique experience in life, a different path, different combination of personality, traits, talents, strengths, and ways they see the world.

Yet here we are, the beginning of a two-week series of episodes on behaviors and personalities.

Over the next ten episodes I am going to break down the population into four groups, and then share each group’s biggest fears, how they deal with confrontation, how they empathize with other people, and then how they like to buy, what not to do if you want to close the sale, and how you the salesperson shows up based on your personality group.

All of this is my ten-minute show format. And with the goal of providing you actionable insight for improving not just your selling effectiveness but your relationships in general.

Check out this episode where I kick off Behavior Week(s) and find out why the Golden Rule is wrong.


Episode 31 – Transcript

On this episode I kick off two weeks of talking about behaviors. Prepare to take your sales and relationship game to the next level!

Welcome to episode 31 of The Sales Experience Podcast. And welcome to the first of two Behavior Weeks.

Depending on how you feel about them, maybe you like people or maybe you just know you have to deal with them. If you are in sales I am hoping that you actually like talking to and working with people. But honestly, people are the most challenging aspect of a sales career. Actually, that is true about life in general, all relationships have the potential of being challenging because everyone has a different personality, different behaviors, different experiences and views on the world. Everyone has been through a different path in life to get where they are now – this point in time where you are meeting them, whether it is a personal relationship, in the context of your sales role, or even next to you in line at the store.

So if everyone is as different as a fingerprint or a snowflake, then it would be really difficult to be able to assess their personality and behavior style and then utilize that information in order to maximize your effectiveness with them, right? If you have ever taking a Myers Briggs personality test,  you know there is a lot of questions – 93 in fact. 93 questions where you have to make decisions between the options and at the end you will get a very detailed but complex summary of your personality.

If you are talking to a prospect you can’t just pause your process and have them take a test like that. That is not realistic in pretty much any selling situation and would seem a bit creepy. But the feedback you would get from a test like that could help in so many ways.

You see, while each person is different there are some generalities that occur. And when you are talking with a prospect there are certain ways to treat each personality group and things to avoid doing if you want to make the sale. When you break it down to four main groups, instead of the 16 from Myers Briggs or other tests, it becomes easier to work with the prospect.

While we know everyone is different, there are ways that people generally respond the same way to life. It may not 100% accurate for all people you try and put into one of four behavior buckets, but you can get really close and have a more effective sales conversation.

Members of each group has a shared big fear. They have their own way they like to buy. They have major turn offs that if a sales person does them it will make the sale infinitely harder to close. They have common likes and dislikes. They even have a certain level of confrontation they are wired for, as well as how they empathize with other people.

How could you make those statements about a group of people – especially breaking down the population into only four groups of personalities and behaviors? Again – Myers Briggs is great at getting really specific for an individual but is too complex for most sales people to use. I have seen people who have studied it for years and can generally assess someone pretty quick, but to learn and memorize 16 different personalities and their traits isn’t easy.  But if you go high enough level with four groupings than you can create a mental tool to help with your sales effectiveness, and even your other relationships in life.

That is my goal for these two weeks is to share with you the four different personality and behavior groups and how to work with each one. My hope is that you would be able to improve your EQ – Emotional intelligence – to help you tune in to the other person at an even deeper level of understanding.

There is another reason this is so important if you are in sales – and really, in life. Most people know themselves really really well. You have lived your life for a long time, in your own head, with your experiences, and your view of the world through your lenses. Whether you are self-aware at a deeper level of your strengths and weaknesses, habits and preferences is nice and should be a goal in order to maximize who are and what you can do for other people. But no matter what, we all have our default system mode, which could change over time but is always present in the moment.

The challenge is that most people default to a version of the Golden Rule that doesn’t work. The Golden Rule says to treat others like you like to be treated. If you want to be treated with respect and love, and kindness then treat others that way. How could this be a bad thing or ineffective way to interact with others? Well each of those four groups that I will cover has a different way they like to buy, how they like to be treated, and as I mentioned, a way that a sales person could totally kill the deal. But if you, the sales person, is running on auto pilot, you will come to each selling situation with your view on things, which is one quarter of the population. Your mind is in one group, which is fine, but what if your preferences for buying and selling are polar opposites to the person you are talking to.

You know how they say that opposites attract? They do, and if you have ever been in one of those relationships with someone who is totally different from you personality, behavior, and preferences wise, then you know that times it can be amazing…but…at times, and maybe most times, it will complete and utter friction and potentially drama.

Now imagine that as the relationship you have between you and your prospect. And then you do not close the deal. But you don’t know why.

Want an example? The classic sales person personality is about fun, charisma, and maybe even happy hours. Work hard, play hard – right? Or…work some, play hard! When they talk to prospects they are all about how great their product service is, how much fun it is, or how cool it is. But if that sales person is talking to an analytical prospect, the prospect doesn’t care as much about fun or cool or hip, as much as they care about value and function and the data. That type of prospect also really hates high pressure sales situations, which is a complete mismatch for the style that I bet the sales person will hit them with. This relationship is two people who are opposites, and it will most likely not end well.

This is why its so critical for a sales person who has a goal of being a long term professional to be able to understand the other person on a basic level, and quickly in the process, in order to meet them where they are at instead of forcing the sales rep’s Golden Rule personality style on them.

Now there are sales people who already do this because they have an intuitive sense. You will hear them tell you something like “I know how to read people” – that is what they are doing. Maybe it comes naturally, maybe they have just been reading people their whole life and now its second nature. For the rest of us, I will give you a framework to do the same thing and then if you practice it enough it will become second nature for you as well.

That’s it for this start of the new week of episodes. 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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