Total Negotiation is at the forefront of commercial negotiation best practice. Here we share our insights and practical advice, based on real world trading experiences and success. Contact us to improve the negotiation capability of your business.

Dealing With Different Types Of Buyers

24th November 2018

I am sure, like many of you reading this, I was taught by my parents to “treat others as you would like to be treated”. Which is good parental advice to help your child to become polite and courteous and to treat people with respect. As we grow older though, we realise that although those values are still true, we may need to look to adopt a slightly different approach – if we are to ‘achieve more effective interactions’ – particularly if you are an account manager that deals with one or more buyers. The reality is, that we are all different – how I like to be treated may be very different to how you may like to be treated, so treating you in the way which works for me, will not necessarily work for you.

There are a number of behavior profiling methodologies that look at this level of human psychology in a lot of detail – Myers Briggs, DISC, Insights Discovery, to name a few. Most of these are based on a similar or the same psychology. The version that we use at Total Negotiation is ‘Insights Discovery’, as we find it to be the most practical and memorable option. Insights Discovery basically looks at our preferences in 3 key areas:

  1. How we react to our inner and outer experiences: ‘Introversion’ or ‘Extraversion’
  2. How we make decisions: ‘Thinking’ or ‘Feeling’
  3. How we take in and process information: ‘Sensing’ or ‘Intuition’

Although the model actually has 72 different types, based on the level of each of the colour energies that we have within us, using the first 2 pairs of preferences (Introversion/Extraversion & Thinking/Feeling) can help to pinpoint the most dominant of the 4 colours within each of us, or our ‘Insights Type’. The important point to make, is that there is no better or worse, no right or wrong and no good or bad – we are what we are and we just need to ensure that we take responsibility to leverage our strengths and work on our weaker areas. We should also then take responsibility to flex our style and approach, in order to ‘achieve a more effective interaction’, with people from each of the different colour groups.

The diagram below, shows the model and a brief overview of each of the 4 basic types.If you are an account manager with a number of different buyers, this simple insight into their world, could be an extremely useful step into achieving more effective interactions with them, as a one size fits all approach will definitely not achieve this for you.

The first step to achieving more effective interactions, is to understand yourself better. If you haven’t completed and Insights Evaluator to generate your own personal profile, you can do this by looking at the 4 types on the above graphic and see which one you feel best describes you.

Once you know your type you can then try to identify which type your buyer is likely to be. In order to recognize the different types, you need to look for clusters of signals, from the different interactions you have with them – such as ‘body language’, ‘appearance’, ‘style’ and ‘voice’. You then need to think about how you need to flex your style in order to get the most from the interactions you have with them.

At Total Negotiation we use Insights Discovery as a core element within many of our capability engagements, which our clients are finding extremely relevant and value adding for their commercial teams. We have one of the most comprehensive ranges of capability ‘engagements’, 18 in total, across 3 main focus areas, all designed to build the key skills required for customer facing personnel to deliver commercial capability excellence. The 3 core segments are:

  1. Leading The Commercial Thinking:
    There are 7 ‘engagements’ in this segment which focus on enabling people to build comprehensive product, brand & category knowledge; develop a deep understanding of their customers and competitors; develop cut through insights and build world class Customer or Distributor plans.
  2. Owning The Customer Engagement Agenda:
    There are 8 ‘engagements’ in this segment, which focus on building the skills required for delivering world class customer management, building persuasive customer and category focussed selling stories; negotiating win-win outcomes; fully understanding the P&L levers and driving flawless execution of all plans and agreements.
  3. Bringing People With You:
    The competencies and skills addressed within this segment, via a further 3 ‘engagements’, focus on how to get the best from the different people you interact with – internal & external, using the Insights Discovery methodology; how to communicate effectively and coach others to achieve commercial capability excellence.

If you would like to find out more on how we could support your capability building plans, either through 1 of our tailored engagements, or a more comprehensive programme of a number of engagements, please contact us at Total Negotiation


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