There Are 4 Types Of Salespeople – Which One Are You?

Types of Sales People, Which one are you

Logan Strain underscored in his article on, that there are different types of salespeople. Based on his observation there are four; academics, empaths, closers and grinders.

For sales coaches, it pays to know which category each member falls and how to take advantage of their potentials. Each might have unique abilities to pin down sales and closes, so you might as well check and assess.

How you sell is deeply rooted in who you are. More than other professions, your preferences, your temperament, and your point of view shape how you approach the day-to-day business of selling. Your fingerprints are on every call. That’s why we can see salespeople with wildly different styles hit the same sales numbers. And that’s also why sales coaches and managers need to be sensitive to how each person on their team sells. Advice that might lift one person up to reach their potential might discourage another.

But as variable as they are, salespeople tend to fall into a handful of categories, based on my personal observations of them in the wild. Here are the four sales styles I’ve seen in action.


To the Academic salesperson, sales isn’t an art, it’s a science. They subscribe to dozens of blogs and trade publications. They’ve read books by every sales guru on the planet, and they have an opinion on all of them. In fact, Academics have their own theories about their trade that they’re hoping to turn into a book one day. They know the products they sell better than just about anyone — and that includes the peoplewho developed them.

Data driven and meticulous, they know how to zero in on processes that work and toss off methods that don’t. They’re a master of their CRM, making comprehensive notes and use some features you haven’t even heard of. They’re quick on the phones and can answer virtually every question the lead has without looking anything up. They see themselves primarily as an educator, and believe that a well-informed lead is a lead half closed. Academics believe that they are a work in progress, and strive to be a better salesperson today than they were last month.

Can Be Heard Saying

“Contrary to conventional wisdom, studies show that salespeople who exhibit both introverted and extroverted tendencies perform better than those who are purely extroverted.”

When Not Working, Academics Can Usually Be Seen

With a book in their hand.


Empaths have a knack for getting inside people’s heads. They can pick up on subtle social cues, and read the subtext underneath everything a prospect says. They don’t just view themselves as someone who is pushing a product, but also as someone who gives exceptional value on every sale. Their goal is to understand their prospects’ needs, so they can show how the product will make their lives easier.

The Empath’s main selling strength is getting on the same wavelength as their lead very quickly.They listen very closely to everything that their leads say. Then the Empath can select a few choice words that light them up inside. The Empath’sintuitive understanding of human psychologymakes them a gifted persuader. They know that every person has a slightly different motivation for buying a product. So they make it their mission to connect product benefits to their leads’ inner emotional lives.

Related: The Winning Sales Pitch: 5 Pillars of Telemarketing Calls

 Can Be Heard Saying

Empaths prefer listening to talking. But when Empaths do speak, they like to ask questions that help them better understand other people’s desires and passions.

When Not Working, Empaths Can Usually Be Seen

Charming everybody at a low key dinner party.


The Closer lives for one thing: speaking directly to the lead. Every word that comes out of their mouth has one goal in mind: getting the lead to say “yes.” They have Zig Ziglar’s Secrets Of Closing The Sale memorized back to front. They know every single objection to buying the product that has ever been said, and they’ve even thought of a few new ones (which they of course have a ready counter to). They’re masters at keeping a lead on the phone for as long as necessary, and they never take “no” for an answer.

While all salespeople get a rush from closing, the Closer gets particularly excited from winning. They have their sales numbers for the past year memorized, and make it their personal goal to break their sales record every month.

Check this out! Close the biggest sales by getting qualified leads!

 Can Be Heard Saying

Alec Baldwin’s entire speech from the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, if you ask them to.

When Not Working, Closers Can Usually Be Seen

Cheering on their favorite sports team. Closers are natural competitors, so they love seeing talented people do their best in a high stakes game.


Grinders crush their quota every month through the sheer force of their work ethic. They view the world as a sea of endless opportunity. It’s just a matter of hustling hard enough to grab it. They get in early, stay late, and make every single second count. They revel in every part of the sales process. They go on high energy, caffeine-fueled sales sessions where they sometimes even forget to eat.

Grinders can do fantastic work through numbers alone. And since they have boundless enthusiasm for their job, they’re impossible to discourage. If they hit a bad streak, they simply get back on the phones and get right back to it. Grinders are always are great to have on a team, because their energy in infectious.

 Can Be Heard Saying

“The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

When Not Working, Grinders Can Usually Be Seen

Building an additional room in their house, volunteering, or trying out a new hobby. Since grinders have boundless energy, they love finding productive ways to use it.

The Taxonomy Of Sellers

Wait a minute, you might be saying. All of those describe me at least a little bit.

And that’s a good thing. It’s healthy to invest in learning the trade, developing deep connections with people, closing vigorously, and working hard. But all salespeople have a preferred style that helps them close more deals.


Image: How to Follow the Greats: The Careers of Famous Salespeople

Logan Strain

Logan Strain is a writer for NextGenLeads, a lead provider and knowledge resource for sales professionals.