Versatile Selling: Working with Drivers

In today’s post, we continue our series on Versatile Selling, pulling from the book of the same name published by Wilson Learning Library.

Last week we looked at strategies to use when working with Analytical Social Styles.  Today we move to Drivers.


On some level, the Driver social style is often the easiest to identify. Drivers are usually those who “take charge” in any situation. They are results-oriented and very businesslike. They make decisions quickly and cut to the chase even quicker. Drivers are opinionated, and confident in their opinions. And yes, because of their style, Drivers can be intimidating to most people.

Here are a few of the dominant characteristics you can use to define Drivers:

  • Verbal and non-verbal cues: They often appear serious, and can display a rigid, formal posture. Their gestures are restrained. The speak rapidly, with a direct voice that does not show much inflection, unless they’re trying to make a point.
  • Work style: Drivers are not oriented towards team play, preferring to work independently.
  • Time: For a Driver, time is all about efficiency toward getting results.
  • Attitudes about accomplishment: They are strongly oriented towards success, in the shortest amount of time.
  • Relationships: The general ethos for a Driver is “task first, then relationship.”
  • Work activity strengths: Drivers initiate and constantly monitor to ensure that projects are on task.
  • Motivators: The Driver social style is all about power. In this regard, they seek to control things like budgets, timing and personnel when it comes to projects. They want to be given options when it comes to decision-making.
  • Misperceptions: They are often seen as pushy, rude or arrogant because of their focus on tasks, and their ability control their emotions.


A line from “The Godfather” might best sum up Drivers: “It’s not personal, it’s business.” It’s important to remember that you’ll have a limited amount of time to make a first impression. And regardless of the type of impression you make, prospects who are Drivers will act quickly and decisively to move forward.

Let’s take a look below at what Drivers expect from you in a sales situation:

  • Make sure you show that you are task-oriented right from the start.
  • Don’t waste their time; always work with (and stick to) and agenda when dealing with Drivers.
  • Get to facts quickly in the sales process because Drivers want documentation as to the value of your pitch.
  • Come to the table with solutions that address their concerns. Let’s say you’re working with a new FSBO, who wants to sell quickly and make more profit by pocketing an agent commission. You might say: “If I could show you how to sell your home more profitably in less time, would you be interested?”
  • Provide options, because options give Drivers the sense that they are controlling the ultimate decision.
  • Provide them with a risk assessment, especially if they are putting off making a decision. Example: “I understand that you might want to wait until after the first of the year to list, but here’s what might happen if you delay…”


OK, so you’ve identified your prospect as a Driver. Remember, Drivers are more tell-directed and task-directed. So, to adapt, you’ll need to follow a few simple guidelines:

  • Be sure to talk less, and listen more. You never want to monopolize a conversation with a Driver.
  • Be balanced and in control of your emotions; don’t show a lot of enthusiasm.
  • Be sure to stay focused on facts; don’t think about your “gut” reactions because Drivers are mostly in their head. You need to be there as well.
  • Pause and reflect before you speak. When working with Drivers, you need to be quick. But quick can also lead to impulsiveness, which can backfire. It’s OK to take a moment to get your thoughts in order before speaking.
  • Acknowledge their expectations and ideas to show the Driver that the relationship isn’t all about you.

We all know that Drivers can be intimidating, and can throw you off your game. But that’s just a personality style. If you stay focused on tasks and facts, keep your emotions in check, and move through your agenda quickly, you’ll be well-positioned to gain your prospect’s trust. And business.

To learn more about Versatile Selling, CLICK HERE