Rita is the department head of radiology and used to being in charge. Knowing the patient’s diagnosis and treatment depend on it, she is exact and precise in reading x-rays. She’s a no-nonsense, direct individual who is quick to decide and eager to have results.

Mark, a financial adviser and underwriter, met Rita at the gym. Because she needed insurance, it was easy for him to book an appointment on the spot and get her general agreement during the initial presentation about which types of products seemed best. Proceeding beyond this point, however, presented big challenges.

Collaboration Didn’t Work

Mark values collaboration. He’s not one to assert himself and push his ideas on others. Instead, he educates them about the different options so they can make a decision that feels right to them. He works cautiously and systematically. He did his research and was looking forward to reviewing with Rita those products that seemed a good fit for her.

He called to schedule a second appointment. A few days passed without a return call. He then sent an email. Again nothing happened. He tried finding her at the gym with no success. This continued for several weeks. Mark felt frustrated. He understood that Rita was busy. Still, why did she fail to respond and what should he do?


The answer lies in understanding Rita’s decision-making style. Just as she is a take-charge individual, she appreciates being treated in the same way by those who serve her. She values when people are authoritative and get things done for her. She likes when a person does the job and sends the bill without having to talk about it or go over the details. As she has communicated to her friends, “I can learn to live with anything and grow to like it in time.” Such an idea seems absurd to Mark.

Rita is not a difficult client, although Mark thinks otherwise. She’s just being true to herself, to her style. When Mark learns to flex himself to meet the client on the client’s terms, he’ll stop being frustrated and enjoy a higher closing rate and bigger commissions.

About Dr. Nancy Zare

A retired professor and psychologist, Dr. Nancy Zare originated the AlikeAbility™ System to teach service-based sales professionals how to read buying styles and close more sales. She has created a video, “If the Shoe Fits” that helps you identify your prospect’s buying style from the shoes they wear. Contact her at nancy@RapportBuilderz.com to receive your copy.