(The TYPE Reporter, Excerpts from Vol. 4 No. 4 September 1989, written by Susan Scanlon, and information gathered from Susan Brock, a licensed consulting psychologist, and the workshops Ms. Brock created on Flex Selling.)

Be businesslike. Be friendly, but remember, the point isn't to be friends, it's to get the job done. Don't ask personal questions, like "How do you like your job in marketing?" or try to show what a likable person you are. Save the small talk until the business has been taken care of to their satisfaction and they are sold on your product. And, don't bother telling them what other people think of your product. Listen to their needs and get right to your product's objective merit based on those needs.

Sell STs the facts

Let the facts speak for themselves. Don't make vague statements about the quality of your product, or try to bluff the facts. Give them evidence that it has been tested, and proven to work. Let them try the actual product whenever you can, and let that speak for itself.

STs like to test you to see if you know as much about the competition as they do, so be sure you can give them a factual and specific comparison of your product and the competition's. But be sure your figures are accurate. If they can't trust your facts, they can't trust you.

Listen for the facts that they consider to be most important. For example, if they tell you up front that they want tax deferredness in their investment, or gas heat in a new home, don't treat that as a minor point or try to steer them away from it. Help them get a sense that they know all the important facts and together you have covered all the bases.

Be responsible - and treat their responsibilities as important. Do you mean what you say? Do you remember what you said? Is your word your bond? STs have a strong sense of responsibility and they prize it in others. Tell them what you are going to do and then do it. If you make a mistake, or can't keep your word, get on the phone right away, come clean, and tell them what you are doing to correct it. Listen between the lines for what they consider their responsibilities to be, like staying within budget, and make that an important feature of what you are selling.

Be brief. Susan Brock said that when she talked to STs she reminded herself to "sharpen up and shut up." Answer their questions directly. Don't tell stories, or give speculations, or "go round the block to get into the back door." Don't overwhelm them with a million pieces of data. STs will often use short, clipped sentences, especially during initial conversations. Your sentences should be short as well. Expect crisp answers, even to open-ended questions.

Be sequential. Give your presentation a clear beginning, middle and end. Don't summarize up front, or wait until the end to give the most basic stuff. Tell them the steps involved in the implementation, and when each step will be completed. Have a clear point in mind before you speak and make sure that it's an important one.

Sell NTs the options

Give them an overview. This is helpful with all Intuitives, but with NTs it's critical. Before NTs choose a product, they want to satisfy themselves that they understand where that product would be positioned in a large overview of the market. Outline your presentation up front. For example: "There are four issues to consider when investing," or "Home additions come under three major headings…"

Consider the long term. NTs are likely to ask "what if" questions, like "What if I decide someday that I want to add this on, or change this, or get rid of this." An important feature of your product will be how it can adjust to changing circumstances or needs in the future.

Learn how to be "critiqued." NTs tend to pick things apart and look for flaws in the information you give them. Don't take these critiques personally. Defend your arguments on logical grounds, but don't act defensive or put down their logic. Consider it an opening for thoughtful dialogue. If you don't have an answer for them right on the spot, say that. But be willing to offer some possible answers and listen to the possible answers they present.

NTs are testing not only your product, but you. They want to know if you are competent. Have you thought about your product from all angles, tested it, and had experience with it. Are you yourself able to keep cool under fire, to think of new ideas on the spot, and to persevere when you believe in something.

Let them come up with the final design. Offer them the alternatives and the appropriate data to evaluate those alternatives. both present and long term, but give them room to make it their own. You can say "Here are three basic directions to consider." (Never say, "This is the one for you.") Then be ready to hear them give you a fourth direction!

When selling to STs, give them specific facts about how your product is superior to the competition's.

"Let's start with the gas cylinder that operates the mechanism. Most manufacturers guarantee theirs one year…Allied guarantees its products for five. The foam is top grade, with a fifteen year - not the usual ten - rating. And the back support, which you can tell when you sit down, is a bit more pronounced. It gives better support. We can have a floor model here tomorrow for you to try out."
When selling to NTs, explain all the options and give them appropriate data to evaluate those options.

"Obtaining higher yields can be achieved in a variety of ways…"