When I was writing my book, The Retail Doctor's Guide to Growing Your Business (Wiley & Sons), I wanted to show how many of the decisions business owners make, from how they buy their product, who they allow on their sales floor and how they sell to customers (or not) can be traced back to the four personality types.
While typing personalities goes all the way back to the Greeks, the reason I like it so much is that it can be recognized, taught and spoken to fairly easily.
I'll be sharing some of what I've learned on the subject of personalities over the next couple weeks on this blog. If you want to know more, get the book. Before you read further, you may want to take your free personality quiz.
Have you ever had a customer you just couldn't get through to? Have you ever had a customer get mad at you for what seemed like no reason at all? Many times its not that they were having a bad day but that you weren't speaking to them the way they needed to be spoken to.
There are two main types of people, those who are ruled by their brains - the Thinkers and those that are ruled by their hearts - the Feelers. The Thinkers have two groups: the Driver and the Analytical. The Feelers also have two groups: the Expressive and the Amiable. One is not better than the other three, just different.
Here are some general characteristics of the two types of Thinker personalities:
They have high self-esteem and outwardly don't care if they are liked. Think Lucy from Peanuts, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Gordon Ramsey, or Simon Cowell from American Idol.
They have a system to process information that can make them very focused. Think Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation, anyone on This Old House, or The Professor from Gilligan's Island.
Here are some general characteristics of the two types of Feeler personalities:
Frequently overlooked by managers, these people can be the sparkplugs for your crew. Think Sam Malone from Cheers, Ginger from Gilligan's Island, Kathy Griffin or Jack Sparrow from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean.
They are the peacemakers, the caregivers and nurturers in our lives. Think Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island, Linus from Peanuts, or Marge Simpson.
Here's the thing: we most often hire others just like us. That means your whole store or service business often only connects to people just like themselves. This leaves a lot of money on the table.
Once you understand your own style you'll be able to change like a chameleon and give the other three personalities what they need. And that's what I cover extensively in my book.