It is much easier to market and to sell to people that are just like yourself. The reason is that people similar to you tend to trust you more than they would somebody with a differing personality type. And without trust, you’ll never make a sale.

As marketers and salesmen, we need to become is like a chameleon. Don’t you see the advantages of changing our personality to match that of the prospect we’re trying to sell to? But changing our personality even temporarily is hard to do. I can try and force myself to be more extroverted and get out there and mingle in a large group setting. And for a while, I can probably pull it off. But I’m burning mental energy the whole time. At the end of an 8-hour conference, I’m drained. I just want to get into the comfort of my “fortress-of-solitude,” and gather my thoughts together and prepare for the next day.

It would be so much easier for me if I was more extroverted and gained energy by physically being around other people all the time.

Personality Envy

We often envy those people that have the personality traits that we wish we had. I do envy the extroverts, because the world does seem to be set-up for that type of person. And I’m sure that people that feel too emotional are craving to be less emotional. That’s why there are books like: “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… It Is All Small Stuff.”

What if we could be like Jarod? He was the main character of the old TV show called “The Pretender.” Jarod could become anyone that he wanted. He could be a jet pilot one day, and a janitor the next day. He was able to pick out any personality he wanted to become, and the people around him wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

Are there really people like that? The answer is that it is possible; at least from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). It is possible for someone to be both introverted and extroverted, both a sensing and an intuitive, a thinker and a feeler, and a judging and a perceiving. How is this possible you ask?

The Mysterious X-Factor

.

The Myers-Briggs assessment usually classifies someone as one-or-the-other on any given trait. But sometimes the test is inconclusive. It can’t determine if the person is an S or an N. So in that case, they are assigned an “X” for that letter-space. For example, it is totally possible to be classified as an EXTJ; where the X means you have traits of both an “S” and the “N”.

What does this mean? This is a really cool, so pay close attention…

It means that the person can move back-and-forth between personalities very easily, and they are comfortable having a foot in each world. In effect, they are the Pretender.

How can this happen? Remember that the letters are a lot like a teeter-totter. Your pivoting board can be down on one end, or it might be pretty level. The person with an X is a lot like the teeter-totter where the board is perfectly level.

Having an X in your MBTI is pretty neat. But you don’t have to be an “X” in one of the traits to be “special.” As it turns out, even if your teeter-totter isn’t “perfectly level” (in other words, it might be only a little bit inclined), you can still feel comfortable in both worlds. That makes you special.

How do you know if you’re in that category? That’s easy. When you take the MBTI assessment, you’re giving a score for every trait under your letter combinations. The score corresponds to how strong you are in that trait. The higher the score, the more tilted your teeter-totter.

Let me give you an example. In my case, I’m an ISTJ. My score for “I” is 17, for the “S” it is 5, the “T”=47, and the “J”=13.

The 47 for the “Thinking” trait means that my teeter-totter board it really tilted at a steep angle. There is no way that I’ll feel comfortable in the world of it’s opposite: the “F,” which are the Feelers. I’d have a difficult climb up a steep hill in order to feel comfortable with other “F” type people. For me, the hill is so steep, I just give up trying.

The closer to zero the number, the less tilted the teeter-totter board. My personal “S” score is pretty low, only at 5. If it were a zero, I’d be an IXTJ. But even though I’m not an X for the S-N category, the low number means that I still am fairly comfortable in both worlds. I’m happiest in the world of the “Sensation” where I like things that I can interact with using my 5-senses. But I’m not paranoid of people that are Intuitive and are always looking for the big picture. I can comprehend them pretty good, and I don’t mind if they are around me.

The people with the “N” trait, as we said before, are looking at the world with a 6th sense. They can sense something is “different” when they enter a room, and they want to try to categorize what it is so they can see the big picture. They make really good scientists, because they just want to find out what is amiss, and try to predict what might happen in the future.

Being comfortable in two worlds has another consequence too. I have temperament traits of two “blends.” I am a lot like both the SJ, and the NT (although they are somewhat muted or lower). This can be good and bad. On positive side, I get good qualities of both the SJ and the NT. But on the negative side, I get all the not-so desirable traits of both of them too.

There is nothing I can do about the negative stuff. It is what God gave me when he made me. My only option is to take the good traits, and raise them to their highest level.

See the Big Picture Like the NT’s

.

