Photo: dawndh via Flickr
After you grab the attention of a trade show attendee, it is time to determine “How hot is the prospect?”There are six types of prospects exhibitors should be able to know and identify. Understanding different personality types is crucial to being successful in today’s hyper-competitive business environment and in any face-to-face contact with customers. Try understanding and recognising the personality type of the person you are talking with at a trade show.
Your goal is to determine the prospect’s personality type so you can talk to the prospective customer based on how he or she receives information and not only on how you give information.
And everyone is different, so you can’t approach all potential customers the same way.
Then in the late 1970s, Gary Couture found an easier way to recall the DISC classification, called the bird theory, that took the same concept, but simplified it by characterising personalities into the four birds category--known as the peacock (yellow DISC colour), the eagle (red DISC colour), the owl (blue DISC colour) and the dove (green DISC colour).
This new bird theory made it much easier to recall the birds' characters than the colours on the original DISC analysis test. The bird theory brought practical sense to identifying people by their majority (80 per cent dominant) 'bird' personality.
There are many who teach personality systems in the world, but out of all the personality systems available in today's market, I would have to say that this theory is one of the best programs available for companies to use as a guideline for building customer relationships
Each of us has a primary personality type (80 per cent) and a secondary personality type (20 per cent). The goal is to determine an individual's primary personality type within the first 60 seconds of meeting someone new. Each person's personality type can be recognised based upon how he or she acts, dresses, speaks and moves. We must know our own personality type to communicate successfully.
Using the following information set out below, you will be able to soar through meetings with diverse participants to decide like an eagle, influence like a peacock, be a team player like a dove and problem solve like an owl.
This is the individual who looks you straight in the eye and has a confident demeanor and firm handshake. His behaviour pattern is controlling and very direct. This person is fast and decisive in his pace and his priority is the task or bottom-line results.
This person's overall appearance is businesslike and powerful, and he won't be seen in sweats unless working out at the gym or playing a sport. This person's workplace is busy, efficient and very structured. His source of security is being in control and leadership. Eagles fear being taken advantage of, and their personal worth is measured by results, task record and progress.
Their internal motivator is winning, control and being No. 1. Their strengths are delegating, leading and inspiring others. Some weaknesses are that they may be perceived as insensitive and impatient, and dislike details.
A typical job for this personality type is CEO, president or military leader. Irritations to this person would be inefficiency and indecision. Under stress, they become withdrawn and can be headstrong. Decisions may be dictatorial, and this person may be perceived as being critical of others. His motivation comes from productivity and bottom-line results. When approaching someone who appears to be Edgar Done, or an eagle personality type, it may be better to talk in sound bites with metrics. This person likes bottom-line results as to why he should purchase the product or service from a company. Most often, he is the decision maker. Use words such as 'results' or 'will save you time' and so on when talking to this person.
This is the individual who also looks you straight in the eye and has a confident demeanor and firm handshake. This person will be noticeable by appearance and style.
Male or female, this person will be fashionable and trendy, with the female having shoes and handbag that match or wearing something that is unique and stylish. The male will usually have starched jeans or pants and starched shirt, and his shoes are fashionable.
The peacock is also a decision maker. This person's behaviour pattern is supporting and direct, and his or her pace is fast and spontaneous. His or her priority is developing a relationship and interacting with others. This is the person known as a 'people' person. His or her appearance is stylish and can sometimes be a little outrageous.
A typical job for this personality type is marketing, sales, bartender or entertainer. This person's workspace is stimulating, personal and cluttered. This individual's source of security is social interaction and approval of others. Her fear is loss of prestige. Personal worth is measured through recognition, status and number of friends, with an internal motivator of the chase and being included in decisions. This person's strengths would include persuasion, enthusiasm and the ability to entertain.
However, some weaknesses include being restless, ignoring details and possibly lacking time management or discipline. Some irritations would include routine work and perfectionist people. Under stress, this person may be perceived as sarcastic or superficial, with decisions made spontaneously. Her internal motivator is having fun and receiving recognition from others. When approaching someone who appears to be Emma Hope, or a peacock personality type, it may be more to your advantage to speak in an animated fashion. This person likes interaction and excitement when she is talking and making a decision to purchase a product or service from a company. This person most likely will be a decision maker or at least an influencer to the decision maker. Use words such as 'image,' 'will make you look good' or 'feel good' and so on when talking with this person.
