Keys to Persuading Expressive Personalities

You are one lucky person because you just got another big break! This week you’re meeting Oprah Winfrey! You’ve been given 15 minutes to talk with one of the few people who can make or break your career just my mentioning your name. How will you influence Oprah to give you that positive mention or perhaps airtime on one of her shows?

This week we’ll take a look at how best to persuade someone who is an expressive or influencer personality. When I think of an expressive, Oprah Winfrey immediately comes to mind because she’s someone who is more relationship-focused than task-oriented. Like the Trump, Oprah also likes to control situations and others. The follow describes this personality type:

Expressives like being part of social groups; enjoy attending events with lots of people; are more in tune with relating to people than working on tasks; are imaginative and creative; can usually win others over to their way of thinking; like things that are new and different; have no problem expressing themselves.

If I had to sum up expressive personalities in a word I’d say they’re balanced. Of the four personality types their answers had the least amount of variance. In other words, all of the principles of influence work well with them.

Because expressive personality types are relationship-oriented it will come as no surprise to learn in my online survey that they chose answers that engaged reciprocity and liking far more than did the pragmatic and analytical personality types, two personalities that are task focused much more than they are on building relationships. Some persuasion advice when dealing with an expressive:

Definitely spend time engaging the likingprinciple with them, because they want to like the people they interact with. Oprah certainly cares about closing the deal but she also cares about you and your story so look for ways to connect with her. If she likes you it’s a good bet she’ll go out of her way to help you.

Expressive personalities responded more to reciprocitythan any other personality type so look for ways to genuinely help them and they’ll respond in kind much more than pragmatics or thinkers will.

As was the case with pragmatics, in a business setting overcoming uncertainty is key for expressives.

Sharing trends and what others are doing – the principle of consensus– can be quite effective with expressives. Oprah types want to move the masses and they know it’s easier to swim with a wave rather than against it so share what many others are already doing.

Sharing hard data or using the advice of perceived experts is the most effectiveroute with this group.  However, while authoritywas the #1 principle chosen by expressives, it wasn’t as effective as it was with the other personalities. Show Oprah the numbers or share insight from experts and it will give her pause to consider your request.

When it came to using consistency– what someone has said or done in the past – this was the #3 choice for expressives. For this group it’s not as much about being right as it is being true to themselves and what they believe. Look for ways to tie your request to his or her beliefs or values and the chance you’ll year “Yes” will increase significantly.

Scarcitywas no more effective for this group than the others. Definitely don’t force the issue unless something is truly rare or diminishing. Oprah Winfrey and her expressive friends don’t like to miss out on opportunities but just know you won’t be as effective with the scarcity strategy as you might be with Donald Trump and his pragmatic buddies.

When it comes to the expressives you know, they may not be as expressive as Oprah Winfrey, but there are still principles that will be more effective than others. As I noted at the beginning, there is less variance with the principles for this group when compared to others. In order, here are the most effective principles:

  • Authority
  • Consensus
  • Consistency
  • Liking
  • Reciprocity
  • Scarcity

Next week we’ll take a look at the amiable personality, sometimes known as the facilitator.

Brian Ahearn, CMCT®
Chief Influence Officer

influencePEOPLE 
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.
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