Aardvark vs. PowerPlay: Vendas adaptativas

The following assignment was produced as part of an MBA class entitled Go-to-Market. Students are running a business or are fundraising. The solution is provided below.

The Assignment: Adaptive Sales

You will use the techniques of personality profiling and influencing to form a personality profile for each of the fictional characters described below. At the end of class, you will be expected to create and share two different pitching/closing strategies based on the personality profiles.


You are the CEO of Aardvark Technologies Inc., which provides a comprehensive platform designed specifically for large marketing firms. Aardvark has strong product/market fit and is growing quickly with a few top-tier clients and strong VC backing despite only launching 18 months ago. The platform is a dramatic improvement over the current patchwork solutions most top-tier firms currently use. Instead of licensing in more than a dozen different solutions and trying to integrate those, Aardvark allows clients to manage their entire technology ecosystem in one place seamlessly. 

Adaptive Sales Selling Opportunity

Through your team’s networking efforts, you have opened the door into PowerPlay Ltd., one of the premier marketing firms in the world. PowerPlay is headquartered in London and works with many of the biggest household brands on their premier global campaigns. Whether it is getting ads placed in the Superbowl or bringing in a Hollywood celebrity to clinch the launch of a new campaign, PowerPlay is one of the most profitable and well-regarded firms in the industry. If you and your team can close a deal with them, it would put you on the map for all of your other target customers. You even commented to your team that you’d be willing to do the deal for free just to be able to say “PowerPlay is a client” in future pitches.

Your team will be presenting to several members of the PowerPlay executive team, but your research has determined that there are only two people who will really factor in the decision to engage with Aardvark:

Lilibeth Reyes, CEO of PowerPlay

Lilibeth Reyes

It’s been said that Ms. Reyes, “Will sweep you off your feet with her charm and charisma, bringing you into an intoxicating vortex of ideas, connections and future possibilities… but when you find yourself on the street outside afterwards, you probably have nothing to show for it.”

Ms. Reyes is the creative visionary at the heart of PowerPlay. She began her career as an intern and by sheer volume and quality of idea generation, rose up through the ranks to help build the company into what it is today. Rumored to have formed deep, lasting relationships with much of the top talent in Hollywood, she is often seen at major sporting events, exclusive clubs, and anywhere else where it’s important to be seen. She is an unconventional and innovative creator who has designed dynamic and unexpected campaigns which typically generate as much news coverage as the campaigns themselves. Empathetic and warm, Reyes prides herself on the “relationship-before-task” culture that she’s created at PowerPlay. Applying her outside-the-box mindset to running the firm, her policies set the gold standard in the industry for flexibility, child-support, and even offers a “creative sabbatical” for anyone in the company to take time off and explore things that inspire them. The Aardvark team has spoken with other firms and has learned that Reyes has a reputation for being unwilling to commit to new products, often pushing off decisions for months or longer. People who have pitched her say they are amazed by her energy, enthusiasm, and how quickly she grasped their solution… only to find that she had moved on to something else by the time their next meeting was arranged.

Guess Lilibeth Reyes' Personality Type

See if you can use the personality characteristics described in the above section to build a personality profile for the fictional character, Lilibeth Reyes, CEO of PowerPlay.

1 / 4

Extravert (E) or Introvert (I)?

Identify Extravert Introvert

2 / 4

Sensor (S) or Intuitive?

Sensor or Intuitive

3 / 4

Thinker (T) or Feeler (F)?

Thinker or Feeler?

4 / 4

Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)?

Identify Judger Perceiver

Alfonso Silva, CTO of PowerPlay

Alfonso Silva

As one of your contacts expressed, “Don’t expect any ‘warm fuzzies’ from Alfonso. But, if you hang in there and land your pitch with lots of supporting data and logic, you have a chance to move things forward.”

Mr. Silva oversees all technical operations not only within the PowerPlay organization, but also for client projects that require a significant tech element. Reserved, formal, and intense, Silva is known for his remarkable attention to detail and work ethic. He famously discovered a series of critical errors in the footnotes to the company’s financial statements (an area over which he had no responsibility). Your research has shown that Silva is a very deliberate buyer, demanding extensive due diligence and background on any new project or software solution. However, once convinced, he becomes a very loyal customer, often suggesting product improvements in a direct and practical manner. He is also known to use silence as a negotiating tactic, letting would-be suppliers and consultants sit for long stretches of time while he stares them down. 

Guess Alfonso Silva's Personality Type

See if you can use the personality characteristics described in the above section to build a personality profile for the fictional character, Alfonso Silva, CTO of PowerPlay.

1 / 4

Alfonso Silva - Extravert (E) or Introvert (I)?

Identify Extravert Introvert

2 / 4

Alfonso Silva - Sensor (S) or Intuitive?

Sensor or Intuitive

3 / 4

Alfonso Silva - Thinker (T) or Feeler (F)?

Thinker or Feeler?

4 / 4

Alfonso Silva - Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)?

Identify Judger Perceiver

The Solution

The Programa de Influência TypeCoach provides participants with a foundational background in personality type, and specifically helps you learn more about identificando type in others, and adaptando your communication style to more effectively communicate. Based on these techniques, the two characters at play here can be described as an ENFP and an ISTJ. Here are some influencing tactics for each of these personality profiles:

Influencing Tactics for Lilibeth Reyes (ENFP)

  • She will buy if she sees the long-term positive impact to her team and the people part of the equation
  • Focus on authentic personal connection – devote time to building rapport and being vulnerable and open
  • Encourage two-sided discussion vs. a formal presentation; let her ask questions and participate
  • Link Aardvark capabilities to her long-term vision; minimize focus on logistics and “how” requirements
  • Outline 3 options to move forward, help her through the process of elimination
  • Ask “Who else should we bring into this discussion to help with the next steps?” (This is likely make-or-break for anything to happen).

Influencing Tactics for Alfonso Silva (ISTJ)

  • He will buy if he sees this as the responsible, safe and proven solution
  • Keep things formal; get down to business quickly
  • Make your presentation and expect Qs at the end
  • Highlight the practical benefits and the short term issues you will solve
  • Respond to any specific questions or concerns before moving on
  • Present in a step-by-step manner building up to your conclusion
  • Reference similar clients to PowerPlay and provide real examples of success, use a case study approach
  • Don’t assume concerns or disagreement is the end of the conversation; use calm assertiveness in response
  • Provided suggested next steps and use the word “process” as much as possible
  • Stick to all agenda and timelines
  • Follow through on all commitments with precision
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