Have you ever noticed that some of your clients are different from you? And that not all of your clients are the same? What about the fact that a bride can have a very different personality from her fiancé? (Or from her parents?) Each personality has different needs and preferences. If you want a bride to truly hear what you are saying, you must speak her language. And the better you can understand her particular “dialect” the better you will be at speaking to her needs and establishing a strong connection.
Perhaps you were taught the Golden Rule as a child – that you should treat others the way you want to be treated. While I agree that this is a great principle for broad topics like good manners or ethical decisions, it isn’t a great rule for figuring out the best way to treat individuals with different personalities.
The observation that people can be very different from one another is not new. Around 400 BC a Greek thinker, Hippocrates, came up with the theory that what makes people so different is the make-up of their body chemistry. Almost 600 years later, a Greek physician, Galen, built upon Hippocrates’ ideas and developed the idea of what he called the four temperaments. He then selected terms for these personality types basing the names on the supposed imbalance of body fluids: Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholy, and Phlegmatic. But for our purposes in the seminar, we’re going to simply learn them by four corresponding colors.
Even though there were some flaws in their theories, Hippocrates and Galen had a lot right. When you first meet a bride you won’t be able to discern every aspect of personality, but with some basic understanding of the four temperaments you will be able to make an educated guess and speak in a way that will most likely address her specific needs. The “Speaking Her Language” seminar will address the specifics of how to identify a personality type based on visual and verbal cues, explain the primary needs of each type, and give practical suggestions for how to “speak” each personality’s language most effectively.
Now that you understand that everyone you meet will have some combination of these four basic temperaments it is important to approach potential customers with this information in mind. However, since it isn’t practical to ask each bride who visits your booth at a fair or drops by your store or studio to take a personality test, you will need to use other clues to try to quickly determine the personality of a potential customer (or her mother!). This is particularly important if your first point of contact with a bride is at a wedding fair. In that situation you have a very limited amount of time to establish a connection with a bride and make her want to do business with you, before she moves on to the next booth. Therefore, the more you can discern about a bride’s personality right from the start, the stronger connection you can make with her, and the greater chance you’ll have of making the sale.
While the old adage that “opposites attract” tends to be true in personal relationships, in a business setting, you are most likely to attract customers whose language you are speaking. Before you go to work at your studio, store or office – and especially before preparing for a wedding expo or trade show of any kind – review your notes on the different personalities and think through what you want to say to each type of bride you meet. The more fluently you can speak each “dialect” of Bride, the more genuine and effective your communication will be.
Filed Under: Issue #146, Issues from 2012
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