Surprisingly little has been written on what is an important MBTI™ application – how preferences affect they way we respond to persuasion of various kinds. There is little doubt that people’s preferences affect the way they are influenced either in face to face discussion with others or through advertising, or promotional literature of any kind.
Even at the most simple level it is easy to see differences. For example, if someone wanted to buy a computer then this is how their preferences may make them more open to some arguments and approaches than others:
STs want to know the facts and the cost-benefits to themselves. They may want to 'try before they buy.' They will probably want a 'no frills' approach and oppose spending extra money just for personal service. They may favour established brand names with a proven track record to new companies.
SFs want to know how it will be personally helpful to them. Personal recommendation (eg who else has bought and what they think) matters and so too does the relationship they may form with a salesperson. Personal service does matter greatly to them.
NTs want to know in broad outline (rather than intricate detail) the possibilities this new purchase holds for them, particularly in how it will extend their competence. They also care about the competence of the person selling to them. They may also favour innovative companies to traditional ones.
NFs want to know very broadly how this item can help their personal growth and be of value to the people in their lives. They will be more likely to buy if they establish rapport with the salesperson and if they think the company is ethical, or more principled than its competitors.
MBTI practitioner Susan Brock devoted much of her career to applying type theory to sales techniques. Her booklet Using Type in Selling shows sales people how they can quickly estimate customer’s type and then 'flex' where necessary to make their sales pitch more in tune with what the customer is interested in.
© Carol Craig
MBTI, Myers-Briggs, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries; OPP Ltd. has exclusive rights to these trademarks in the U.K.