Sales for Enneagram Core Styles

As I prepare for the new “I Hate to Sell” course for next week, I’ve been thinking about sales in terms of the three core enneagram styles: gut, heart and head. Each of them would struggle with selling for very different reasons (and require a different reframe to learn to love sales).

Gut types, for instance, are people who are good at loving what they do. They have this great inner guidance system that lets them know what is right. That can get in the way of explaining why it is right to people who don’t share their instincts. It can feel like a long journey to pull their enthusiasm up from the gut and out into the world where it can have an impact. It takes even more energy to notice that impact and make adjustments so that you can continue to make the right things happen through your connections with your environment and with other people. After all, you are not easily swayed by other people so why would they be easily swayed by you?

Heart types are better at sales. They are used to working in connection, to noticing how they are being seen by the people around them and to making choices so that they like what other people see. Of course, this comes with its own complications. When your ability to love what you do depends on your ability to sell what you do, you have a lot at risk in every encounter. How will you continue to love your work if you are rejected or challenged? Objections only work if they make you feel special: sales objections come between you and the hit of energy you get when other people appreciate what you love.

And what about head types? They are good at getting to know the landscape and seeing places to move. They anticipate both objections and opportunities. And they tend to focus out more than in, so they won’t necessarily take sales rejection personally. Their problem in sales is holding on to the relationship between their love for what they do and the impact that might have in someone else’s life or work. It’s hard for them to connect the dots for other people because it’s hard for them to connect the dots. It’s easier to be distant or distracted, their attention grabbed by the patterns they see outside themselves. If the world appears to be doing fine without them, it’s hard to engage the world in what they want to sell.

The antidote is the same for all Enneagram styles: make a connection with someone in a different style and borrow their frames and their resources. Seeing through another set of eyes doesn’t compromise your own true vision: it adds dimension and motivation.

Want to know more? We’re launching the “I Hate to Sell” one day course next Saturday, February 22, from 10am to 4:30pm in Hamilton.