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What's Your Type?

Posted by jpellman on March 7, 2014

By: Duane Weber
Sandler Training, TrustPointe

Anyone who’s been in the business environment for any length of time understands the value of a good relationship with your peers, supervisors, subordinates and clients.  A good relationship can be boiled down to this: bonding and rapport.  

Unfortunately, most people don’t understand what it really takes to build a truly meaningful relationship with others.  Most salespeople, for example, believe that the best way to build a relationship is to find that common thread that binds them.  They do these “moves”, like looking around their office for pictures and degrees or asking about hobbies and past-times.  When they find one it’s eureka!  You like golfing, I like golfing. Great – let’s do business! 

Here’s the problem with that: it doesn’t work anymore, if it ever did.   Individuals build relationships with people they like and are like them.  Let me give you an example, I coach hockey, but I don’t like all hockey coaches.  The coaches I like seem to be like me; their personality and philosophies match mine.

To successfully build relationships, you need to be more like the person you’re attempting to build a relationship with.  You don’t have to be fake; you just have to be willing to change your self-orientation from you to them.  Here are some simple tips about dealing with different types of people:

  • The demanding type (driving, ambitious, strong-willed): Be direct back.  They don’t like yes-people and they don’t mind being challenged.  They want answers now so they can make decisions now.   They don’t need a lot of details to make a decision. Oh- and all those relationship moves mentioned above will annoy them.  They want to get down to business.
  • The friendly type (talkative, enthusiastic, warm):  Go ahead and ask about their hobbies and family, they really like it.  Let them talk more than you and be a good listener.   If you’re the demanding type listed above, be patient and let them tell you about their weekend before moving on to the next subject. 
  • The steady one (relaxed, easy-going, patient): Take your time and don’t interrupt. What they have to say is important but it may take them longer to get it.  Interrupting them will ruin your credibility.   They’re also going to need longer than most to make a decision so give them some time and room to do so. 
  • The cautious type (worrisome, exact, detail-oriented): Unlike the first type, they need a lot of information to make a decision.  They also need time to weigh the options and consider the facts.  They prefer the status quo so you’ll have gain their trust before moving on.   Never break a promise.  

The next time you’re forming a relationship, figure out what ‘type’ they are and act accordingly.  You’ll be glad you did, and so will they.