As you look for prospective clients, it’s important to understand how people think and what motivates them. In short, knowing their personality type can help you make that connection. But you can’t just run up to your prospective client and ask the question, “what’s your personality type?”.
So, let’s talk about a tool called DISC which can help fill in many of these gaps. The DISC program has been around since 1928 and through the years has become what many companies have come to know and trust. This system is divided into four quadrants of behaviors as predictable traits that we act out in our everyday lives. These four quadrants are :
- (D)ominant. “D” people prioritize results over everything else. They care most about their bottom line and are very direct in their communication.
- (I)nfluential. “I” people care most about influencing or persuading others. They put a lot of weight on their relationships.
- (S)teady. “S” people emphasize security. They look for sincerity and dependability over anything else.
- (C)ompliant. “C” people want as much information as possible about your product or service. They value quality and accuracy and are afraid of making the wrong move.
Understanding what your personality traits are can help you have a better relationship with other people, become a better seller, and even become a better leader, you get the idea. But how does one use it in sales since you can’t just have everyone fill out an assessment to see where they fall in the chart. To help you, we’re going to break down the four quadrants of DISC to get a better idea of where your customers or potential customers might land so you can better adapt your sales approach. However, two quick notes before we cover each of these quadrants. First, most people live in-between quadrants meaning that it’s absolutely normal to show signs of say a High D along with say a High C. However, we do tend to rely more on one quadrant than another. Second, while you may be able to place your existing clients into these four quadrants immediately, it’ll take time to pinpoint what quadrants that your prospective clients fall into.
How to Sell to the High “D”
High D personalities are into results. They’re direct and are determined people. They like to be in the driver’s seat, are very decisive, and make decisions very quickly. (Famous Examples: Gordon Ramsay and Steve Jobs)
Want to win over a High D? Here is what you do, sell don’t tell! Don’t ever come in arrogant or talk like you know more about things than they do. When they are talking to you, take notes, even if you know what they’re going to say. Don’t interrupt them, just write… it builds egos. Be very brief and to the point, don’t start your story at the beginning with the High D, start at the end. Tell them the conclusion first, and then tell them how you got there. You’ll have to be able to tolerate a little conflict with this person because they love it and typically thrive on it. Finally, be sincere, if they think you’re blowing smoke, they’ll walk you right out of the office (or leave your Zoom call) and you might not have the opportunity to win them back.
How to Sell to the High “I”
High I’s are people who love to interact with others. They are typically very trusting and optimistic. They use lots of facial expressions and hand gestures while they talk and are motivated by recognition. (Famous Examples: Oprah Winfrey and Jimmy Fallon)
How to win over a High I… let them talk! Remember that they need to be popular. Help them to be popular with their customers and other employees. While speaking with them let them know that they can trust you because that’s something they need. With the High I, you need to sell them on a long-term relationship, convince them that you want to be a part of their family, part of their success. That you’ll help them strategize to beat their competition to better serve their customers. Be very service-focused with High I’s because service shows that you care about them, their employees, their stores, and ultimately their customers. And don’t let them down, again, they need to know that they can trust you.
How to Sell to the High “S”
The High S person is work-oriented and very steady and stable on their outlook, and not prone to highs and lows. They’re motivated by keeping the status quo. High S people tend to keep “poker” faces and don’t display much emotion. (Famous Examples: Barbara Bush and Michael J. Fox)
So, how do you reach them? Sell in the past! Talk about how your company has taken care of them in the past and reassure them that you will continue your proven track record with them. If you don’t have a track record with them, try explaining to them how you have done something good for another customer. It will take several calls or appointments to get to know them personally. If it’s possible when you call upon a High S, promise them something and then immediately deliver on that promise, even if it’s just additional information about the call. Once they’ve determined that you are reliable and trustworthy, it will be easier to build a relationship. Don’t ask them to be disloyal to anyone, ask them to be loyal to you. Understand that they have problems and they would like those problems to go away. You’re not going to get them to make the bold move or to make the problem go away immediately. You’re going to have to be persistent with the High S and push them to accept more quickly.
How to Sell to the High “C”
The High C is a very process-oriented person who complies with all rules and all regulations, probably because they wrote them. They’re very consistent in their approach to life, very controlled, and very careful about what they do. They’re concise in the way they communicate and are motivated by quality. (Famous Examples: Tom Brokaw and Bill Gates)
So how do you sell to a High C? Tell them as much information as possible. Make sure what you are saying is backed up in writing to them. Knowing they can review all the documents later and make a decision puts “C” people at ease.
The best tactic for a High C is to under-promise and over-deliver. Be sure to know your facts going in because they know theirs. If you’re a rookie, bring your subject matter expert with you. Be complete and systematic. Show them your processes. Be prepared to show them everything. Oh, and don’t expect to have a personal relationship with this person, they don’t want to go to lunch with you. They don’t want to talk about their kids and just go ahead and forget humor. They don’t want to hear the latest joke. That’s not why they are here. They’re here for business. Be prepared for them to procrastinate. They will buy from you when they are ready and they will not be ready until they have analyzed the details and proven that the potential is greater than the risk. Always focus on the quality of the product and the service. They will buy the highest quality when they are ready.
In the end, knowing your customer and knowing how to make the connection with them can increase your sales tremendously. Take the time to build a relationship with your client. It’s the absolute best thing that you can do for yourself and your company.
We’re just scratching the surface of DISC. Log into your P1 Learning account to watch over 15 courses specific to DISC and to take your own personality test. Might we suggest starting with these five courses, DISC Introduction, DISC Questionnaire, Understanding DISC Styles, Determining Styles of Others and Mixing DISC Styles.
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