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The Top 4 Buyer Types for Sales Reps to Know (And How to Sell to Them)

By June 19, 2024Sales Coaching
4-buyer-types

This is a guest post by Chad Aleo, founder of HighTicketSalesAcademy and the author of the Bestselling Book “The Book on High Ticket Sales”

Sales is all about connections and relationships.

You, as a high ticket closer, have to connect with your prospect in the first 90 seconds, or you’re in for a difficult call. Lord knows, there’s nothing worse than a wasted call.

To avoid that problem, I’m going to teach you a little trick of the trade called buyer types (or buyer personas, buyer personalities, etc).

In this article, I want to define the four personality types in sales, but more importantly, I want you to learn how to sell to each buyer type. Once you master how to identify these 4 buyer personas and you’re able to cater your sales conversation, I can promise you will improve your close rate.

Ready to dive in?

 

What are the 4 buyer types?

The four buyer types are:

The Fighter

The Entertainer

The Detective

The Counselor

I’ll briefly describe / define each buyer type in order.

The Fighter

First up, we have the fighter. Mistakenly seen as a jerk, the fighter is one you catch most often if you are constantly selling to a person of power. A business owner usually fits in this category.

When I first started selling as a rookie, these tended to be the hardest to master. When you’re new to selling, your level of confidence in yourself isn’t super high yet and the fighter knows just how to crush it if you’re not aware of their style.

To identify a fighter buying style, you must first recognize that these people are straight to the point. The fighter doesn’t want to “chit chat”. All they care about is why are you there and what are you calling about. They can be a bit abrasive in the initial interaction because they see their time as valuable and they don’t want it to be wasted. So you need to be quick on your feet and ready to speak with a confident tonality in order to influence this type of person.

As the conversation goes on, there is another thing to notice. The fighter tends to speak loud and slow, which can be intimidating as a salesperson. It’s easy here to feel not wanted / welcomed. I’ll talk more about this later.

Lastly, the fighter hates losing control and they are motivated by winning.

The Entertainer

The entertainer tends to be every salesperson’s favorite buying style. They stick out like a sore thumb and often they are referred to as a “buyer,” meaning, they like buying stuff!

The entertainer is fun, energetic, and full of enthusiasm. They are charged with positive energy and you can feel it. So when a salesperson calls the extroverted entertainer, their level of energy rises. They speak loud and fast, but most importantly they have fun doing it.

Sales is a transfer of emotion. When you have an opportunity to sell to someone that is full of energy, it’s easy for us as salespeople to mirror that and become more enthusiastic about our own products. Selling to an entertainer is like having a beer with one of your closest friends, so it’s important to be fun and realize they are just as excited to talk to you as you are to them.

The Detective

“I want to think about it and compare all the options out there.”

This is one of the worst objections to receive, and it’s also one of the most common ones we hear. It is the voice of a Detective, and this is what they’ll say if you don’t sell how they like to buy.

Probably one of my favorite buying types, the detective is seen as someone who makes decisions once they have seen all the data. We can identify this buyer type in a few ways…

First, they start slow, then move fast. This is usually a quick giveaway at first, but as your conversation goes on, you will be able to realize they are motivated to be right. But they don’t want to be right for the recognition, they want to be right because they enjoy thinking through a process and making a decision with the odds in their favor.

Take buying a car for instance. Some people buy a car simply because it’s fast, or maybe it has more room for the entire family. Well, as a detective, if their goal is to purchase a minivan for the family to have extra space, the detective wants to see every detail of the minivan before he makes the decision to purchase or to walk away from the car. In order to make a decision, he needs all the details in front of him. With the desire to not make a mistake, confidence rises when all the data is in front of them.

The Counselor

Last but not least of the buyer types, we have the counselor.

Very different in regards to each of the types shared, the counselor is the type of buyer that has different motives. They are strong team players, and they are extremely motivated to help other people. This is obvious because we usually can see this person putting others before themselves. Their speaking style is low and slow, as they are more relaxed in this process.

If you’re speaking with this person its important to know that they need to know how your offer can impact other people. Maybe your selling point is that you really need them to understand if they purchase your offer it will create a better family life for them, ultimately equaling more freedom and stronger relationships with their spouse or others. Or simply it’s helping them believe there is a deeper purpose behind them going after their goals.

How do buyer personas help sales?

When you, as the high ticket closer, can identify the buyer persona of the person you’re talking to, you can cater your conversation accordingly. What do I mean by that?

You can cater the rapport process by talking about something that would likely be of interest to them.

You can cater the discovery process by asking questions a particular way.

You can cater how you reveal the solution by emphasizing benefits in a way that makes sense to them.

