Want to make more money? The personality characteristics or traits of your top customers should be studied in depth, because they will lead you to a valuable “customer profile.” This profile is your starting point for marketing efforts, because it focuses directly on the most profitable types of prospects. In effect, you market only to the people that are receptive to your message.

In our last communication, we gave a brief overview of the eight personality traits that make up the Myers Briggs personality test. They are:

  • Extrovert versus Introvert (E versus I)
  • Sensation versus Intuition (S versus N)
  • Thinking versus Feeling (T versus F)
  • Perceiving versus Judging (P versus J)

We discussed them all in our last article, and I would refer you to that to get a general idea of what they mean.

What we need to understand is that these eight traits can be arranged in 16 different ways, to give you the personality characteristics or the profile of anyone you meet. For example, you can be classified as an ESTP, or an ENTP. The sixteen combinations are:





That sure is a bunch of alphabet soup, isn’t it? I’ll admit, trying to classify someone into one of these personality characteristic types would be very hard for a new comer to marketing.

Could you quickly tell a person who is an ESTP just by looking at him for 30 seconds? That would be the ultimate goal as a result of our time together.

But I’ll tell you up front that classifying someone isn’t always that easy, because a person is rarely in their preferred personality suit at any given time. As we discussed before, there are a host of environmental factors that force us out of our natural tendencies, and into acting in a trait that doesn’t quite fit us nicely. The example I gave before is that we may be an introvert, but we might work in a field that requires us to meet and greet a lot of people (an extrovert situation).

Creating a Cheat-Sheet

Where we left off in our last blog post was that what we really need is some sort of cheat-sheet that would allow us to simplify all this, and make marketing to personality traits a lot easier. Where a cheat-sheet would come in handy would be in face-to-face sales situations. It would allow us to quickly classify someone, so that we could alter our presentation to hit all the hot-buttons that our prospect has.

But we could use a cheat-sheet also for copywriting on our web site. We would write the text for a particular type of customer that has a specific set of personality characteristics.

“Whoa. Wait a minute,” you’re probably saying. “Before you said there are 16 different types of people… does this mean we need 16 different web pages, one for each of the different personality types?”

That is a great question to ask. That tells me you are starting to grasp this concept.

Fortunately, we don’t need 16 different web sites. The cheat sheet that I’m about to begin describing will allow us to simply, or reduce the amount of work to a manageable level. We won’t need 16. It simplifies to just four! And depending on the product or service, we could reduce this number to even less.

Besides that, you could write your web site’s copy in such a way, that you hit on all the hot-buttons of the four major personality blends. This means you really only have to tweak your existing web site and not start from scratch. However, after reading this material, you may want to give some thought to your entire web site. It will be that profound as to what you can do by marketing to the personality characteristics of a person.

Personality Blends

When sociologists study people and try to classify them by their personality characteristics, they made an interesting discovery. They didn’t just find 16 different types of people, each with their own distinct personality that was indistinguishable from the other 15. What they found that that certain traits seem to blend together, and this blend was easily distinguishable.

It may be hard to understand, but think of it this way: each of the four letters describing a person’s personality could be thought of as a “color.” Since there are four letters that describe a personality type, we could think of them as four colors of the eight total in the color palette. Now when you look a person, you’re looking for color combinations. In other words, you don’t look for the individual colors, but the blending of colors.

But it gets simpler than this.

Interestingly, two of the colors are dominate, and they obscure the other two colors of the person’s personality. And they blend together to make a new — distinct color. Now things just got a lot simpler. Instead of looking for the four individual colors, we look for just one!

Do you understand? It is like mixing the colors yellow and blue together. They make the distinct color: green.

When trying to identify the personality traits of people, if we see the color “green,” we know that the person MUST have the traits of yellow and blue. Those are the only two colors that can possibly make the color green. In effect, we’ve now just identified two of the four letters in their personality profile – the yellow and the blue.

The Four Blends

The four double-letter combinations that are dominant in any personality profile are: SJ, SP, NF, NT.

Look at the 16 possible combinations listed above. You will see one of these four letter-pairs in each. Do that quick review now, so you totally get this major point.

That’s it. Those are the four dominate letter-pairs, and each one makes a unique and identifiable quality.

An Example of Profiling a Personality Characteristic

Here is an example of how the two letters when combined together make up a new and identifiable characteristic. Lets look at the letter-pair: SP.

