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.

Online Shopping & Personalities

I find it fascinating to think about “everyday situations” and how each personality type has the ability to look at the exact same situation from a different perspective.  Online shopping is a great example because it is a simple thing that most people today do from time to time, regardless of personality type.
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What I have noticed about online shopping is that different personalities tend to like it for different reasons. Understanding the motivation behind why a person chooses to shop online, and how they make their online buying decisions, is what we will look at briefly now.

Disclaimer:  Please keep in mind that these are GENERALIZATIONS but they are not true for 100% of the people, AND many people fit into more than one category. That being said, as with most generalizations, these observations are true much of the time.

YELLOWS:  Yellows love fun, excitement, and attention so in general, they are the ones whoL2o enjoy the “adventure” of going shopping, and go with friends whenever possible. The biggest reason that Yellows like to buy online?  They get the “buyer’s high” from shopping TWICE….once when they hit send, and once when the package arrives! What is more fun than getting a package in the mail?

BLUES:  Blues are the deep thinking, analytical type. Being able to compare features, benefits, prices, reviews, ratings, guarantees and more, with limited if any social interaction…online shopping is PERFECT for Blues!

REDS:  A true red values efficiency in any decision making process. To be able to order things “immediately” without having to drive to a store, look up and down different aisles, and waste time waiting in line…again, the perfect option.
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GREENS:  Greens are motived by their need for peace and comfort. What could be better than being able to purchase what you need while lying on the couch in your pajamas?

The big idea I want you to take away from this is that the ACTION – buying online – can essentially be the same. The thing that is different for each personality is the MOTIVATION and the THINKING behind the action. That is the part we need to try to understand both about ourselves, and about others who may be different from us.

Why Personalities?

Have you ever found yourself asking one of these questions? (To yourself or maybe even to me?)

  • Why study personalities?
  • Isn’t this just another way of stereotyping people?
  • If people are “unique” why try to label them?
  • How would this really help me?

Great questions. Obviously I am passionate about understanding personality types or I wouldn’t write books about and travel all over to teach workshops and give seminars. I have seen the difference that this knowledge has made in  my own life, and that is why I continue to study and teach about personalities.

The funny thing about stereotypes is that often they are rooted in truth. And yes, people are unique….but research and experience also tells us that there are some general patterns that tend to be true. If you understand these patterns and look for them in yourself and in others, you just might be able to understand people better.

So how does this help in “real life” situations?

I feel very fortunate to work in a business/industry where for the most part I get to choose the clients I work with. As a Red/Yellow, I could decide that I only want to work with other Red/Yellows…people who think like me. But not only is that limiting in a practical and financial sense, I have the ability to understand other personality types, so why not work with different people? Instead of seeing other personalities and wondering how I can make them understand my strengths and my needs…why not embrace their unique strengths?

Last weekend I worked with a couple who were both very Green. As a Red, I could have become very frustrated by some of the lack of information or decisions made late in the planning process. Instead, I chose to see their strengths. They were easy going. They were nice. They cared about the guests who were there with them and were flexible enough to change things when it seemed to be in the best interest of others. I can work with that.

I have almost no Blue traits whatsoever. It would be easy for me to shy away from working with Blue clients. But what if I could embrace their “Blueness” (figuratively speaking, of course) and learn to love all the extra questions, the bullet pointed lists, and the extra attention to detail? That shouldn’t overwhelm me…that should make me grateful.

One answer to the “Why Personalities?” question is simply that focusing on understanding others helps make me a better person.

How about you? Why did you finish reading this article? How does this help you in business and in life?