I guess keeping me waiting fifteen minutes past our scheduled meeting time gave me the first clue I was probably dealing with a Warm / Teller; someone who wasn’t particularly in touch with time.
Sure enough, he entered reception like a whirlwind; coat half off his shoulders and, being directed to where I was sitting by the receptionist, he apologized for running late. His handshake was firm as I rose to accept it. He kept walking almost pulling me along before letting go and, though we had only spoken once on the telephone, he smiled freely seeming genuinely pleased to see me.
As he strode from the reception he beckoned for me to follow. Without turning around he asked if I’d like a coffee and as we entered his office he picked up the desk phone and with a joke asked Heather to “Pop along”. Before finishing his conversation with his secretary, he gestured for me to take one of the casual seats away from his desk.
He eventually flopped next to me, still ranting about roadworks when Heather entered without knocking and asked how I took my coffee.
Ten minutes and a refill later he was still lambasting the city planners when he abruptly stopped and asked what I could do for him. Before I could answer his mobile rang. Answering it without hesitation he held up a ‘policeman’s palm’ and mouthed something at me.
All this indicated I was dealing with a Warm / Teller, and that I needed to allow time for inevitable delays, interruptions and distractions during just about every meeting with him. At any time he could be completely at peace with his world or flaming mad about someone or something. I had to remain flexible and above all, calm!
I made a mental note to allow twice as much time between my meetings with him and my next customer and be prepared to listen to just about anything. Yet, I had my job to do. So, how was I going to keep this human dynamo on track?
He was certainly assertive, so telling him what I wanted probably wouldn’t go down too well. He also displayed his emotions freely; I could see exactly ‘how’ he was feeling.
The trick with a Warm / Teller is to remain fluid. Don’t be fazed by anything they say or do and strive to keep their interest. I had to listen intently to his stories to find out about him and introduce into his anecdotes how my ideas and service could make him money; Warm / Tellers like money!
His personality is outgoing, headstrong, impulsive and enthusiastic. This trait genuinely welcomes sincere flattery for achievement. So, when he’d finished his phone call, I asked how he’d got into his present position and where he saw his career going.
As he began to tell me his story, I quietly withdrew a notepad.