Sales is the life blood of any business. And the moment you take your foot off the gas is the moment you put your business in a vulnerable position, especially in this new era of 21st century virtual commerce. The marketplace is far more competitive, and the process has evolved to include more tools and strategies for connecting with prospects.
And yet, for many professionals, sales remains a pushy, aggressive and uncomfortable process. From real estate and law, to finance and insurance, to good old fashion retail, regardless of the industry, sales professionals often struggle with this fundamental truth:
Sales is about the prospect – It is not about you (or your feelings).
Sales is an opportunity to understand the challenges the prospect is facing, and present solutions in a way that resonates with what matters most to that prospect. And what matters most will change from prospect to prospect.
So what if you could better understand the temperament, priorities and preferences of your prospects? What if you had a secret decoder that you could use to instantly connect with people and identify their influencers in order to close more deals?
Welcome to DISC. Standing the test of time and scientifically validated, the DISC model is the secret decoder that categorizes people’s personalities and preferences into a four-factor model. These four DISC “styles” explain how people approach their work, how they engage in interpersonal relationships, what their priorities are, what their fears are, and yes, how they buy.
DISC represents four styles: (D) Dominance, (I) Influence, (S) Steadiness, and (C) Conscientiousness.
We are all a blend of all four styles, and our styles can fluctuate depending on the environment or situation. However, most people tend to gravitate more strongly toward one or two styles. It’s important to note that all styles are equal and valuable in their own way. Understanding each DISC style’s unique needs and motivators is the key to harnessing the power of DISC in sales. Closing the deal begins with identifying your prospect’s DISC style.
By identifying and understanding your customer’s DISC style, you can more easily connect, build trust, and effectively present the right information to improve your sales results. It should come as no surprise that what motivates and influences a D (dominant) is not what will motivate and influence an S (steady).
So what drives each DISC style? What information should you prioritize for each? And how should you adapt your pitch or approach? Here is a guide for incorporating and leveraging the DISC model so that you can start achieving bigger and better sales results.
People like to do business with people they know, like and trust. Once you understand your prospect’s priorities, you can adapt your style to their preferences and expectations with these four easy steps.
Understanding yourself is the first step in adapting to your prospect. Connecting with people who share your DISC style is the easy part. Connecting with people of an opposite style is more challenging. In those situations, you must stretch to communicate effectively.
Use these questions to get a sense of your DISC style:
Role play and practice adapting your communication style for prospects of the opposite style. Consider verbiage that resonates with their priorities- nomenclature matters. Consider incorporating more or less selling tools and collateral to support the decision making process. You should never have a one-size-fits-all approach to the sales experience.
To determine your prospect’s DISC style, pay attention to the verbal as well as non-verbal cues.
With D-style customers, you may notice:
With I-style customers, you may notice:
With S-style customers, you may notice:
With C-style customers, you may notice:
Ask yourself, “What does this prospect want or need to know before they can make the decision to buy my products or services?” Then, identify key words or phrases to use in your sales conversations that specifically address their priorities.
In the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey said, "Seek first to understand, then to be understood" and that habit directly applies to sales.
Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes. Remember to communicate in the style they prefer and share what matters most to them about your product or service. Ask yourself:
If you’ve enjoyed learning about DISC, I highly encourage you to hone your DISC skills so you can leverage this power in your business.
Take the time to understand your DISC style so you can clearly identify the styles that are the most challenging for you to connect with (and close!). Use this guide to practice stretching beyond your natural sales style to more effectively adapt to the preferences and expectations of others, regardless of their DISC style.
And for the most effective results, I suggest taking a comprehensive DISC assessment. My preferred assessment is the Everything DISC Sales profile. It is a powerful tool that provides personalized insights into how to improve your customer interactions. It helps you understand your style and how your sales strengths and challenges influence your selling behaviors.