Thinking Preferences

High performing sales teams excel at communicating. They consistently communicate value to customers better, and collaborate internally at a higher level, than their competition. Great communication starts when your teams understand how your customers, salespeople, and managers prefer to process information. Higher performance is achieved when teams become skilled at tailoring messages to match the audience’s thinking preferences. The Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI) is a tool that we use to help our clients achieve higher performance through targeted communication techniques.

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Thinking Preferences

The Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument® (HBDI®) provides a model for identifying and adapting to customer and team member preferences in communication. Symmetrics Group’s certified HBDI® professionals use a proven approach that leverages this model to build your team’s capabilities.

Rational Thinking

Keywords: Analytical, logical, quantitative, technical, factual

“Blue” personalities are great when analysis needs to be top notch. Blue personalities focus on facts and analysis. Blue buyers have a low tolerance for unsubstantiated and emotional arguments (“fluff”). Salespeople who come armed with evidence, proof, and details will do better with blue buyers. On the sales team, blue personalities are motivated by metrics and reasoned arguments.


Keywords: Metaphoric, integrative, visual, synthesizing, conceptual

“Yellow” personalities are great at seeing the big picture. Yellow personalities think holistically and innovatively. Yellow buyers want to know “why.” Salespeople do well with yellow buyers when they clearly establish why they’re having the conversation, why it’s important to the buyer’s strategy, and why the buyer should care. On the sales team, yellow personalities are motivated when their work feels meaningful.

Practical Thinking

Keywords: Sequential, controlled, detailed, organized, conservative

“Green” personalities are great at execution. Green personalities focus on organization, details, and plans. Green buyers want to understand the “how.” Salespeople do well with green buyers when they come armed with thoughtful, detailed plans that demonstrate how to solve the problem, how to execute the solution, and how to manage the risk. On the sales team, green personalities are motivated by consistency and measurable progress toward goals.

Relational Thinking

Keywords: Emotional, musical, humanistic, expressive, sensory

“Red” personalities are great at understanding the human elements of a deal. Red personalities focus on people and relationships. Red buyers will be turned off by a “numbers-only” approach. Salespeople do well with red buyers when they put people first, building trust and focusing on the solution’s impact on the buyer’s team. On the sales team, red personalities are motivated by trust, appreciation, and collaboration.

The Multigenerational Sales Team Pocket Guide

Access our cheat sheet for better understanding and better connections in a multigenerational sales team environment.

Multigenerational sales team pocket guide