I do like the odd blog on the latest psychologists' way of slicing us up as a people.
Sometimes, they have astonishing relevance to our qualification routines. Revealing a lens we ought make central to our procedures. Such as this delicious relationship 'makes or breaks' quintet discovered twelve months back via a pop-culture relationshipper.
Other times, they offer up a useful way to take a snapshot of our funnel. In a great way of mixing up what we do on a pipeline review. Adding another layer on how to view our bid strength.
I find one here that can help us create new angles by style of 'attachment'.
This flows from the attribution of which type of - and stand by me here - song lyrics we closely identify with.
Toronto Uni's Dr Ravin Alaei first outlines the four categories of attachment style.
They are; anxious, avoidant, mixed & secure.
As he explains;
Anxiously attached people worry about being rejected and seek a lot of reassurance about their relationships.
On the other hand, avoidantly attached people respond to their negative expectations of relationships by closing off emotions and intimacy in favour of independence.
People with a mixed attachment style have confused expectations, fluctuating between clingy and cold.
Lastly, secure people have optimistic outlooks on relationships, and are open communicators and trust their partners.
Does a mirror exist in our solution buyer minds?
For now, let's leave aside the idea that you might decide to specify their term 'relationship' to encompass how they feel towards their own career right now. A potentially useful avenue of itself.
Let's instead take this example to consider the prospect relationship with us.
Whether an existing client or new prospect. Taking each style in turn.
The anxious will be so in part due to being in a lose-win or lose-lose situation with a previous partner. Consequently programmed to be potentially sceptical of the wonders we claim to bring. They're also "vulnerable to a negative feedback loop". Making them perhaps turn away from any wallowing in their problem you engage in. They key with these appears rather to keep clear of reinforcing their worries. So think not 'problem', but 'solution'. Especially opportunity, results and legacy.
Avoidant souls are likely the red flags. They actively seek out that which may hinder relationships. This shouldn't be news to us. How many a buyer do we encounter that stays at arms length. Makes sure we don't get too close. Rapport, engagement and candid discussion all absent. If our key contact fits this bill, then is it really a deal we should pursue?
Those of the mixed style "have confused expectations, fluctuating between clingy and cold". Being perhaps the trickiest to read and impress. Is there an aspect of what you pitch that makes either oscillation more pronounced? If so, can you harness one such in your favour?
Finally, the secure "have optimistic outlooks on relationships, and are open communicators and trust their partners". If our profiling of buyerside personalities reveals seniority of this bent, then our provided sunlit uplands must be front and centre. We can also test for it with comms aimed at dialogue. And trying to determine what gives them comfort they're dealing with a 'trusted advisor'.
It may well be you could even assess previous and existing client connection styles. As where we've clearly succeeded before, we're more likely to be able to see how, build on it, and replicate that again.
Four flags to map onto those you're dealing with at a prospect from which a type of buyer who always signs up may well emerge.