The BOLT System
The BOLT system was brought to my attention when I was selling in corporate. Charles Clarke created this system used to identify personalities. He came and spoke at a training I was part of, and I got a lot out of that training.
The general theory is that there are four major personality types. Most people are a combination of two, with one being more dominant.
Charles Clarke breaks these personality types into four animals to make them easily identifiable.
Bulls, Owls, Lambs, and Tigers
Let’s briefly break down these personality types and see which one you most identify with.
Bulls – The bulls are the no-nonsense type of people. They like to be in charge and control. So when they ask direct questions, they want direct responses.
Owls – The owls are your analytical type. They love to research options and know all of the facts before making a decision. The sales process is typically longer with these types of people.
Lambs – The lambs are often mild-mannered. They care a lot about relationships and maybe thought of as the “people pleasers.” However, they are big on relationships and work to avoid confrontation.
Tigers – The Tigers are the life of the party. Very energetic and enthusiastic. Typically upbeat people who make decisions quickly and impulsively.
Why Personality Types are Important
Knowing your personality type is important. People feel more comfortable buying from people similar to them.
If you are a bull and are selling to a lamb, there will naturally be some friction during that process. As a result, the lamb will feel uncomfortable and likely not move forward even if your solution is a good one.
People want to buy products and services from people they like and trust.
Knowing your own personality type is only half of the battle. The other half is finding out the person’s personality type across the table or on the other end of the phone line.
The goal is to adapt your selling style to accommodate their personality type. It takes effort and practice to learn how to identify other people’s personality types quickly. It also takes time and effort to learn how to change your presentation to match consciously.
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