The “S” stands for “sensation”, and the “P” stands for “perceiving.” That means the person is comfortable working with facts (the S part), and they like a variety of choices (the P part).

But that really doesn’t mean a lot that you can build a marketing campaign around. But matched together, they make a new color, or a new substance.

It is like making green from yellow and blue, or water from hydrogen and oxygen. The new color or the new substance is completely different from the original elements that it is made from.

In this sense, the SP letter-pair is interesting. It creates a completely new animal than you would think possible just by looking at the characteristics of person with the “S” or the person having the P qualities.

But let’s back up just for a second and review. There are four choices out of the 16 personality types listed above that have the letter-pair “SP.” What we’re looking for is a distinct quality that makes these people easily identifiable. In other words, how are the people with this SP letter-pair alike, and what do they have in common? What is the new color that they make?
Here it is. They share this trait in common… they are all “impulsive.” And they love to be impulsive. Whether or not they are introverted or extroverted, they have an inner desire to be impulsive. And it doesn’t matter if they are openly display their emotions like a “Feeling” person, or they hide their emotions (a “Thinking” type), they are still impulsive, and will act on their impulsive drives if there are no environmental factors inhibiting them.

So when we see a person that is “impulsive,” especially when they are not being influenced by other people to control their behavior, we know right away that two of their four letters are the S and the P.

An Example of Identifying the SP Personality Trait

The other day, my youngest daughter was given a tube containing 15 glow sticks. You know, they are the plastic things that burst into colorful light sticks when you bend or crack them.

I wasn’t thinking about this at the time, or I would have predicted what was going to happen, since I knew she carries the SP trait. Initially I gave her two of the light-sticks to crack so she could play with them that evening. I was thinking ahead and I was hoping to make the pack of 15 sticks last for several nights of play. But as soon as I turned my back to her, she grabbed the entire package and I heard a loud series of “CRACKLE-POP-SNAP.”

Initiating them all at once was the SP impulse acting through my daughter. She had a burning desire to get them all glowing at once, and she wanted to find out what it was going to be like. So as soon as she had the opportunity, she cracked them and started the light show.

In a way, as a father, I’m glad that I know what kind of personality she has. That impulsiveness could get her into a lot of trouble in the future, and I can take some steps to limit the opportunities for mischief that might come her way.

For example, I have a good friend that has also has a daughter that carries the SP personality trait. She’s 16, and — she’s pregnant. Get the idea? I’ve got to keep my daughter’s ‘boy-opportunities’ to a minimum as she gets older.

Before you get the idea that SP’s only have this one trait, another characteristic that all SP people have is an abundance of “generosity.” They seem always ready and willing to share. My daughter will always give me the last piece of candy in the package.

There are a host of other traits that people with the SP letter-trait have in common too. That variety is why it is possible to stand back and classify people by looking at what they do. The more of the SP personality characteristics you can detect in the person, the more confident you can be that you classified them correctly.

What I find most fascinating is that more and more individual characteristics are being identified for the 4 major personality types. This means we know more and more information about our customers, and what they will do in certain buying situations.

In effect, our job gets easier and easier. All we must do is learn the different characteristics and then simply set up situations where the prospects are inclined by their own volition to chose the one that is most natural to them. The one that will be the most natural and comfortable to them, of course, is to buy our products and services.


Marketing and selling based on personality traits is a very powerful technique to grow your business. The best part is that it is adaptable to your selling style, and the type of marketing that you do.

Since I’m an introverted type person, face-to-face selling, is not my favorite option. I’d rather use the internet and sell online. But whether I’m doing face-to-face selling, or using the internet and writing the sales pitch, the technique is always the same. How cool is that?

We’re still scratching the surface here as we’ve only gone over a few of the personality characteristics of the SP type individual. There are three others to review (SJ, NT, NF). And then we need to make a list of strategies to sell to each type of personality. We’ll continue all of this in our next communication. See you then.

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2 Responses to “Personality Characteristics Lead to Selling Success”

  1. […] fret over this first step of choosing which type of customer to go after. As I said in a previous article, in an ideal world, you might have as many as four web pages to go after the four major personality […]

  2. […] Picking up where we left off in the last article, we were discussing a few of the characteristics of the person with the Sensation-Perceiving personality traits. And if you review that piece, you’ll see that they are impulsive, and generous. […]