Retail Sales Training: Adjusting Your Driver Personality Style

February 02, 2016

driver personality style selling retail

This retail sales training post expands on the four personalities presented here with an overview.

The Driver personality style is all about power and ego. External validation by applause, commission checks, status or atta-boys drives them to excel.

They know what they know and they know it. If you are trying to manage them and you don’t know as much, you’ll be in the weaker position to reprimand or correct.

The Driver is a player; they are important, informed and have the ego to match. Drivers have the ability to question prevailing wisdom from vendors, sales trainers and customers. That is one of their strengths.

They are a sheer force of nature. The Drivers go right over the “but”s, before the customer even has the opportunity to voice them. The Driver “cuts to the chase” and speaks in shorter sentences. They tend to get agreement before going further.

In some ways they are the classic salesperson focused on doing the job of selling your merchandise or service. They particularly identify with the premium or luxury brands or services because they aren't afraid of the price tags. They know that sales is just a game and they find their way to win it. That fearlessness is in their blood. They set their sights on selling and they do it.

That’s why they are so valued at the top end of retail in luxury boutiques and in selling products and services that cost thousands and millions of dollars.

The Good News
The Driver's desire to win and their knowledge of the game they are playing allows them, if they are good, to morph and sell to the other three personalities by essentially mirroring them. If they are dealing with an Analytical personality, the Driver can come up with all the reasons and facts a product can do what the customer needs. If they are dealing with an Expressive personality style they can "go with the flow" as they consider multiple options to find their own unique style. If they are dealing with an Amiable personality afraid of making a bad decision, the Driver can get in their shoes and help them reduce all risk before they buy.

Notice I said they can do all of this.

Unfortunately, many Drivers don’t know how strong their personalities can be, so they decide in a snap which customers are “players” and which aren’t. They dismiss the others or turn them over to a lesser salesperson.

That’s a big miss because a Driver, when they are exposed to the other three personality styles, can become like a chameleon and alter their behavior to make the sale better than anyone. Why?

They are driven to make the sale...

You need Drivers who have learned how to get in touch with their softer side. A Driver who comes on as strong as they naturally are, often turns off the other three personality styles. But if they learn to adapt, they are quite powerful and an asset to your business.

If you are a Driver, you have to learn how to let Expressives speak. When you talk over an Expressive (like you tend to do with your rapid-fire, quick thinking,) the Expressive will get angry. When you hold your tongue, the Expressive can feel heard so the two of you can converse.

A Driver who is naturally impatient when dealing with an Analytical’s need to process everything slowly, needs to show patience. The Analytical’s need for facts are not deemed important by the Driver. This can cause problems because the Analytical is keenly aware of details and will demand focus and time. If Drivers can compare knowledge on equal terms in a similar style, they can sell an Analytical.

An Amiable just wants to be liked so developing rapport is the most important thing a Driver needs to accomplish. Drivers can take advantage of that because Amiables rarely choose anything on their own. That’s why they inherently fear the big, ego-filled Drivers.

Amiables come to to you with an open heart. Because they are not seen as a “player” quickly, they are the ones most often dismissed by a Driver. Yet most Amiables are not comfortable making their decision, they need the Driver. If treated right they could still be the Driver’s most profitable customer because they are coming to the Driver to be shown what they need. And they are the peacemakers so they don't fight or challenge the Driver.

Amiables are happy to listen. Drivers are happy to talk. The danger is there is no back and forth dialogue. The Driver has to provide positive affirmation for the baby steps the Amiable takes during the sales process. The Amiable is out to make a friend, the Driver is out to make a sale. A blustery Driver salesperson can turn off an Amiable because of their power and force-of-nature style. Amiables need energy and direction but it has to be more like a warm summer breeze than a gale.

In Sum

Here’s the point bluntly...

Drivers, only selling one way – their way - will only appeal to the roughly 6% of the world exhibiting their personality style. That's a lot of missed opportunities. I know, I'm a Driver. I wish someone had told me these things forty years ago!

What do untrained Drivers do when they don’t connect with the Expressive, Analytical or Amiable? They still have to get the sale any way they can...which means they’ll offer a discount.

When with a little bit of retail sales training, they could have had full profit sales.

Help your Driver personality to become a chameleon and you’ll enjoy higher sales – even if they get a larger head.

I include an entire set of chapters on personality styles in my online retail sales training platform SalesRX.

Take the free personality quiz by clicking the button below.

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