Black suit and cape? Check. Clinched fist? Check. Heavy breathing? Check. Pursuit of intergalactic domination? Check.

We've all had them--the unapproachable, overbearing, domineering, power hungry prospect. On the surface, they're outward appearance and demeanor can be quite intimidating. However, in most cases, their personality style is not who they are, but simply how they interact with others.

Characteristics of people with the Darth Vader personality style are extroverted, direct, and assertive. They are driven to fix problems and achieve tangible results. They have an insatiable desire for power and are willing to take risks.

They also can be very decisive, and under stress, tension or fatigue, they become belligerent. They can be very demanding, aggressive and tend to take charge rather than follow. In a negotiation, they can be ruthless.

"I am altering the deal, pray I do not alter it any further."

How do you sell to aggressive people who appear as though they live on the "Dark Side"? Modify your style to accommodate theirs. Here's how the four basic personality styles can effectively sell to the Darth Vaders of the universe:

Influencer style (Han Solo)

  • You are: extroverted, relational, charming, friendly, outgoing, dynamic and prefer driving your Millennium Falcon faster than light speed
  • You value: attention, fun, wookies
  • Do this: stick to big issues, give them the bottom-line, emphasize service
  • Avoid: emotion-based appeals, premature references to relationships or partnerships, being or looking disorganized, bringing irrelevant issues into the conversation

Analytical style (C-3PO)

  • You are: introverted, analytical, data-focused, formal, meticulous, punctual, skeptical, and fluent in over 6 million forms of communication
  • You value: proof, stats, protocol droids
  • Do this: speed up your rate of speaking, focus on the big picture, structure product benefits in terms of outcomes
  • Avoid: excessive details, speaking too slowly

Easy-Going style (Luke Skywalker)

  • You are: introverted, patient, amiable, calm, supportive, team player, and seek to bring balance to the Force
  • You value: support, loyalty, peace throughout the galaxy
  • Do this: give direct answers, speed up your rate of speaking, be prepared to accommodate their sense of urgency, keep up with their demands
  • Avoid: long pauses before responding, appearing indecisive

Commander style (Vader vs Vader)

  • You are: extroverted, assertive, direct, intense, impatient, dynamic, controlling and getting the Death Star fully operational
  • You value: power, results, power, and more power
  • Do this: stress that you can handle details and they can control from the top, focus on strategy, demonstrate a clear ROI
  • Avoid: battle of egos, struggle for control, interrupting

The Darth Vader personality style isn't bad, it's just intimidating if you're not used to it. Know your behavior style and then modify to interact appropriately with the Darth Vader style. It can mean the difference between landing a great new customer and receiving the Dark Side Death Grip.

"I find your lack of faith disturbing."

Remember, Darth Vader's don't like to waste time or resources. They like plain talk, the big picture and want it delivered quickly. If they agree to buy, they can become loyal buyers. However, if you fail to deliver on the value you promised, well... they don't like excuses.

"I hope so for your sake. The emperor is not as forgiving as I am."

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Published on: Dec 18, 2014