This individual will have a slow and relaxed pace and may be dressed in compliance and wearing comfortable shoes. Style is not as important. This is the person who may not look you straight in the eye at first, is a little more reserved and has a soft handshake. This person is a team player and most likely will not be a decision maker, but is usually the person that can put you in touch with the decision maker. His or her behaviour pattern is supporting and direct, and his or her pace is slow and relaxed, with an appearance of being casual in compliance.
A typical job for this personality type is teacher, nurse, social worker or administrative and/or executive assistant. Their workspace is personal, relaxed and friendly. His or her source of security is friendship and support. This person's fear is set in change; hence, known as the steady dove. He or she measures personal worth by depth of relationships and compatibility. His or her internal motivator is being needed and involved.
Some strengths for this type of prospect are listening, teamwork and follow-through. Some weaknesses may be that he or she may be oversensitive, slow to start, and occasionally have a lack of goal setting. This person is easily irritated by impatient and insensitive people such as Edgar Done (eagle) or Emma Hope (peacock). Under stress, this type of prospect becomes submissive to others and can be indecisive. The dove doesn't make decisions alone and her motivation comes from being accepted.
What I have not shared with you is what is known as the 'attack dove.' The dove personality is complacent in nature and holds most everything inside. If you are to anger this type of person, you may not even know it.
However, once she draws the line on how much she is willing to accept from a person, she'll just walk away. You may not ever know what you did to cause this disconnect, but it will be permanent.
When approaching someone who appears to be Alley McMate, or a dove personality type, it may be wiser to talk in a lower, calm voice and not directly approach this person too quickly. This person likes interaction after getting to know, like and trust you and the company. The person is not usually a decision maker and dislikes confrontation. Use words such as 'like,' 'feel,' 'relationship' and so on when talking to this person.
Shall I say any more? This individual is the person who stops by, looking for a job, and feels the best way to do this is through walking into a business or stopping by at the exhibiting company's booth at a trade show.
We have all met this person. No matter what you say or do, this person knows everything and loves to challenge the words being spoken.
Do not get into a confrontation with this person and slowly transition into the exit strategy by handing this person a pamphlet or business card and thanking him or her for stopping by to visit with you at the office or while exhibiting in a trade show.
This approach is also known as the disengage process.
This individual may be dressed casually, will walk in a slow and orderly fashion and may not approach you at all in public. This prospect may not make eye contact with you at first, is very reserved, and may have a softer handshake.
This person is more of a researcher and is gathering information. Having all the facts is most important to this type of individual. He or she is more personable one-on-one, but not in a group setting such as a trade show environment.
This person's personality is a little more analytical and he or she may also be considered an introvert. This person's behaviour pattern is controlling and indirect, and his or her pace is slow and orderly with a proper and functional appearance. Their priority is the task or process of getting things done.
A typical job for this personality type is accountant, engineer or computer technician. His or her workplace is structured, functional and proper. This person's source of security is being prepared and paying attention to detail, and he fears criticism of his work. He measures his personal worth by precision, accuracy and being busy. This person's internal motivator is competence, and his or her strengths are planning and organising, having numbers, and knowing the facts.
Some weaknesses may include being a perfectionist and being critical of others. Some irritations are disorganization and unpredictability. Under stress, this person may withdraw and become headstrong. Decisions are well-thought-out, and he or she will not make a decision quickly. You will need to spend quite a bit of time answering many questions. This person is prepared to ask the questions, so do not dismiss him too quickly. His motivation is accuracy and information.
When approaching someone who appears to be Moe Lassis, or an owl personality type, it is best to also talk in a lower, calm voice and not approach him or her directly or too quickly. This person likes one-on-one interaction but not necessarily in a trade show environment where things move quickly. He or she is not usually the decision maker and is more of a fact-gathering and information-gathering person. When talking with this type of prospect, it is important to be sure accurate information is provided about the company history, facts and figures. If not, this person may know more than you do, as he has most likely researched your company before coming to your office environment or trade show or will after meeting you.
Use words such as 'statistics,' 'history,' 'facts' and so on when talking to this person. recognising the general characteristics of people and using bird profiles in tandem with generational differences for effective communication is key to being successful in today's market for building a long-lasting relationship.
NOW WATCH: Ideas videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.