The Perfect Suitcase

My brother-in-law is a kind and generous man who over the years has given many wonderful gifts to our family. Last year around this time he contacted my husband as he was preparing to shop for my Christmas gift. Knowing that I travel regularly, he decided he wanted to buy me some new luggage. Being a Blue, he wanted to make sure he bought the right thing, so he asked my husband what he thought I would want. My husband is a smart man. He is also a Green who has been married to a Yellow Red for twenty years. So make things simple, he just asked me what his brother should buy me. My response was, “Something pretty. Maybe a fun animal print or some really bright colors.”

He sent a link to my husband asking for his approval on his selection…a nice, well made Samsonite luggage set that came in solid black, solid gray, or solid navy.

Um, no thank you. I went to Amazon and found something I liked. My husband sent him the link.

Blue brother-in-law: That??? I don’t want to buy her cheap junk that won’t last! The Samsonite set will last twenty years!

Yellow me: Why on earth would I want to use ugly luggage for twenty years?!?!

Wise, Green husband: Brother, please. She’ll be IMG_20151223_232727439happier if you buy her the cutsie one. I promise.

On Christmas Eve I was presented with a huge box, and in it were the two cutest suitcases I had ever seen. I loved them even more in real life than I did online. They were perfect. They may not have been “perfect” in the Blue eyes of my brother-in-law, but they were perfect for me. And isn’t the point of a gift to give others what THEY want?

How often do we still try to push our definitions of “perfect” or “right” or “best” onto others who do not think like we do? How much better can we communicate when we shift our focus away from our preferences? How much better can we serve others when we focus on their preferences and motivations? How much better can we love when we remain aware of the emotional needs of those around us? Especially the personalities who are opposite our own.

P.S. In 2016, my perfect luggage made it to Tampa Bay, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Las Vegas (twice), San Jose, Milwaukee, Escanaba (Upper Peninsula of Michigan), Sacramento, Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit and Albuquerque.

What DOES a Certified Personality Trainer Do?

Many people ask what exactly a Certified Personality Trainer does. I help people understand our differences and learn how to use that knowledge to become better communicators and improve business and personal relationships. To get a glimpse into some of the ways I do that here are some of my highlights from 2016:

An Interview By Staci Nichols

DJ StaciStaci Nichols and I met at a DJ conference several years ago and have been roommates for other trainings since then. She writes regularly for Book More Brides and I was honored to be interviewed for one of her articles. The interview was first published here and here it is again for you:

Sales Tips From Personality Trainer Vickie Musni by Staci Nichols

I first met Vickie Musni by attending one of her personality seminars at the Mobile Beat DJ conference. The following year we roomed together at a Mark Ferrell MCing workshop and have since shared rooms at a few industry conferences together.

Vickie has a lot of valuable knowledge to share with the wedding community about different personality types and how that knowledge can be translated into a more successful wedding business.

In her own words…

What are the 4 personality types?

There are four main personality types and I identify each one with a color. Yellows and Reds are the extroverted personalities, and Blues and Greens are the introverted types. Yellows and Greens tend to be more people focused, while Reds and Blues tend to be more task oriented.

Most people have or primary and a secondary or can be an even split like I am (50% Red – 50% Yellow).

How do we identify each personality type and then tailor a sales approach to them?

Yellows (bright and sunny) tend to be the most visible as they are often loud, open, and cluttered. They tend to speak and dress more loudly than other types and openly share information with people they have just met. They may run late and are distracted easily, but they are FUN.

Blues (think deep like the ocean) are the opposite – quiet, closed, and very neat and tidy. They carry themselves more quietly, usually blend in as opposed to standing out, and like to have everything exactly how it is supposed to be. Perfection is their goal.

Reds are the fiery personality type you might expect to be associated with this color. They are high energy, tend to use a lot of bold hand gestures, and are motivated by efficiency.

Greens are harder to identify, often acting as chameleons who can take on the traits of the other personalities for a while as needed in a certain situation. Generally speaking they are cool, calm, collected, and adapt easily. Comfort is important to them…both their own comfort and knowing that others are comfortable.

Understanding the basics of each type will help you know how to approach the sales conversation.

Are you dealing with a Yellow? They will have lots of stories to share and the meeting may start late, have lots of tangents, and take longer than usual, but if you keep things fun and upbeat you are more likely to make a connection.

Blues take longer to want to share personal information. Don’t expect them to open up right away. Slow down, take a deep breath, and focus on answering their questions.

Reds are the most direct and generally the least interested in small talk. Remember that they value efficiency so respect their time by staying focused and giving clear, succinct answers to their questions.

Greens value comfort, even more so than the other personalities. Help them feel relaxed and show them how you can make the process stress-free for them.

Can you give an example of how you’ve used the personality type knowledge in your own wedding business?

For almost 3 years, I managed the wedding photography department at the largest wedding venue in Reno. (They hired me to do management and sales, not photography.) As the majority of our clients were planning destination weddings I never actually met them until the day after the wedding – when I sat down with them to sell them a video slideshow of their photos and/or a CD with a copyright release of their images.

During that time, I learned to quickly assess clients’ personalities based on what I could see in their photos as well as how they dressed and carried themselves at that initial meeting. I would adjust my volume, tone, pacing, questions, and “pitch” according to their personalities…and my closing ratio was excellent.

I still use the same “every client is different” approach with my own DJ and video clients.

How can we find our own personality type?

My favorite test I have ever found (the one I use in my workshops) is the Wired That Way Assessment. It is a little 8 page booklet with 40 questions that assesses the 20 most common strengths and 20 most common weaknesses for each personality type. It can be found on Amazon for a few dollars, but if you want to start with a free “mini” version I have one available at VickieMusni.com.

How does knowledge of my own personality type help me sell better?

Understanding you own personality can help you in every area of business (organization, networking, hiring, marketing, communication, goal setting, etc.) but in regard to sales I think the biggest thing is that once you understand your own strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and motivations you become more aware of clients who are “like you” and those who are different from you.

This is especially important in the wedding industry because we never have just one client…and a LOT of people marry opposite personalities.

You can learn to play to your strengths (like being efficient for a Red) and work on your weaknesses (like being bossy and short with people, another fairly common Red trait).

Understanding that what motivates you isn’t necessarily the same as what motivates your potential clients is also important. You can only change your actions so understand yourself and those around you…and act accordingly.

Anything else you’d like to share with the Book More Brides community?

As much as I believe in, support, and participate in continuing education and paid training, I also love great free resources. If you do too, I encourage you to check out the weekly podcast that I co-host with Mitch Taylor called Creating Connections for Event Pros.

You can watch, listen, or download episodes (video and/or audio) at CreatingConnections.biz or look for us on YouTube or iTunes. We also have a private Facebook group called Sales for Event Pros. It is a community where like-minded wedding professionals gather to have conversations about sales and share questions, ideas, resources, and encouragement as we all continue to grow together to improve sales for our businesses.