Know Associate Personality Styles To Increase Retail Holiday Sales

florist employees with holiday hats

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Personality assessments are often seen as a fun gimmick to understand your tendencies.

But retailers can benefit from understanding their associates personality preferences.

Ever wonder why children always excited and happy around Christmas or Hanukkah?

Because all they are thinking about is what they will be getting. Their anticipation of good things to come provides a great lesson for retailers.

Focusing on the outcome helps you with the reason to stay focused on your own successful holiday sales.

And if you don’t know your own personality style at work, take the quiz yourself before you give it to your employees; you might be surprised at what you learn.

Here’s a quick description of each personality temperament and tips on how to get the most out of them in your store:


The Driver is your driven salesperson; their self-image feeds off of a good challenge. Make it a point to challenge them to be the person who sells the most in a week or even a day. Give them all of the many features of your premium or luxury products and clue them to three of the most likely situations or customers your best products would fit.

  • The Driver needs to feel important. Providing sales charts, regular updates and public acknowledgment is crucial.
  • Feed their sales skills with stories, or articles, or blogs about how to make more sales.
  • Have your Drivers show your weaker salespeople how to sell better.
  • Don’t stick them behind the counter or make them do chores. You’ll wound their pride and lose their crucial competitiveness.


The Analytical is a process person. Make sure you can use their systematic thinking to keep things moving. Make sure they don’t vomit every feature of every product to every customer or they’ll spend too much time on one shopper when there are many. Over-explaining is one of their weaknesses. 

  • Put them in those areas with products that need a more thorough explanation. Give them situations where they can share their understanding of various products to compare and contrast. They thrive on details.
  • Have them organize the counter area. Ask them about the flow of gift- wrapping, and about how could they could make things easier in the back room. Let them show off how smoothly the store could flow based on their insights and skills.
  • Put these employees on the register and teach them your what-ifs in case of a crisis so that they can help you through them. However, know these are the least likely of the four types of personalities to want to communicate with strangers. They want to be seen as the expert people come to.
  • Identify areas they can excel at including scheduling and receiving. Don't make them get out there and wait on people unless you have given them proper retail sales training. Otherwise, their temperament and customer service can become a problem.

Take The Personality Quiz


The Expressive personality is the natural spark plug for your crew. Their focus on being in the moment will bring joy to your whole store.

  • Give your Expressive employee the cheerleader role and have them help create a light and happy spirit in your store.

  • These are the possibilities for human beings. Get them actively involved in ideas like how to bundle different products together to get more merchandise out the door. Make sure they see every new product because they'll find ways to pair new things with older merchandise and sell both.

  • Put them in charge of a possibility board where they cut out or post good or affirmative messages, such as customer letters and printouts of social media.

  • Don't give them mundane tasks. Their power is in their fearlessness to meet new people; like the Driver, don't waste them behind the register. Those two personality styles tend to be the most confident personality styles and their leadership styles are the most likely to build relationships with shoppers.


There are more Amiable personalities than any other, and due to their social nature, they are the most likely to be affected by doom and gloom predictions. They fear risk and rejection but will thrive in a social, safe place where they can shine. Amiables make great assistant managers or shift leaders.

  • If you're looking how to understand the personality styles of the Amiable, make an interest in what they're talking about and feel free to challenge any negativity whether it's based on reality or perception.
  • Get them to think about all the joy that they will bring to the holidays because of them serving the customer.
  • Don't put them in charge of decision-making or scheduling. They'll get bogged down with everyone's reasons they can't work a shift. Also, while they feel others' pain, they tend to have trouble with conflict if something goes wrong so make sure there is someone they can defer problems to. One of Amiable's strengths and weaknesses is their ability to become interested in strangers, which can result in spending too much time with one shopper.
  • Is there a way to meet their need for a group activity? Amiable employees love Secret Santa programs because they are just so nice for everyone.

See also, 24 Do's And Don'ts Of Customer Service By Personality Style

In Sum

Just like it always has, the media is going to run stories to get investors, owners, and managers of brick-and-mortar stores nervous that retail holiday sales will be disappointing.

If you settle for employees who are content to text on their phones rather than engage customers and sell your merchandise, you'll miss the opportunity to stand out from your competitors. Understanding personality styles can help you match who best to lead the sales floor, who to take charge of tasks, and which traits are likely to help you in various situations.

There's no better or worse personality style; we all have elements of all of them. When you can understand what drives and stops employees, you can find more opportunities for them to shine.

And happy employees make for happy customers. And happy customers are joyful.