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Common Styles of Human Behavior

Good sales professionals learn the behavior styles of the people they approach and adjust their approaches accordingly.
If you observe carefully, you'll find that people fall into one or another of these broad categories:


These are your fierce competitors.  They are pragmatic, decisive, and intent on winning.  When you approach them, forget the small talk.  They want you to get to the point.  They're not interested in minor details.  Give them the big picture.  They want to know how something works, and not why it works that way.  Be direct and assertive with them.  They don't respond to hints.  They're likely to challenge you, and if you yield they'll exploit the advantage.  Stand your ground and they'll respect you.  Dominators don't like to be manipulated, so always be straightforward with them.  When you compliment them, praise their achievements and not their personal qualities; Dominators don't want to appear soft.  When you discuss problems with them, let them be part of the solution.  
Interactors are the most sociable of the behavior types.  They like to interact with people, and they bask in the admiration of others.  They're the people who will know everyone by first name.  Like Dominators, they prefer the big picture to minute details, but small talk is fine with them.  They respond to pep talks more readily than the other behavior types do.
Interactors want to be included in whatever is going on.  They don't like to work in isolation.  They enjoy compliments and are devastated by public criticism.  With them it is especially important that you follow the rule:  "Praise in public, criticize in private."  But make sure the compliment is sincere.  They recognize and resent insincere praise.

Approach them in a friendly manner, and be aware of your body language. Interactors are very sensitive to non-verbal clues.  They'd rather communicate by conversation than by memo, but they have short memories for detail.  When you reach an agreement with them, nail it down in writing.

When you're teaching them, give them an outline, a timetable or a step-by-step procedure and hold them to it.  Interactors like to ad lib, and often overestimate their own competence. 

Relaters are known for their steadiness and their ability to work well with other behavior styles.  They are less aggressive and less decisive than Dominators and Interactors, and prefer to make decisions by group consensus.  Relaters dislike conflict and will go to great lengths to get along with others.  In the process, they may suppress their own feelings.  Relaters may think they're carrying an unfair portion of the work load, but they won't complain openly.

Relaters like comfortable, casual, low-key environments.  Like the Interactors, they like to be on first-name terms with people.  Whereas Interactors want to be liked and admired, Relaters want to be liked and appreciated.  They are good listeners, and they are likely to adhere to procedures.  They are uncomfortable with change.

When dealing with Relaters, assure them that they're highly valued.  When changes are necessary, prepare them well in advance, and stress the factors that will remain unchanged.  When it's necessary to criticize their behavior, reassure them of your high regard for them as persons.

Evaluators are drawn more to logic than to feelings.  They are guided by inner standards, which they strive to meet, regardless of whether their efforts are applauded. 
Evaluators are the mirror images of Dominators.  Whereas Dominators skip the details and cut to the big picture, Evaluators revel in details.  If you want somebody to maintain your aircraft or perform open-heart surgery, an evaluator is an excellent choice.
Whereas Dominators will try to expand their areas of responsibility, Evaluators need to have their roles clearly defined.

Evaluators are interested in how things work, whether they're dealing with mechanical devices or human systems.  If you want to know what the rule book says, ask an evaluator.  If you need help interpreting a computer manual, ask an evaluator.

Evaluators are more interested in quality than in quantity.  They're drawn more  to reasoning than to imagination.  Whereas Dominators and Interactors are action-oriented, Evaluators are methodical perfectionists who won't commit to action until they're certain every detail has been nailed down.

copyright Nido R Qubein

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"Nido Qubein excels in this field and you have an opportunity to learn from one of the all-time great leaders and communicators." - Howard Putnam, Former CEO, Southwest Airlines

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