Sales professionals are well-trained in prospecting and closing techniques. However, even successful ones can continue to develop skills focusing on DiSC profiles in selling.
Why use DiSC profiles in selling?
People buy for their own reasons, not the salespersons’ reasons. Selling is about building rapport and the necessary skills build that rapport. We need to quickly understand and communicate with our clients and prospects on an engaging and comfortable level. The better the rapport, the more likely they are to listen to you and close the deal.
You may only have once chance to make the sale. If you aren’t prepared, you probably won’t get another shot. Take the necessary steps to prepare wisely.
DiSC explains how we operate, our modus operandi, if you will. There are four basic steps:
- Understand that there are different behavioral styles of prospects and we cannot use the same selling style for all.
- Have a clear understanding of your own DiSC – in this case likes attract
- Identify the prospect’s style.
- Adjust your selling style to match the prospects and close the deal.
Review of DiSC Styles
A quick overview of the basic DiSC styles:
- Dominance: direct, strong-willed, and forceful (fast-paced and skeptical)
- Influence: sociable, talkative, and lively (fast-paced and accepting)
- Steadiness: gentle, accommodating, and soft-hearted (moderate-paced and accepting)
- Conscientiousness: private, analytical, and logical (moderate-paced and skeptical)
Identify Your DiSC Style
The DiSC assessment is the best way to determine your style. Complete the assessment and have it analyzed to find out which is your dominant style. You can obtain the assessment and do a self-assessment, but it is best to have it completed with a professional who can explain the nuances of each style and how to work with them.
Identifying the Prospect's DiSC Style
Keys to your prospect’s DiSC style are consistent behavior patterns, how they talk (fast or slowly), what they talk about, body language and other signals.
Your first inclination is to jump right in with product features and benefits – wrong. Get to know them a bit, ask non-work-related questions, like the weather, sports, the arts, etc. They are feeling pressure and you need to put them at ease.
You will observe whether they are more task-oriented or people-oriented - reserved or active. After learning more about the 4 basic DiSC styles you will get a sense of their dominate and secondary styles. Remember, everyone is a combination of the 4 styles. Perhaps an easier way is to determine which style they are not comfortable with and stay away from that one. Either approach is acceptable; whichever you feel belter pursuing.
Adjusting Your Style
Be observant rather than reach a conclusion based upon the prospect’s position or title. Don’t assume that an engineer is automatically a C-style person. Also, people make buying decisions on their own terms, not the same way we make them.
Sales people have to adjust to their prospect’s comfort zone. Buying may be based upon product features and functions, however, the decision process is based upon the comfort level the prospect has with the salesperson. People who feel comfortable making a decision are better prospects.
An Example – D-profile prospects
D-profile prospects tend to be decisive and fast-paced. The salesperson needs to be decisive and efficient. Provide enough information to close the sale and have the prospect close it for you. D-profiles typically want to control any situation and the sales process is no different.
You will often find that D-profiles want to see if you are up to the challenge and test you on the details, your product knowledge, after-sale follow and the like. Be prepared to answer any and all questions to gain their respect and confidence.
The DiSC process has been tested and proven to be reliable as well as durable. Understanding your profile and then discovering the profile of your prospects will result in more successful sales. DiSC does not replace product knowledge, perseverance, and other skills necessary for a successful sales career, however, keeping your profile in mind as you engage each prospect gives you a head start towards a closed sale.