Using Type to Build Customer Relationships

In the enlightening booklet, Using Type in Selling, Susan A. Brock details how to leverage knowledge from personality indicators to strengthen customer relations.  This book was designed with the sales professional in mind.  However, the tips are practical for any individual who wants to strengthen customer relationships. During every business transaction, you progress through 4 critical stages:

  1.  Initiating the relationship
  2.  Investigating needs
  3. Suggesting a course of action
  4. Obtaining agreement and closing

Every customer service and salesperson approaches these stages differently depending on their type and behavior pattern. When type is applied to a customer interaction, you will be enabled to do the following:

  • Understand how customers are different
  • Hear the customers’ needs and speak their “language”
  • Build the necessary relationships
  • Maintain loyalty and long-term customers

 Though you will not know the psychological type preferences of your customers, knowledge of the type framework stills allows you to understand that:

  • Your customer’s preferences may be directly opposite your natural preferences.

  • Your customer’s preferences are clues to how this customer wants to be sold to. 

  •  Some customer behaviors have nothing to do with their type preference.

 Look for these behavioral cues to help gauge your customers’ preferences during a customer interaction. 

Extraversion – talks to think, may interrupt or speak quickly
Introversion – pauses when answering or giving information, reflects silently, uses shorter sentences when communicating

Sensing – asks for step-by-step information, asks “what” and “how” questions
Intuition – talks in general terms, asks “why” questions

Thinking – appears to test you or your knowledge, follows a pattern of checking logic: “if this, then that”
Feeling – strives for harmony during the interaction, asks how others have resolved the situation

Judging – consistently on-time or early for appointments, wants to move through the process, impatient with overly long descriptions or procedures
Perceiving – may be late for appointments or lose track of time during appointments, generally won’t decide until the last moment, may seem to want space to make own decisions More information about how you can leverage type to improve customer relations can be found in the booklet, Using Type in Selling, by Susan A. Brock.

Using Personality Type to Make Better Decisions

When thinking about preferences, type, and type dynamics, know that no one type can be characterized as the best decision maker.  Effective decision making requires the flexibility to shift between the Five Core Decision-Making Processes in response to real-life demands.
In the booklet, Introduction to Type® and Decision Making, Katherine W. and Elizabeth Hirsh provide a helpful and realistic guide in decision-making processes and aid in understanding the decision-making processes of others.
These Five Core Processes are crucial to do effective decision making:
  1. Approach a decision-making opportunity
  2. Generate Decision Options
  3. Commit to a Decision Option
  4. Implement a Decision
  5. Reflecting on a Decision
In turn, these processes affect personality preferences in distinctive ways, such as the following:
  • When approaching a decision-making opportunity, extroverts are more likely to identify others who could be involved in the decision, while introverts will ensure they are involved in the decision.
  • People who prefer extraversion will mention all options that occur to them when generating decision options.  On the other hand, introverts will mention only those options they are willing to pursue.
  • If committing to a decision option, an extrovert will notify others immediately when a decision has been made.  Whereas, and individual who prefers introversion will neglect to notify others immediately when a decision has been reached.
  • Preferences for extraversion will include delegating liberally while implementing a decision, but delegation will be sparingly for introversion preferences.
  • During reflection on a decision, extroverts have a tendency to consider how they can change their environment, while introverts consider how they can change themselves. 
Decision-making can be influenced by innumerable factors, including work environment and cultural identity.