Let me give you an example. The NT’s are excellent scientists. I’m a rocket scientist myself, but since I’m low on the scale of “N” (it is a negative number), most of my colleagues are much better at the science-part than I am. Their photo-memory of the intricate facts makes me envious. They are the ones making the big discoveries, while I cheer from the sidelines. My consolation prize is that I understand them when they talk, so I can ask the right questions that don’t make me look too foolish.

But my rocket scientist friends can use big technical-sounding words that make a lot of people uncomfortable. That is one of the traits that people notice about the NT type people, and they say it makes them appear cold and condescending.

My gift, because I’ve got the SJ traits too, is that I make a great interpreter for other NT people. I can take what they say, and restate it using down-to-earth metaphors that non-scientists can understand. I can see the big-picture or the important concept, like the NT’s and then break it down into a series of details that the “S-trait” people need in order to grasp what needs to be done. They want to see, touch, smell, taste, and hear (the 5-senses). My rocketry web site is overflowing with these simplified analogies; which is one big reason that the web site is so successful. I get comments all the time from customers saying that the way I present information makes “rocket science” easy to understand. That translates into a lot of sales!

People with the NT trait also populate the field of psychology, along with the people with the NF temperament. Those two groups seem to understand each other, but the SJ’s and the SP’s are lost. They talk about abstract things, like what goes on inside the mind, and since that can’t be physically touched, the SP’s and the SJ’s are scratching their heads wondering what all the fuss is about. In fact, rarely will an SP or an SJ person visit a web site written by the NT or the NF.

But, the psychologists (the NT’s) did come up with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and it is a phenomenal tool for understanding people. The unfortunate thing is that us SJ’s and the SP’s haven’t really discovered the information, because of the disconnect between the groups. There is a wide canyon that needs to be bridged by someone.

Compounding the problem is that another one of the traits shared by both the NF’s and the NT’s, is that they aren’t “utilitarian” in tool use as are the SP’s and the SJ’s. What does that mean? Utilitarian tool-use is a trait that means you look for multiple uses for a tool. A screw driver isn’t just for tightening screws. It can also be used for prying things, scraping, chisel, and a thousand other tasks.

But to an NF and the NT, the screw driver probably had only one purpose. It took an SP or an SJ to show them what the other uses of the tool could perform.

It is the same way with the Myers-Briggs Assessment. It is a “tool.” My guess is that the NF’s and the NT’s don’t realize what other uses it might have. To them, it was created for understanding human relationships (mating, workplace interactions, spiritual gifts).

Since I’m a SJ, I immediately saw the other use for this tool: this tool can be used for marketing and selling! And it is pretty exceptional for that too!

I feel privileged to have just the right personality trait (a low “S” score), that I could understand what the NT’s are talking about, and that I have the utilitarian tool-use trait of the SJ. Put the two together, and I think I’m the right person to tell you about how to use the Myers-Briggs assessment for growing your business.

Play Your Strengths

There are a couple of points to this article. First, we’re all different. My low “S” score — I thought was a fluke of nature. When I first took the test, I wanted to have high values in all the traits. That way I thought I could be the best that I could be.

But now I see that the low “S” score in my own personality is a blessing in disguise. It allows me to interact with people with the “N = Intuition” trait. Because of it, I can be a translator for them to people with the “S” trait, and vise-versa.

Knowing my unique difference is helping in my business, because it sets me apart from my competitors. Basically: “Simplifying the complex,” and that has turned out to be a fine marketing strategy.

But let me say that this isn’t the only valid marketing strategy. There are a million ways to make money. If I had been a solid NT, I probably would be phenomenal at coming up with strategies for new rocket propellant formulas. Being good at something allows you to claim expert status, which is another great marketing strategy.

The point is to know your strengths, and market them. Sometimes you can be weak in one area, and that can be your strength (where have I heard that before?). Sometimes you are strong in an area, and you can capitalize on that. Just don’t believe anyone that says “this is the only way to make money.”

More Information

If you would like to learn more about understanding people and what makes them tick, then I think I can help you. I take the advanced “big-idea” strategies of the NT’s, and turn them into simple, easy-to-implement tasks that the rest of the world can understand.

I’ve written the Personality Marketing Manual that shows how to take the findings of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (which was developed by a whole bunch of people with the NT trait), and use them in marketing and sales.

 

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.