Want to know the secret to the most effective sales communication? Empathy.

The modern buyer is looking for more than a solution to a problem. They’re looking for a company that understands them: their feelings, their goals, their needs, and their pain points.

But how do you begin to understand your buyer and truly empathize with them throughout the entire sales process? You need to know more about them.

If you start by researching your prospects with apps like LinkedIn, you can gather some relevant facts about your prospect. But to truly empathize with the prospect, you need to understand their personality. Whether you familiarize yourself with Myers-Briggs, DISC profiles, or even the detailed buyer personas explained in our most recent ebook, developing your knowledge of personas gives you the foundation for empathetic prospect engagement.

However, even after you understand different personas, not everyone wears their personality type on their sleeve or posts it on their LinkedIn profile. To empathize in the way that will benefit your sales process the most, you need to know how to quickly infer personality types based off someone’s social cues. Let’s take a look at different personality dichotomies that you can easily assess for quality engagement.

Extrovert vs. Introvert

In a party or social setting it’s really easy to separate an extroverted person from an introvert. Extroverts tend to mingle with a lot of people and hold steady conversations. Introverts prefer smaller groups and may even keep to themselves, forming a clear divide between the social butterfly and the shy.

But you don’t have the benefit of seeing how your buyer behaves in a room full of people when you’re picking up the phone or sending an email.

For example, extroverts tend to gain energy from social interaction. Even if an extrovert starts a call subdued, you’ll feel their energy pick up quickly as the conversation progresses. This makes extroverts easy to spot and account for. Their energy typically creates a willingness to share their thoughts. They are likely to be forthcoming with information and be inclined to make swift decisions.

As a sales rep, if you quickly recognize a prospect as an extrovert, you can meet them with that same personable rapport. In the event that you run into any roadblocks, be prepared to have open discussion to talk through the issue. Come to any conversation with plenty of energy and excitement that the extrovert will relate and react to.

On the other hand, introverted prospects need more time to reflect. Decision making and lively conversations don’t come as easily to the introvert with their quieter nature. If you greet an introvert in the same excited manner you would an extrovert, they may close themselves off, and bring your sale to a hard stop. When working with introverted prospects, take a more reserved approach and give them plenty of time to warm up to you and your product. They may not be as bold when it comes to asking questions, so be prepared to guide more of the conversation.

Sensing vs. Intuition

As a sales rep, you are constantly presenting new ideas to prospects. Much like a teacher, you achieve the best results when you tailor your pitch to a prospects learning style. But how can you possibly know a prospect’s learning style on the first call?

The learning dichotomy splits people into sensing or intuition. A sensing person prefers the facts which are gained from their senses (taste, touch, sight, smell, sound). Alternatively, someone who prefers intuition relies on originality or abstract ideas. By paying close attention to the questions prospects asks you, you can make the right assumption.

Let’s say a prospect is asking a lot about the visual aspects of your product or about its practical uses. You can infer that they lean toward the sensing side. Sensing personalities need the facts, so the more data you provide the better when reaching out to them. Send case studies and visual aids that will fill their need to feel new information out.

A prospect that favors intuition will ask about broader concepts and theorize how to put your product into place. If a person leans on the intuitive side, the impressions you give will matter most. These personalities enjoy new, hands on experiences, so offer a free trial if possible. Provide different, friendly means of keeping in contact to keep their curiosity piqued.

Judging vs. Perceiving

When it comes time to close deals, you need to cater to a person’s decision making style. This dichotomy will fall to either someone who is dominant and methodical, also known as judging, or someone described as perceiving, who is more casual and spontaneous.

Prospects who stick to very regimented schedules and make mentions of to-do lists lean to the judgement side to this dichotomy. To connect with judging types, lay out the decision making process in an orderly fashion by providing a checklist of next steps. Finally, to secure the deal, engage with their goal-oriented nature by explaining the performance milestones they can attain by putting your product in place.

Perceiving personalities tend to be open minded and are willing to accept new ideas. You can pinpoint this type of person by their tendency to keep the conversation casual and skirt away from decisions making. Working with perceiving prospects requires a bit of creativity since their conversations will likely take a spontaneous and playful turn. But be sure to redirect the conversation to your original purpose and put some pressure on them to close a deal.

Being able to assess someone’s personality quickly and respond with a complementary manner is critical to you sales process. By providing yourself with the knowledge to empathize with different types of people, you give yourself a leg up on other sales reps that insist on using their same old, droning pitch. Be the sales rep that establishes highly valued, empathetic engagements and build stronger connections with your prospects.


It’s time to start winning deals and influencing prospects with a firm understanding of personality-based selling. Download the free ebook today!