Persuading Personality Types: The Thinker/Analytic

Today we begin to dig into the survey results for the different personality types starting with the thinker/analytical group. People that predominantly fall into this category are generally systematic, well organized and deliberate. They appreciate facts and information presented in a logical manner and get satisfaction from organizing and completing detailed tasks. Analytical people can be viewed as cautious, highly structured people who adopt a rule-oriented approach to life. Words that describe the thinker/analytic include: controlled, orderly, precise, disciplined, deliberate, cautious, diplomatic, systematic, logical and conventional.

In the survey, 48 people (18%) participating fell into this category making it the smallest of the four groups. When compared to the average response rates, analytical people tended to respond most to the principles of authority and consistency.


This was no surprise to me. The analytic spends time thinking before acting or talking so they will probably be confident in what they’re doing or saying. Tap into prior words or deeds and you can move them to act. When it came to consistency, one question that really stood out was: You get invited to a wedding and it’s the same weekend you planned to start your family vacation. The couple mentioned the date when they set it but you forgot about it when you planned this vacation. You decide to go and the biggest reason is:

The answer that had to do with consistency – You told them, “Absolutely we’ll be there,” when they mentioned it shortly after setting the date – was far and away the top choice for all personality types but even more so for the analytic. Nearly every analytic, 94%, said that would be their reason for attending the wedding. With two other questions, at least half of the analytics responded by choosing the answer that was associated with consistency. Their response rate was much higher than the other three groups. The questions and answers were:

Q – Which would be most likely to get you to go out to dinner?

A – You’ve told your friends you want to spend more time with them so here’s your chance.

Q – Someone at work needs your help. You’re hesitant at first because you’re pressed for time before your vacation. You decide to work overtime and help mostly because:

A – The person mentioned how valuable your input was on a similar project a few months ago and you want to maintain that reputation.


Authority was a big motivator for each group except the influencer/expressive. So what stood out for the analytical person? As you might expect, someone who thinks a lot and deeply will carefully consider the claims of an expert. The survey results show they were more motivated by answers that had an authority bent than each of the other groups. A few questions (buying a car and buying a laptop) had high authority responses from each group. In fact, the drivers and amiables were a little more motivated by authority than were the analytics when it came to answering these questions. My take on that interesting fact is that analytics are probably already comfortable with their technical knowledge of these items.

However we look at it, when it comes to spending relatively significant amounts of money most of us like to look to those who are more knowledgeable than we are. The question that caught my eye for the analytics was:

Q – You’re trying to decide about whether or not to leave the company you’ve been at for more than 10 years for a new opportunity. Which plays into your decision most?

A – You read in several business magazines it’s one of the top companies to work for.

Nearly 70% of analytics said this would be their reason for working at the new company compared to just over half the people in the driver and amiable groups. Only 43% of influencers were motivated by this answer. By contrast, the scarcity answer – you know they only hire a handful of people each year into this prestigious training program – was far less motivating for the analytical people than the other groups. The average response rate for all people was 35% but only 21% of analytics chose this answer. Maybe analytical types aren’t so motivated by prestige and exclusivity?

When it came to the remaining four principles of influence – reciprocity, liking, consensus and scarcity – I was surprised to see reciprocity was the most impacting principle. In my original article on this subject my hypothesis was that consensus would be most influential because I thought analytics would like to “play the odds” and go with the crowd like we used to see on “Who wants to be a Millionaire?” However, what should not come as a surprise is the fact that reciprocity motivates everyone, just not to the same extent, because most of us are raised being taught to say “thanks” when someone does something for us. Some parents take it farther and teach kids to “return the favor.”


When I conduct a Principles of Persuasion workshop I emphasize that people should look for naturally occurring principles. You never want to force something and come across as a manipulative salesperson. Understanding what motivates different personality styles allows you to prepare in advance then naturally structure your requests in a way that will help you be most persuasive. When it comes to persuading the analytical/thinker type, look for opportunities to incorporate authority and consistency into your presentation. By all means, if reciprocity, liking, consensus and scarcity naturally present themselves then work them in and you’ll have the best chance to succeed.

Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.

1 reply
  1. Greg Buckingham
    Greg Buckingham says:

    You wrote: "…I emphasize that people should look for naturally occurring principles. You never want to force something and come across as a manipulative salesperson."

    Good leadership, Brian; this is a pragmatic gold nugget. I am still amazed when I witness businesses/representatives trade a lifetime of business for one sale today.


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