Here comes your biggest challenge thus far; trying to persuade one of the smartest people to ever walk the planet – Albert Einstein! Talk about intimidating; he’ll see through every psychological ploy you toss at him. If you were going to ask Einstein for something, how would you persuade him to say “Yes?”
In our final week we’ll consider how best to persuade someone who is a thinker or analytical personality type. When I think of this personality type, Einstein comes to mind because he would be someone more task-oriented than relationship-focused. However, unlike Donald Trump, he doesn’t seek to control situations and other people. Instead, he would be someone more focused on self-control. The follow describes the thinker/analytical personality type:
Very task driven; can be slow to act because they like to think things through; exercise good self-control; don’t consider themselves assertive; like data to support decisions; usually take a logical, systematic approach to things; like to see track records and trends to support ideas.
Of the four personality types, the second most often identified was the thinker at 29%. The one chosen most often was the pragmatic (32%), then expressive (24%) and finally amiable (14%).
Because thinkers are task-focused like pragmatics, it will come as no surprise to find out they chose answers that engaged reciprocity and liking much less than did the amiable and expressive personality types. Those personalities are much more relationship-oriented than they are on prioritizing tasks. Some influence advice when dealing with a thinker:
Using the liking principle is okay because it’s socially acceptable but you don’t want to spend much time here because thinkers are not concerned with being your friend. Don’t take offense but most of the time their thoughts are off somewhere else.
Pulling the reciprocity lever – doing things in hopes of a return favor – won’t be an effective strategy either. Thinkers will certainly accept whatever you give them but it won’t be a high priority for them to find ways to repay the favor.
More than any other personality type, when it comes to making business decisions, helping thinkers deal with uncertainty should be your top priority.
Thinkers were more persuaded by the principle of consensus – what others were doing – than any other personality type. It’s not that they just go with the flow; rather they can be persuaded by what others who are like them happen to be doing. So tell Einstein what Tesla, Edison or other classic thinkers are doing and he’ll listen.
Sharing facts or relying on the advice of experts – the principle of authority – is more effective with this group than any other personality type! One other expert is good but many (consensus) will be your best bet when trying to persuade a thinker.
Consistency – what someone has said or done in the past –was also high for thinkers. Only pragmatics had a higher score. Pragmatics may believe they’re right in what they say and do because of their egos. Thinkers believe they’re right because they’ve put so much time and energy into their decision before they act on it or share it. Tie your request to what a thinker has said, done or professes to believe and your odds of success go up dramatically.
Scarcity was the least effective principle with this personality type. Odds are they’ve thought about your offer, perhaps researched it, so if it’s not actually rare or going away they’ll see right through it. You’ll get much more response by helping them overcome uncertainty (consensus and authority) in the business environment.
When it comes to the thinkers you know they may not be as extreme as Albert Einstein. However, you’ll still be better off focusing on certain principles because they’ll help you more than others. In order, here are the most effective principles of influence for thinkers:
I hope you’ve found this series on personality types helpful. When it comes to persuading people, where you have a handle on their personality type, plan accordingly and you’ll be far more successful than if you simply wing it. Also, setting the stage – what you do before you attempt to persuade – will be extremely helpful.
Chief Influence Officer
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.