Everyone has a personality type; we just don't always recognize it. It's important for salespeople to understand how to spot their own personality traits as well as others', because each person has strengths and weaknesses that influence his/her behavior. It's also vital for sales professionals to learn how to manage these traits within themselves and in their clients. This will help them understand why customers do what they do, and thus create better product offerings that resonate with their needs.
In this article, I'll share my personal insights on the most common types of personalities, from introverted to extroverted to neurotic to charismatic. And I'll explain how sales pros can use these personality traits to make their job easier and to sell more effectively.
I've learned quite a bit over the years while working in sales - including: how to spot myself, how to work with others, how to motivate employees, and how to communicate clearly.
As a result, I thought I'd write this quick guide explaining the most common personality traits and how to identify them in yourself and others.
It's not exhaustive, and other people may have other definitions of personality traits, but I hope it helps you get started understanding yourself and others better.
A personality trait refers to an enduring characteristic one person possesses such as extroversion versus introversion, sociability vs. aloofness, conscientiousness vs. sloppiness, etc.
Personality traits are part of our biology, passed down from generation to generation. They play a huge role in determining what path we choose in life.
Some of these traits are very favorable, such as persistence, determination, ambition, leadership ability, self-confidence, etc., whereas others are not so favorable, such as laziness, fearfulness, lack of assertiveness, etc.
Here's how to spot them in yourself or others.
1. Extrovert vs. Introvert
An extrovert is outgoing, social, friendly, talkative, bubbly, gregarious, and generally enjoys spending time with others. An introvert, on the other hand, prefers solitude, privacy, and quiet time alone.
Whether an individual is an introvert or extrovert depends on his/her culture, environment, upbringing, and genetics. However, most extroverts would say that they prefer being around other people rather than being alone.
Extroverts tend to find themselves naturally drawn towards groups and crowds, where introverts need solitude to recharge their batteries.
2. Sensitive vs. Intense
Sensitive individuals are those who are emotionally aware and open to feelings, thoughts, and opinions of others and their surroundings. They tend to notice things happening around them and respond accordingly.
Intense individuals, on the other hand are often oblivious to other people's feelings and don't always care about their own emotions.
They're usually focused on achieving a goal or getting something done instead of thinking about how another person may feel.
3. Optimistic vs. Pessimist
Optimists believe in the power and goodness of human nature; they expect good things to happen to them and others. They try to see the positives in whatever happens to them.
Pessimists, on the other hand believe that bad things inevitably happen to everyone and there is nothing anyone can do to change this fate.
Both types of personalities exist within each of us. We all possess some amount of optimism and pessimism.
The greater the percentage of optimists in a group, the happier and healthier its members would be.
4. Active vs. Inactive
Active people enjoy physical activity. They exercise regularly in order to maintain good health. The body requires regular movement in order to function properly.
Inactive people, on the other hand rarely engage in any form of physical activity. Their bodies require little maintenance because they are not moving much at all.
Being active helps prevent diseases because it keeps the heart healthy. It also gives you strength and improves stamina.
5. Careful vs. Impulsive
Careful individuals take their actions seriously. They plan ahead and weigh out the pros and cons before acting. Careful people mostly have a trait of a hard worker.
Impulsive individuals act without considering the consequences of their actions. They just go with the flow, which leads to many mistakes.
Immediately after making a decision, impulsive people often regret it. They are unable to think clearly and rationally.
On the other hand, careful people carefully consider the implications of their actions before acting.
6. Conscientious vs. Sloppy
Conscientious people follow through on tasks. They make sure everything gets done right the first time and then move on to completing other projects.
Sloppy people procrastinate and waste time doing unnecessary things. They never seem to get anything done.
It takes effort and patience to become a conscientious person. You must develop self-discipline.
In conclusion, you can't change your personality traits if you don't first identify them. Once you understand where they come from, you can learn to modify them and improve your relationships. And because personality traits tend to repeat themselves over time, identifying them early will allow you to take steps now to prevent problems down the line.