Build Rapport With All Behaviors

One of the aspects that makes sales interesting is everybody is different. To be a great sales professional, you need to have the ability to be able to build rapport with all walks of life. We naturally gravitate towards people that behave the same as ourselves, however in sales we don’t always have the luxury to choose whom we work with and we therefore we need to be able to make everybody comfortable in dealing with us.

Carl Jung, the Swiss psychologist identified four different behaviour types and labelled them in colours and descriptions:

  1. Red which he labelled as Fire

These behaviours are direct, competitive, tenacious, stubborn, and obnoxious and therefore have to be dealt with accordingly. They will clash the most with harmonious behaviours (green).

2. Yellow which he labelled as an extravert

These behaviours are energetic, friendly, outgoing, short attention span, positive and upbeat people. They will clash the most with the analysts (blue).

3.Green which he labelled as harmonious

These behaviours are gentle, kind, supportive, polite, calm and selfless. They will clash the most with the fire behaviour (red).

4.Blue which he labelled as an analyse

These behaviours are reserved, crave detail, good listeners, and keep themselves to themselves, professional and concise. They will clash the most with the extraverts (yellow).


As a sales professional, the key is to identify the behaviour you’re dealing with and most importantly ADAPT to that person. The technique is called ‘matching’ which has derived from Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) where you need to learn to match or copy the person or people you’re speaking with. Over the telephone you need to match their tone, pace, volume, formality and their language. They say in NLP, if you can see the world through John Smith’s eyes, you are more likely to get John Smith to buy from you. My take on that belief is that if you appear like you are on the same page as a person, then they will be comfortable with dealing with you.

In your question you mention you don’t ‘click’ with certain people. It’s likely that the people you don’t click with will have the opposite behaviour to you. As an example I am an extravert (yellow) and I find it the most challenging to build relationships with analysts (blue). When I sold software many years ago, my key decision makers were software engineers and technical architects; they were extreme blues. Therefore I had to seriously adapt to their behaviours to make them comfortable in dealing with me. My meetings were very formal, detailed, and technical and no banter whatsoever. Therefore to build rapport with them was very different to how I build rapport with fellow extraverts. However, once I was aware of this, it became easier to ‘click’ with more people as I began to understand what the different behaviours looked for from me.

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