Lots of personality typing systems aim to show you how people think. But there’s only one that consciously aims to show you how people make decisions—and that’s the Kiersey Temperament sorter.
Understanding thinking styles is important, but knowing someone’s core needs, values, and self-image is what’s really fundamental when it comes to persuasive appeal.
Salespeople and marketers often use temperament-based communication—because it works! It’s also a powerful tool for authors to target their market and ensure that their book appeals to as wide an audience as possible.
To learn how people make decisions, we use the Kiersey Temperament sorter. We use these four temperaments, and how they’re built around core needs and self-image, to craft bestselling content in conjunction with our 4 Elements of Bestselling Books.
Their core needs center around the freedom to act without hindrance and to see big results from those actions. Consequently, they base their self-image on graceful action, bold spirit, and adaptability to circumstance. As an archetype, the Spontaneous Temperament corresponds to the Warrior. They are people of action and make natural athletes, entertainers, adrenaline junkies, and gunslingers.
Their core needs center around meaning and significance that come from having a sense of purpose and working toward some greater good. They base their self-image upon empathy, benevolence, and authenticity. This temperament corresponds to the Healer and Lover archetypes. They are people of deep empathy and relationships and make natural teachers, mentors, philanthropists, volunteers, and social workers.
Their core needs center around group membership and responsibility. They base their self-image on reliability, service, and respectability. If you think “judicious administration” you’ll understand why the King archetype corresponds to this temperament. These are natural-born organizers and planners who tend to make phenomenal accountants, logistics professionals, event planners, and Executive Assistants.
Their core needs center around mastery of concepts, knowledge, and competence. They base their self-image on ingenuity, autonomy, and willpower. This temperament corresponds to the Wizard archetype. These people tend toward the quintessential executive, field marshal, or brilliant professor. They make natural inventors, scientists, CEOs and entrepreneurs.
Once you understand a potential reader’s temperament, you can speak directly to their self-image in the language they prefer, and provide the kind of persuasive elements they find most compelling. Now you can architecturally plan out the interaction of the casually curious with your website, and plan messaging to create optimized experiences and results. This is important in sales, but can be even more important in content marketing when your goal is to grow an audience and becomes seen as a go-to expert in your field.
People want an expert they can trust. The expert they trust is usually the expert that shares their values, speaks their language, and seems to “get” their needs.
Even within a book, each temperament tends to look for and demand different elements, elements that correlate exactly to the 4 Elements of Bestsellers:
When you don’t write to your audience’s temperament, the typical outcome is you end up only communicating well to people like you — I.e., to your own temperament.
And that’s a problem when you consider that no single temperament makes up more than 35% of the population, because it means that your message, your content, and your book will inevitably miss out on at least two thirds of your possible readership and prospective customer base.
And what makes it worse is that most people in the consulting and informational worlds tend to be Competitives or Humanists (which only make up 15% of the population each) who are actively selling their insight and expertise to Spontaneous and Methodicals clients, who make up the remaining 70% of the population.
If that’s you, then realize it’s not only possible but likely that your messaging style is disconnecting with an astonishing 85% of your prospective market!
Want to more effectively promote yourself as a thought leader? Hire a firm that knows how to craft content aimed at all 4 of the temperaments and that can effectively bake all 4 Best Seller Elements into everything you put out.
Want to use this for your book, your best seller campaign, and your audience engagement efforts? Check out our Combined Campaigns that come with all of this “baked in” to every component.