Two boys, each on their own scooters, navigated in and out of traffic on a moderately busy street. Although they were quite young, perhaps under the age of 8, their personality differences were evident instantly.
Initially they rode on the sidewalk and when they approached a curb, each had his own way of remaining upright. The first youngster jumped smoothly over the hump and showed great dexterity with his body and equipment. The other actually stepped off and remounted. As a result, he lost ground to his companion.
As they continued to ride, other subtleties emerged. The leader was clearly more daring than his companion. For example, he impulsively decided to turn left. He barely glanced behind to check whether he had the space to dodge across the street. The other child lingered, waiting for cars to pass.
Boy number one was an Action-Taker and didn’t hesitate to seize opportunities. He probably prefers looking his best, competing with the intent to win, and entertaining a crowd of friends. Performing well in school is not his priority and he may be challenged with a short attention span. He’ll rebel at having to conform.
His friend was a Planner, very conservative in his activities. He might appreciate a step-by-step outline so that he knows and can anticipate what’s happening. He’ll follow a budget and do what’s expected without challenging authority. Teachers prefer having him in class because he follows rules, minds what they say, and gives them no trouble.
Professional sales people must discern quickly the personality styles of their prospects. Research suggests that we have but 7 seconds when meeting someone to influence their judgement and decision whether to engage. If you know how your prospect prefers to be greeted, you’ll have an advantage in making the most of those 7 seconds. Approach the lead boy with enthusiasm and excitement, and you’ll easily win his business. Approach the partner with formality, reserve, and a guarantee, and you’ll earn his respect and also make the sale.