“Things are seldom as they seem. Skim milk masquerades as cream.” So goes the lyrics from Gilbert & Sullivan’s operetta, HMS Pinafore.

The same warning can be issued by reading a buyer’s personality style. Often a person’s occupation may be a strong indicator of their inner values. However, people choose careers for many reasons. So it’s essential to know what motivates a behavioral choice in order to diagnose the individual’s style correctly.

For example, Alan bought a franchise that provides elderly placement services. On the surface, it would appear that he has strong Nurturing traits as well as desiring a tried and true system of business. This suggests that he’s high in Blueprint.

What’s his motivation? He chose this particular franchise to make money. With the baby boom generation’s burgeoning needs both to care for their parents as well as themselves, he reasoned that this business would bring a positive cash flow quickly. His dominant style is Action.

Another illustration is Danielle. She studied to become a pre-school educator and has spent her entire 35-year career in the field of child care. She’s a deep thinker, constantly reading journal articles to keep abreast of new developments. Superficially she appears to have a strong Nurturing style and secondarily Knowledge traits.

What motivates her? She likes to work with the younger population, ages 14 months to 2 years. Children at this age rarely talk and are in diapers. Under her administration, they become both verbal and potty trained. The reason for her preference is summarized in one word – order! Helping the children and their parents become disciplined gives her the utmost pleasure. Thus Nurturing and Knowledge take a back seat to Blueprint.

Students of personality analysis are advised to use the prospect’s occupation as an initial hypothesis. Then probe deeper and be open to revising your first guess as you uncover more data. The best salespeople morph easily between styles, which is how they establish and maintain AlikeAbility™ and close more sales.