Knowing Personality Helps Avoid Frustration

I recently spoke with a very upset salesperson. Colleen is what you might call a “people person”—very outgoing, vivacious and friendly. She is chatty at times, but gets the job done.

She was upset because her new boss, Elaine, sent her a very “cold” email response and she didn’t know what to make of it. She loves her job and hopes the new boss likes her.

Colleen sent Elaine an email, telling her about a great sales call, giving lots of detail about how she and the prospect got along, what questions she asked and how interested the prospect was to talk further. She asked Elaine if she would be able to go on an upcoming appointment with her.

Elaine sent back an email that simply said: “I’ll have to deal with this tomorrow.” That’s it. No “Hi Colleen,” no “good job on this” and no “from Elaine” at the end of the email.

So, what happened here? In a word: nothing. There are different personality traits that we often don’t recognize, or even think about.

Here are four personality styles that we all generally fit into. We are often combinations of a few, but here are the general definitions, based on the well-known DiSC assessment:

• Dominant: This person needs to be in control and have power. They are typically a leader because that is how they see their role. They are typically task-oriented and say things like “just get to the bottom line.” They are impatient and always onto the next thing.

• Influencer: The life of the party owns this style and is a real “people person.” Many end up in sales because they feel like they can persuade others to their way of thinking. This is not necessarily true.

• Steady relater: This person has a need for little change and little conflict. They are often great supporters for your organization. Give them a task and they will get it done. Just be careful not to make quick changes on them, because they will silently rebel.

• Cautious thinker: This is the detail-oriented, data-driven, organized employee. These people are bright, well-read and often initially a bit skeptical of others. They will get the task done, but will cross all T’s and dot all I’s first—so have some patience.

Hopefully, this will shed some light on why some people do what they do and help you work better together.

So which are you?

Want to assess your staff? Email me at ♦

Greta Schulz is president of Schulz Business, a sales consulting and training firm. She is the best-selling author of “To Sell is NOT to Sell” and works with Fortune 1000 companies and entrepreneurs. For more information or free sales tips, go to and sign up for “GretaNomics,” a weekly video tip series, or email sales questions to

Greta Schulz
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