“‘You Can’t Feel A Fact: The Analytical Sales Personality Style’ plus ‘Why Training On the Salesfloor Doesn’t Work (video)'” by Bob Phibbs via The Retail Doctor blog

“‘You Can’t Feel A Fact: The Analytical Sales Personality Style’ plus ‘Why Training On the Salesfloor Doesn’t Work (video)'” by Bob Phibbs via The Retail Doctor blog

When I was looking for a lawn spreader, I asked the sales clerk, “Why should I buy this one?”

He quickly answered, “Because it makes sense.”

At that moment he confirmed my suspicions that he had an Analytical personality style.

I’ve previously shared my thoughts about the Amiable,  Expressive and Driver personality styles. Today, with their sensible, fact-based approach, I’ll dive into some thoughts about the Analytical.

It would be easy to dismiss the Analytical personality style as a bookworm, a techie, a person with too much information because then we would be thinking their depth of knowledge is somehow not relevant.

But their focus on detail is what makes their sales ability an asset. No other personality style will delve into as much product knowledge and history as the Analytical.

However, Analytical personalities are not necessarily the best fit for most stores.

Sure, an antique dealer who is trying to get thousands of dollars for a vintage pair of eyeglasses really needs to be able to share all the reasons to justify the price. Or a luxury jeweler, or stained-glass craftsman, or even a plastic surgeon.

Analyticals, like Amiables, tend to be introverted; they can share information as a defense mechanism. Consequently, the more nervous or under pressure they are, the more they will try to calm themselves by reciting facts about a product.

The challenge is, only a third of the world really appreciates all that information. 63% or so of the population buys on feeling, not facts.

You can’t feel details – most customers buy based on emotions.

And for that reason, an untrained Analytical can be a liability for your sales floor.

With an ingrained sense of striving for perfection – generally a good thing – they inherently feel the need to share all that information with everyone. That can make them seem severe and judgemental instead of friendly and helpful.

Analyticals, as their name implies, size up the situation, pull open the file in their minds containing all the pertinent information and logically share everything they know with the customer.

But there’s only so far you can go with logic.

And the more logic and facts you use, the less emotion enters the conversation.

You can’t fact yourself into a sale.

Analyticals see things as they are, but Expressives and Amiables in particular want to see things as they want them to be. That means it’s the watch itself that’s most important, it’s what the watch will do for them. And that type of selling requires the ability to engage a customer’s imagination.

Unfortunately, Analyticals have a linear thought process that leads to a logical conclusion; they expect their customer will follow them down their road. But customers rarely approach buying with just logic.

There are multiple reasons people buy things: to make them look better, feel better, or make someone else do the same. Those are often emotional, not necessarily logical, reasons.

Here’s where logic hurts you in a retail store. Let’s say an Analytical salesperson works in a fine jewelry store. A man walks in and says he’s looking for an engagement ring for no more than $2000. The Analytical salesperson answers, “Sure, we have those right over here.” They give all the features of the ring and close the $2000 ring sale. They then continue selling the same way thinking they are being a great salesperson.

The danger of the Analytical is that they leave money on the table because the customer only said they needed a $2000 ring. For that reason, the Analytical doesn’t feel the need to show an $8000 ring.

When their manager challenges the wisdom of not showing anything higher priced, the Analytical says, “They never said they wanted a more expensive ring. I could have missed the sale if I didn’t show them what they said they wanted. I’d be seen as pushy.” In an Analytical’s mind, the customer got just what they asked for. It’s logical.

If you’re an Analytical personality, here are some tips to help you:

  • Use short and specific sentences.
  • Couple the benefit of the feature or fact you are pointing out to the individual customer in front of you.
  • Modulate your voice with high and low variations.
  • Learn to tell stories that are funny so you can crack the inherent coldness basic facts may present.
  • Challenge customers’ wrong information by asking questions rather than thinking/saying “you’re wrong.” They just need better information.
  • Adapt a selling style that is different each time for each unique person.
  • Show a variety of higher-priced items that a customer might be intererested in.

Analyticals are frequently found as managers or as department directors because they know their stuff. For that reason, they can be assigned the role of “mentor” or “coach” to their employees. That can be dangerous too as they may unknowingly kill the spirit of the Driver and Expressive because those personalities won’t conform to a logical, cookie-cutter, fact-based sales approach.

The good news is that once an Analytical is exposed to a better way to sell, they can execute very well because they love to learn.


Did you ever have a time training didn’t work for you? If so, I might know the reason.

One of my customers was tenuous about starting SalesRX online retail sales training. When I probed for why they hesitated, she told me why she was struggling. “The last time we tried a training program it didn’t work.”

Is that a fear of yours? Let’s get you past that with this video I just made for you.

Click below or here to watch!

Why Training On the Salesfloor Doesn’t Work – retaildoc

We are pleased to mention that the Bob Phibbs the Retail Doctor (who has contributed to BRA with outstanding articles like this one and so many others that we have reposted over the past two years) contributed to BRA monetarily in 2021 and is now a Supporting Vendor Partner of BRA. We value his relevant retail insight and encourage you to learn more about his offerings by clicking on the following link to his website:

– Doug Works, Executive Director BRA

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