A Beautiful Analytic Mind

Ever have a customer who always has one more question before deciding whether to buy? Smart business owners recognize this might be a customer with an analytical buying style, so they shift to their logical side.

An analytical is one of four personality styles identified by researchers, Merrill and Reid1.

Analytics tend to be more formal and controlled when you talk to them. They are more reserved in expressing their opinion.

Spotting Analytics

Identifying someone’s buying style takes time, so be careful not to jump to conclusions. Here are some behaviors that may mean you’re dealing with an analytic:

  • Goes directly to the part of the store that has what they need (more likely to consult a store map if they can’t find it)
  • Would likely compare similar items on your website to see which is the best choice to solve their problem
  • Likely will visit a few more stores before they’re ready to buy
  • What they might say:  I want to make the right decision so I’m taking my time to gather all the facts first.

Responding to Analytics

It’s important to provide complete information when dealing with an analytic. They tend to make decisions more slowly so provide details to fill in the missing pieces for them.

Here are some ideas that may help:

  • Ask yourself, W. W. S. D. (What Would Spock Do?)  There’s a logical reason for all phenomena so be orderly and deliberate when describing your product or service (they’ll wait to hear it all)
  • Consider using spreadsheets that compare your products or service with others. Be balanced in your description
  • Limit small talk. They may not be comfortable relating to someone new. Your connection is the facts, not what their favorite movie is
  • Give them an opportunity to interact with the product or service. It may help them confirm or reject a hypothesis they have about what you have to offer

The buying process might be longer for analytics because they spend more time fact finding. Logically presenting information might help you connect with this group so they get the information to make the right decision.


1 Merrill, D. W. and Reid, R. H.  Personal Styles and Effective Performance, Radnor, PA: Chilton Book Company, 1981.

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