How to Sell to the 5 Types of Decision Makers

Uncategorized Jul 28, 2020

5 min read

How did the 35,000 decisions you made yesterday go? Before you argue that you made, at best, 10 decisions yesterday, according to Psychology Today, it was indeed around 35,000.

Most of these were trivial. Yogurt or eggs for breakfast. Black or gray coat. While others were major. Negotiate or accept an offer as is. Fire or give another chance to a troublesome employee.

This piece of information becomes consequential when we realize that everyone around us is faced with the same mountain of daily decisions - including our customers. It also becomes obvious that if we want to make a sale, we must guide customers to a favorable decision by making the process as easy and seamless as possible.


The Fix: Know the 5 Types of Decision Makers

Each of us makes decisions differently and based upon a different set of criteria. However, universally, we can all be grouped into one of five types. 

Categorizing prospects into these types will dictate your approach to helping guide them through both small (agreeing to an initial call) and large (making a purchase) decisions. It also clarifies how to best present your product or service as a solution to their needs. 

Before arriving at the stage where you are actually making a pitch and closing the sale, establish contact with your prospect to help better understand their decision-making style. If that’s not possible, read the situation as you go. Use the examples below to try to get an accurate read on your potential buyer.

Decision Making Styles



These are the people that are easily excited by new things. They have high does of energy and are talkative but also very results-oriented. Many have “shiny object” syndrome, where their focus jumps from one thing to the next without fully committing to anything. 

Interestingly enough, these types of decision makers are best approached by providing facts and figures to back up your claims. This strategy helps bring a dose of reality and gets them thinking that your pitch is more than just flashy and novel. Aim to build confidence and trust.

Deep Thinking


These individuals are careful to speak and gather as much information as possible. They would rather play it safe than take a risk with something new. They will most likely ask a series of questions and be concerned about all of the possible outcomes a decision may bring. 

It is best to approach them preemptively by explaining all of the possible obstacles with your product or service and highlighting how you already have plans to deal with any outcomes, should it occur.

Provide all the information you can and allow them to come to their own conclusions for the highest success rate. 



Here we have a suspicious buyer, unwelcoming of anything that conflicts with their beliefs and opinions. They have strong personalities and aren’t afraid to speak their minds. You definitely won’t have to guess at what their objectives are. 

For the best results, take a diplomatic approach that respects their ego. State your beliefs but acknowledge that they might have insight you don’t. For example, “I believe that your current service is ineffective for X reasons, but I might not have the entire context of the situation?”

We all carry the bias of being more trusting to those similar to us, and skeptics are no different. Highlight any personal or professional similarities between you. If possible, have someone they trust refer you.



These are the “play it safe buyers.” They are cautious, responsible, and practical, meaning they will typically only agree to things that are proven to have worked for others. 

With these customers, testimonials, case studies, and results are required to convince them of the effectiveness of whatever you are selling. The more proof you have of the results you can create for them, the better.



As the name indicates, these customers like to be in control and make decisions for themselves. They are quite logical, sensible, and detail-oriented. Their need for control also manifests itself through an aversion of uncertainty. 

Approach them with data-supported, highly detailed explanations, and establish yourself as an expert. Don’t rush them into making a decision, but rather give them time and space which will help them feel in control.


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