Buyers Meeting Point procurement by Kelly Barner

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What is your Buying ‘Temperament’?

This week’s Flip Side post takes us to a sales article on ‘Selling to the Four Temperament Styles’ by John Boe.

personalitytypesThe central point of the article is that it is key to know what the four temperament styles are, to recognize them in your prospective clients, and to sell to them appropriately. Understanding these styles in ourselves and in others applies just as much to successful relationships on the procurement side of the table as on the sales side. 

“Have you ever wondered why you seem to hit it off right away with some customers, while with others it's more like oil and water? That's because we respond intuitively to the natural chemistry, or lack there of, between temperament styles. Our temperament style not only determines our behavioral traits, body language patterns and buying style, but it also influences our compatibility with other people.”

– John Boe

The four temperaments outlined in the article are below, but you can click here to read more detailed information about the characteristics of each, specifically in terms of the presentation and communication styles that are most effective.

  • Aggressive/Worker – “The impatient and goal-oriented Worker prefers a quick, bottom line presentation style. They expect you to be on time and well prepared. They like it when you avoid small talk and get right down to business.”
  • Expressive/Talker – “The playful and friendly Talker prefers a fast paced and enthusiastic presentation style. Use a short warm up and allow extra time in your presentation for them to talk.”
  • Passive/Watcher – “The peaceful and stoic Watcher prefers a slow, deliberate presentation style. Watchers, unlike the impatient Worker, require extra time to warm up before you begin talking about business.”
  • Analytical/Thinker – “The cautious Thinker prefers a slow, detailed presentation style and warms up slowly. They are skeptical and typically research before they purchase. Thinkers want detailed information and they tend to ask "why" questions.”

It is clear why it would be important for a sales person to correctly assess the temperament style of their prospects, just as it is important for procurement to correctly assess and prepare for the styles of our internal stakeholders and executives. As John asks about sales ‘hitting it off’ with prospects, I have noted the same instant dynamic with stakeholders. Some people are effortlessly easy to work with and others require every spare moment’s thought and energy just to get through the project.

One of the scenarios where these temperaments and their associated communication styles can be put to good use is in how you communicate the savings estimates associated with negotiated award options. Should you get right to the savings figures or can you build up to them? What kind of questions should you expect? The style of your stakeholders may not match your own, but if you want the meeting to go well, delivering the options in the way that maximizes your audiences receptivity will minimize your frustration in the long run.

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Friday, 23 June 2017