The Different Types of Tech Buyers Explained – and How to Appeal to Them

September 13th, 2018
Pete Langas
Pete LangasDirector, Sales & Business Development

The role of a managed service provider (MSP) can be a tricky one. You’re faced with the challenge of explaining highly technical solutions to typically non-tech-savvy individuals. Of course, you could never actually tell your potential buyer that they are in fact misunderstanding their technology needs or that they are in fact explaining the technology solution improperly. In this vein, what you say to one potential buyer might be completely offensive (or at the very least misunderstood) by another buyer. Like we said, the role of an MSP can be tricky. The good news is that with a little bit of insight you can learn how to speak to your customer segments so that you can communicate clearly, discuss what’s important to them, and inevitably help them make the decision to buy.

Tech Buyer Personality Types Explained

There are sixteen basic personality types. As much as we like to all believe that we are individuals, inevitably we fall into one or more of these categories. Without further ado, here is your crash course in personality types as they apply to tech buyers:

  1.  ISTJ – The Duty Fulfiller — This person is typically dependable and focused on completing all tasks associated with an identified goal.
  2. ISTP – The Mechanic — This person wants to know how things work and is generally quite analytical, which means they like to find solutions to practical problems.
  3. ISFJ – The Nurturer — This person has great follow through and is interested in serving the needs of others.
  4. ISFP – The Artist — This person doesn’t like conflict, and generally isn’t interested in leading or controlling others, which is why they are more likely to be encountered early on in the sales funnel.
  5. INFJ – The Protector — This person is intuitive and individualistic; they are most likely to be the one to suggest that a technology solution is needed, but not necessarily the leader who will convince others to purchase said solution.
  6. INFP – The Idealist — This person is adaptable, likes to see the possibilities, and is interested in understanding people.
  7. INTJ – The Scientist — This person is analytical, determined, independent, and likes to turn theories into actions. They have high performance standards and are natural leaders, which is why they are most likely to complete every step of the sales funnel before making a decision to purchase.

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8. INTP – The Thinker — This person is logical and easily excited about new theories or ideas, which is why they value knowledge, logic, and competence.

9. ESTP – The Doer — This person is friendly and action-oriented; they are interested in “doing things” and achieving results.

10. ESTJ – The Guardian — This person is organized and interested in practical applications. They are most likely to be in charge.

11. ESFP – The Performer — This person likes to be the center of attention, has common sense, and uses their abilities on a daily basis.

12. ESFJ – The Caregiver — This person has a strong sense of duty and responsibility and needs positive reinforcement to feel good about decisions.

13. ENFP – The Inspirer — This person is enthusiastic, dedicated to tasks that interest them, open minded, and excited about ideas without becoming intrigued by the actual details.

14. ENFJ – The Giver — This person is externally focused with great people skills. They are adept at managing people and leading discussions, which is why they are more likely to take their time completing the various stages of a sales funnel.

15. ENTP – The Visionary — This person is resourceful, intellectual, and has a tendency towards “one-upping.” They excel at understanding concepts and applying logic to find solutions.

16. ENTJ – The Executive — This person is outspoken and assertive. They have a natural desire to lead and have little patience when it comes to inefficiencies and disorganization.

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What Can You Learn From Personality Types?

As seen through the above 16 personality types, there are several key takeaways. The first is that when you know what personality type drives your potential customer, you can more effectively choose the right communication approach. For example, an ENTJ who is outspoken and annoyed by inefficiencies will appreciate and respond positively to concise communication that clearly defines the problem and the solution. With this in mind, you wouldn’t send a lengthy slide deck to an ENTJ. Instead, you would send the key slides coupled with an introductory abstract, so that the ENTJ can immediately see the benefits and then speak their mind.

The second key takeaway involves the person’s occupation. While a person might be an ENTJ, if their position isn’t associated with making “final decisions,” then you must change how you speak to their needs, as well as those of their company. For example, a legal firm has an entirely different decision hierarchy system than a financial services company. In a legal firm, there is a separate department interested in the tech solution, which means that you aren’t appealing to the VP. However, in a financial services company, where the entire mission of the company is to “make money,” you might initially be speaking with someone from the IT department, but chances are the final decision maker is going to be a VP who isn’t tech savvy and is solely interested in how your tech solution helps or protects the bottom line.

The Bottom Line: Appeal to Tech Buyer Personalities Via Multi-Channel Marketing Approaches

At the end of the day, if you want to appeal to your tech buyers in the most effective manner, then you need to adapt a multi-channel approach. This type of approach is best used when you segment your buyers based off of their personality type, their occupation (and industry), and their specific needs. In this way, you can reach every potential customer with a message that is relevant, consumable, and delivered via their preferred method of communication.