Most of us have realized that there are differences in people’s ways of acting, the information that’s important to them, and the style in which they approach things.

And most of us have found ways to work with those differences. But to consistently and efficiently benefit from the “magic” of talking other people’s languages, we need to give these differences substance!

Attaching specifics allows us to better identify and adapt to the customs important to them in the way they look for information, take in information, want information, and when they need that information to make confident and quick purchase decisions.

Welcome to Episode 2 of this series on Converting Consistently with Customs and Connections. In this installment, I introduce you to the Tribal Types® Model so that you can see how it anchors our ability to identify and adapt to others so that we can work with and sell to people the way THEY need us to

What’s in it for YOU?

Why is that important to you? Because that’s how we get quick and confident decisions.

While we have many personality assessments at our disposal such as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, Social Styles, and DiSC, having a tool that is meant to be used “in the moment” during conversations is more productive. In sales, or in customer service, we have a short period of time to identify certain customs important to buyers. And if we don’t, we won’t build trust quickly and that can stall the opportunity to lead them through the information exchange needed for them to make that decision.

Another variable that isn’t accounted for in personality assessments is customs. Customs are not personality. They are:

    • A habitual practice; the usual way of acting in given circumstances
    • A practice followed by people of a particular group

And this matters in selling! When people are willing to talk with you, they put on their “buyer hat” and adopt customs they believe they should follow when “buying.”

So, whether they’re personally very friendly and relationship-oriented or they’re extremely analytical and do a lot of research, when wearing on that “buyer hat” during conversation with you, they may take on some customs that belong to buyers. These customs might include being more critical, holding back information, looking for reasons not to work with you, etc. and those customs/actions get in the way of you being able to help them through their decision-making process.

Introducing Tribal Types®

That’s why we use the term Tribal Types®, because a Tribe is a group of people in a shared situation. Tribes have customs, norms, or traditional and accepted ways of acting in that said situation. And knowing those customs helps you look for the quick clues to navigate over the next minutes of a conversation to get more specific in what’s important to THEM and deliver that information and actions what, when, and how they need it.

If you look at the screen, you’ll notice that the visual of the Tribal Types® Model includes a lot of open space because people don’t fit nicely into square boxes. Instead, we’re looking for the zip codes that get us into their area, and then we can get more specific to adjust to additional customs as we move forward in that conversation—and in that relationship.

Where to Start Every Sales Conversation

Where you should start every conversation and every interaction is in that purple zone in the middle. We call it the Neutral Zone. Starting conversations in the Neutral Zone, means we are at a state of readiness and observation. We are present so that we can identify quickly what they need from us.

Look for 3 easy-to-spot clues:

  • Pace
  • Word choice
  • Level of personal connection

What buyers seek during your conversation is what is important to make them comfortable and trusting. After these easy adjustments, you can continue to shift gears and guide the conversation in a way that makes sense for them.

And how do you start in neutral? By being prepared and not preoccupied. That’s how you can be present and the best guide navigating the conversation.

The Next Episodes for Communicating with People the Way They Need

Over the next four installments in this series, I’ll introduce you to the four Tribes that you see on the screen, and I’m share specific customs that are important to them, as well as strategies for being that guide through the information exchange that leads them to make that decision or commitment to action.Stay tuned.


Financial Advisor sales training doesn’t have to focus on pushy tactics or high-pressure pitches. Genuine Sales teaches the fundamentals for sales success that allow you to be genuine, ethical, and successful!