Terry Bean: How To Approach Different Behavioral Types In Sales And Marketing

May 30, 2024
Approaching different personalities in sales and marketing is crucial for success in the business world. In this podcast episode, Mari-Liis Vaher from Powerful Marketers interviews Terry Bean, an experienced leadership speaker and coach, on the importance of understanding and adapting to different behavioral types. Terry introduces the concept of the four primary drivers of behavior and shares how to recognize and leverage these drivers to effectively engage with different personality types and tailor marketing strategies to meet their needs and preferences.

Here are the key takeaways from the episode:

🔥 Fire

The first driver, referred to as the drive to acquire or the fire element, is characterized by a competitive nature and a strong desire to win. Individuals with this drive are motivated to achieve their goals quickly and efficiently, often at the expense of others. Understanding and catering to their competitive nature can help marketers appeal to their drive for success and accomplishment.

💧 Water

The second driver, known as the drive to bond or the water element, focuses on building relationships and connections with others. Individuals driven by this element value cooperation, harmony, and emotional connections. Marketers can appeal to this group by emphasizing the importance of relationships, trust, and community in their messaging and branding efforts.

🌪️ Air

The third driver, the drive to learn or the air element, is associated with curiosity, innovation, and a thirst for knowledge. Individuals driven by this element are constantly seeking new experiences, ideas, and opportunities for growth. Marketers can engage with this group by providing valuable information, educational resources, and opportunities for personal and professional development.

🌍 Earth

Lastly, the drive to defend or the earth element represents a strong sense of security, stability, and protection. Individuals driven by this element prioritize safety, reliability, and consistency in their decision-making process. Marketers can appeal to this group by highlighting the reliability, durability, and trustworthiness of their products or services.

In conclusion, by recognizing and adapting to the diverse behavioral types of clients and prospects, professionals can enhance their communication skills, foster positive relationships, and ultimately drive business growth. Embracing the challenge of engaging with individuals of varying personalities is essential for navigating the complexities of the sales and marketing landscape and seizing opportunities for success.


  • "We're going to take a deep dive into all of that and kind of give you a cheat code for communicating the right way with the people you're communicating with." (00:02:27)
  • “If you're in a negotiation with someone that is a high fire element, it's probably going to be a win-lose scenario where they're going to seek to win and they don't care that you lose. So, not a very empathetic group of people, but definitely the type of people that in crisis management, you want someone who is high fire in charge. They are decisive, they are quick, they will get people moving.” (00:10:14)
  • “If we're trying to communicate with water folks, if we're trying to sway them, we want to talk about how we're bringing people together. We want to talk about community. We want to talk about how it's going to help the betterment of society. Right? Because that's their drive.” (00:16:17)
  • “If you're trying to engage an air person, you want to give them enough detail so they're not bored, but not so much that they're just like, I'm out, doesn't matter. But you want to show them how they're going to acquire learning, how they're going to acquire growth, right?” (00:22:32)
  • "Earth people need facts. They need case studies. They need lots of detail and lots of social proof." (00:27:27)


  • [00:10:19] Fire element characteristics
  • [00:16:26] Water element characteristics
  • [00:19:10] Air element characteristics
  • [00:26:59] Earth element characteristics
  • [00:36:25] Elements in organizational culture


Connect with Terry Bean:

Other links mentioned on the episode:

What inspires Terry into action:

Here's the full episode on YouTube:

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