And you can definitely cater how you handle their objections, showing that you understand how they feel, how others like them have felt the same way, and how they ultimately found your solution worked for them. Boom!

Basically, understanding buyer personas helps you at every stage of a sales conversation. I’ll dive into more examples of this in the sections that follow:

How to Sell to a Fighter

Rapport- be super quick and to the point

Discovery- ask direct questions, let them feel they are in control though

Reveal- give a succinct reveal, just hit the high points

Objection Handle- don’t BS, just shoot straight

Close- challenge them but play to their ego

So how do you sell to this type?

The number one thing with a fighter is they don’t want to feel their time is wasted. So be sure to be direct in your speaking.

Tell them who you are, why you are calling, and of course, what you’re selling. There is really no need to try using tactics on this person. They prefer someone who can match their confidence and speak clearly. Don’t beat around the bush.

The fighter also loves being in control. So, as a salesperson, I can approach my conversation with them with a less dominant selling style. I’ll ask the questions of course, but I want the fighter to have “the feeling” they are in control always. I want the fighter to think they are leading the conversation to help raise their confidence.

If they get the details right up front and you allow them to exude their personality you will find they will quickly warm up to you. So focus on being confident, straight to the point, and be sure to match their energy.

If the fighter makes you feel inferior or unwanted, remember you’re there to help them go further, faster. And remember people like buying from someone who “gets them” or is “like them.” Match their confidence.

How to Sell to an Entertainer

Rapport- match their energy and excitement, connect person-to-person

Discovery- ask and pay attention when their energy drops (that’s the big pain for them)

Reveal- enthusiastically reveal the solution, get them saying yes, and connect your product to their big pain

Objection Handle- don’t get bogged down in doubts or objections, keep generating excitement

Close- end on a high note

It’s important to know that selling to an entertainer is about connection. Since they enjoy being around people, they want to form a level of friendship with who they are buying from. They want to feel that you are just as excited as they are to buy what you have to offer. Where a brand-new salesperson drops the ball with this type of buyer, is if their energy is low.

For instance, imagine you haven’t made a sale in the last 5 days and you usually sell at least 1 person a day. Your attitude might be down in the dumps and your level of excitement surely isn’t there. If you show up to the call like someone who isn’t enjoying their job/ doesn’t bring a level of enthusiasm to the conversation, then quickly the entertainer won’t see you as an energy gainer, but rather an energy drainer. And boom! Before you know it, you’re kicking yourself and wondering why they are buying from you.

“But they were so nice!” – Realize it didn’t feel right for them. They want to buy from someone they trust. Someone they sense a level of familiarity with. Remember people buy from people they like. Bring the energy, show up, and close more entertainers. Simple as that.

How to Sell to a Detective

Rapport- take time here to show you’re trustworthy, you’re honest, and catch details about them

Discovery- ask layers of questions because they are deep thinkers and problem solvers

Reveal- explain your offer in full detail!

Objection Handle- this may be the longest section of the call, answer their questions fully and as objectively as you can. They don’t want to be “sold;” they want to make the right decision.

Close- instill confidence. Show them this is the right solution and a good decision for them without pushing them. If they feel pushed, they’ll likely withdraw.

You’ll know you’re talking to a detective when they ask just as many or even more questions than you. As the salesperson, you’re trying to ask questions to discover and uncover their problems, but the detectives will be asking you a myriad of questions as well.

Keep the conversation on track, but also take the time necessary to address their concerns. In the reveal, don’t just touch on the overall benefits of your offer, but dive deep into the details to give the detective-style person the confidence they have seen every nook and cranny of your offer.

The biggest challenge in closing a detective is – can you guess it? Yes! Not getting bogged down in the features. They’ll want details and you absolutely need to give them details. But you have to always bring it back to the benefits!

The fighter buyer type just wants to know why they need your product and what it does. The detective buyer type needs to know the why and the what, but they also need to know the how, the when, the where, the who, the everything.

Give them answers, give them space, and instill your confidence in them. They’ll make the “right decision,” and you’ll celebrate with them when they do.

How to Sell to a Counselor

Rapport- really connect on a personal level

Discovery- ask questions related to their larger purpose

Reveal- connect your solution to their larger world

Objection Handle- always bring it back to people and the positive impact on those around them

Close- relationships, relationships, relationships!

As I mentioned earlier, if you’re speaking with this person, you need to make it clear how your offer can impact them, but also other people in their life.

Maybe your selling point is if they purchase your offer, it will create a better family life for them. Maybe your offer will ultimately equal more freedom and stronger relationships with their spouse or others. Or simply it’s helping them believe there is a deeper purpose behind them going after their goals.

