One experience that almost everyone has been involved in is the clashing of personalities. This is only natural, as different people are born with different predispositions and are raised in differing environments. However, in the business world, one should do their best to keep personal differences from affecting the professional relationships they form.
In their recent publication Networking Like a Pro, Dr. Ivan Misner and Brian Hilliard explore the effect that a person’s innate behavioral style has on how they act as they rub elbows with other professionals. While these behaviors are present to some degree in everyone, the book posits that one or two of them make up the lion’s share of each individual’s behavior. How well you network, or generally interact, with someone is based on how well each of your behavioral types meshes with the other.
Does that mean that there are just some people who you will not be able to network with successfully? Not exactly.
Misner and Hilliard offer a cheat sheet, of sorts, to inform how to interact and cooperate with the four behavioral types: Go-Getters, Promoters, Examiners and Nurturers.
There is a definite need for speed when dealing with a Go-Getter. The Go-Getter wants to see results now, if not sooner, and have no problem with bending the rules a little in order to achieve their goal.
In order to effectively communicate with a Go-Getter, they need to see the value that you offer as being relevant to their goals. In other words, they need to grasp how you can make business move faster for them while still delivering the results that they demand. Go-Getters will also want options, but won’t respond well to a planned-out script in lieu of a pitch. A Go-Getter wants to hear the highlights, and most importantly, needs to see that you deliver results as promised.
A Promoter is someone who is always ready and willing to find a good idea and spread it, often based more on their gut feeling than on knowledge acquired through research. A true people-person, a Promoter will often attend industry events to meet new people and socialize. They tend to be non-confrontational, and will often have many different plans in the works at once.
In order to communicate with a Promoter, you need to match their tempo and focus on their priorities. Since a Promoter is often concerned with their image, you should demonstrate how your offer could boost their recognition in their industry. When making a deal with a Promoter, make sure that the small details and minutiae are all in writing, and that you quickly provide them with plenty of assistance to confirm that they made the best choice.
An Examiner is a born skeptic, and will do everything they can to evaluate the person they are considering working with. They are very thorough, and will often be a perfectionist. Unsurprisingly, an Examiner is fond of information, and can use their knowledge to carry on conversations quite well. They also value efficiency, so they will not hesitate to leave an event once their goal has been reached.
When networking with an Examiner, concision is key, as is support for your position. You will want get straight to the point, providing facts and evidence that establish you as the best choice for their business needs. Small talk should only be used as supplementary evidence of your service quality and dependability. In a way, it is essential that you prove yourself to an Examiner, so make sure you put your best foot forward.
In contrast to the high-velocity approach of a Go-Getter, a Nurturer appreciates a slow-and-steady manner to doing business, and in addition to their patience, are often willing helpers. Highly approachable, a Nurturer surrounds themselves with others who are willing to support one another. They are predisposed to be team players. However, they also have a tendency to tolerate an unpleasant situation over taking a risk to change it.
To work with a Nurturer, it is best to simply be honest as you interact with them. They will need some time in order to really trust you, which you can encourage by occasionally nudging them toward the conclusion you want them to come to. Relatedly, it is important to stay in touch with a Nurturer throughout the process, providing evidence of how your solution will help simplify their business and offer them support.
With these strategies, you should be able to network more effectively and form mutually beneficial business relationships.
Which personality type do you think you present? Let us know in the comments!