Before You Sell to a Decision Maker… You Need to Understand their Buying Personalities and Behaviours!

The selling environment is like the animal kingdom:

  • Different needs
  • Different personalities and attributes
  • Different communication styles

Which animal is your Decision Maker?

*Remember for each your different client’s personalities – you will need to understand their point of view, their pressures, their motivators, their authority, and most importantly how to communicate with them!

The Lion

Known as the king of the jungle. Lions are incredibly sociable animals. Second only to the Siberian Tiger regarding strength and power. Prides generally consist of 80% of females.

Interesting Fact: Young lions practice role-playing which develops their hunting technique. Females observe this behaviour to determine where a lion is more suited to catching and killing the prey or chasing and surrounding it.

Your Client: Starts the buying process

Due to your Lion clients being very sociable, they will understand the reasons for a new purchase (to benefit others) and who requires to be involved. They would be good at delegation or persuading others during the buying process to end with the desired outcome.

Unlikely to be concerned with the facts – just want an efficient result.

Regarding a buying decision: The Lion are the clients to build rapport with, Know, Like, and Trust (KLT) will serve you well when corresponding with Lions during the buying decision process. They understand a need for your service or products but will not be fooled by gimmicks and cliches. Lion’s will; buy from the Lions!

The Shark

Sharks live in most ocean habits around the globe, where some sharks inhabit in freshwater rivers and lakes. There are over 500 species of sharks and none of the species sleep.

Interesting Fact: Sharks are apex predators; their sixth sense can track the electric fields emitted by their prey.

Your Client: Final decision on the purchase or your service/product

Your shark client will react to their gut emotion. They would have needed to be convinced by you/other decision makers during the buying process to proceed. If their ‘buy-in’ was strong, usually a quick decision will follow.

Likely to be focused on the outcome your service/product provides – a demonstration would be an ideal way to close the deal with the decider.

Regarding a buying decision: The Shark will make an urgent and emotional buying decision to proceed with you or not, as there is a need for your service/product – you need to be swift in your prospecting techniques and follow-up to convert a shark. The Sharks are your money maker, do also consider the volume and value of a long-term relationship when proceeding with a shark.

The Cheetah

Known as the fastest land animal. The fastest Cheetah named ‘Sarah’ ran the 100-meter dash in 5.95 seconds with a top speed of 61 mph.

Interesting Fact: between the different subspecies is that their fur colour changes slightly, depending on their surrounding environment.

Your Client: The check writer

Your Cheetah client will not hesitate to write a cheque if the approval has been fed to them by the other decision makers. These clients would have an idea of the business cashflow – it would be a good idea to consult with the Cheetah client at the start of the process – enough money is available to spend for the cost of your service/product.

Analytical and reflective in their approach. They would be looking for all the facts and figures to be accurate – any error in detail will have an impact on their buying decision.

Regarding a buying decision: The Cheetah knows there is a need for your service but will be busy analysing other situations/purchases within the business. Your initial pitch should be persuasive and visual, otherwise, you may end up chasing the cheetah to proceed! The Cheetahs are likely to be your long-lasting clients, once made a logical decision; they are your logical buyers. They will usually say if they are receiving the service/product the offers what was discussed during the buying decision stage.

The Eagle

Eagles are one of the most dominant predators in the sky. An Eagle mother usually lays two eggs. Eagles as chicks are very vulnerable, even a stronger sibling will eliminate the other. With two eggs, there is more chance of the offspring’s survival.

Interesting Fact: A specific species: Harpy Eagles have rear talons (hooked claws) that are the same size as a grizzly bear’s claw – about 3-4 inches long.

Your Client: Convinces others of the need for the service/product

Your Eagle client is focused on their need and how will benefit from the purchase, although they will see the view of the whole company. They will certainly be hunting for comparison with your competitors. A compelling need-based sell is required with your Eagle client.

The influencer is looking for a ‘good deal’. This is where your negotiation skills will be crucial. Through questioning with the Influencer, identify what will persuade them to buy from you – a trial period? A guarantee period? A discount? Or free gift with purchase?

Regarding a buying decision: The Eagle is mostly just browsing at this stage (their timeframe is usually in plenty of time before your service/product is actually needed). Do not be surprised it takes 5 or so times to follow-up with the Eagle if they would like to proceed with you. The Eagle is the most likely to raise objections during the buying process. Usually, there is a 50/50 chance of converting the Eagles.

The Chameleon

A chameleon is part of the Lizard family, where some species will change the colour of their skin as a defence mechanism to avoid predators being aware of them due to blending in with their surroundings.

Interesting Fact: Chameleon’s eyes have 360-degree vision, as well as being able to see up to 32 feet in front of them.

Your Client: The employees who use your service/product

Your Chameleon client understands from all angels how your service/product will provide a return of investment for them/team/department. This client will likely also be the influencer or closely connected with them – where they will work together to achieve their outcomes for a buying decision. You will need to be prepared to persuade two potential decision makers (User and Influencer) and building relationships with both is vital.

Likely to want to know all the benefits and features of your service or product. Testimonials and case studies will be good resources to win the User over.

Regarding a buying decision: The Chameleon does not have an urgent need and may change their buying thoughts many times during the purchase process. Certainly, nurture the Chameleon but do not go in for the hard sale, the Chameleon wants plenty of time to decide on proceeding. The Chameleon’s would be the amber or red on a traffic lights system.

Which animal is your Decision Maker? How should you prepare, approach, and communicate with them?

Jamie works with companies globally to enhance the employee’s B2B selling capabilities for generating and converting prospects. Jamie also improves the sales process and strategy to increase your gross sales by winning and retaining clients. 

If you would like to have a more detailed discussion and explore selling techniques further, contact Jamie on:

Jamie Martin BSc (Hons), PGCert (Managing Director & Founder) of Correct Careers Coaching – An award-winning Modern Sales Training and Sales Strategy Business. and 07599 332178

LinkedIn: Correct Careers Coaching

Twitter: @CorrectCareers


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