One of the first High Ticket Offers I sold was a publishing package. We helped authors get their books out there to grow their brand and their businesses. When I would speak with a counselor, it was a lot easier to sell by putting the focus on how their book was going to impact thousands of lives once it was published. This gave them meaning and purpose ultimately leading them to a place of confidence knowing that they were making the right decision because their book was helping others.

The faster you identify these styles the sooner you will begin to see results from your efforts.

How do buyer personas help setters (and marketing)?

In most high-ticket sales organizations –and most businesses for that matter– there’s a funnel for conversion. That funnel is how we take our audience (viewers, subscribers, followers, prospects) and turn them into buyers (customers, sales, revenue, cash).

We’ve already covered how the buyer personas help closers, but what about how they can help setters (and marketing)?

Marketers are usually casting the net wide, right? In funnel terms, marketers are at the top of that funnel, trying to increase brand awareness and traffic. They want to get more eyeballs on the offer, and frankly, they probably can’t cater to a specific buyer type at that level. It could be possible, although highly unlikely.

But as the funnel narrows, there is another group of marketers at the middle, focusing on conversion. That is, they turn the traffic into leads. Leads are people who have given us their name, email, and hopefully phone number, so we can talk to them. At this stage, converting traffic to leads, it is important to understand buyer personas.

If you know a majority of your buyer segment is detectives, you don’t want to sound like you’re selling to an entertainer. That will just turn them off and make them think you’re full of fluff.

If you know there are a bunch of fighters on your buyers’ list, then you don’t want to waste time, words, money, and effort trying to entertain either. You want to be straight, direct, and almost cocky in your copywriting.

Cater to the buyer style of your core customer.

When middle-of-funnel Marketers can focus on understanding these buyer personas and catering their language to the most important buyer types, these leads will be better prepared as they are filtered down to Sales Development Reps (Setters).

When setters understand these 4 buyer personas, they’re able to cater their conversations accordingly. As you know, a Setter’s goal is 1) to qualify, and 2) to garner excitement for the conversation with you, the high ticket closer. By knowing the buyer type, the Setter can match the energy and posture of the prospect, and know exactly how to qualify them financially. This will generate true excitement for the prospect as they head into their call with the Sales Rep (Closer). Goal accomplished!

This is the ideal situation, obviously. But at the very least, you as the Closer, should understand the differences between each buyer type. If you can teach them to your Setter(s), all the better!

Are There More Than 4 Types of Buyers?

Of course, you can always slice a pie into smaller pieces, but at what point does it lose its effectiveness? According to Live Science, the average person can only retain 3-4 items at once in their memory. (Credit: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) That study was published in 2008, so if anything, our short-term memories are probably less effective here in the 2020s.

If I’m on a call, trying to identify the buyer type of the person I’m talking to in the first 90 seconds, I can tell you it’s easy to remember these four. If I had to choose between 6, 7, 10, or more, it would create more confusion, not more clarity. I’d spend the whole call trying to classify instead of trying to hear the prospect’s needs and cater the solution to the person.

Plus, the beauty of having four types of buyers is you can count each type on each finger, and still have your thumb left over in case you encounter an oddball. Perhaps you develop your own wild card buyer type in the future. As for me, I’m sticking with these four. They’ve held true after tens of thousands of sales calls.

How can I get better at selling to each buyer type?

Now that you understand the different types of buyers that you will face throughout your journey of closing sales, it’s important to start picking these folks out within the first two minutes of a conversation. This will allow you to switch your style and adapt to the way each of these types want to buy.

Being able to effectively do this will increase closing percentage, allow stronger demonstrations of your product, and most importantly, give you the closer confidence. You’ll be in control of the call.

I can promise you top closers identify patterns of buying styles and sell in a way that leads to cash collected.

It’s time to go practice. This week, I want you to focus on identifying the buyer persona of the person on the other end of the line.

In the first two minutes of the call, build connection and rapport. Then, write down what buyer type you think they are and adjust your sales conversation accordingly.

Another exercise you can do is write down five family members and friends on a sheet of paper. Then try to identify and classify which buyer type they represent.

Now, you understand what buyer personality types are and how they can help you in your role as a high ticket closer. More importantly, you have tips on how to sell to each of those buyer types. Go practice!

If you want to learn more helpful tips and tricks of the most successful closers, check out a few other articles I’ve written.

What is High Ticket Sales?

Why Remote Closing is the Sexiest 6-Figure Job

And if you’re ready to take your sales performance to the top level, check out my company: HighTicketSalesAcademy.com.

Christian

Author Christian

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