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Selling to different behavior types


“DISC” is a behavioral model that is used to categorize the way people interact. DISC takes its name from the four participatory styles: Dominant, Influencer, Steady Relator and Compliant. A person’s style of interaction involves more than the way he or she deals with other people. It also affects the way the person processes information and deals with emotions (and people buy emotionally), as well as the kinds of activities or jobs the person prefers and how he or she completes them.

Everyone has traits of each of the DISC styles. Nevertheless, most people display a noticeable tendency toward one style of interaction. These people are referred to as “high Ds,” or “high Is,” etc. Below is a sampling of each trait.

High D, Dominant.

1) Are extroverted
2) Are very direct
3) Are bottom-line oriented
4) Need to be in charge

High I, Influencer.

1) Love to talk and interact. They need the action of others.
2) Are very personable
3) Want to be liked
4) Make quick, impulse-type decisions, often without thinking them through to the end

High S, Steady Relator.:

1) Love to keep peace
2) Don’t like to deal with conflict
3) Rarely display their true feelings
4) Do not like change and slow to make decisions

High C, Compliant (or Cautious Thinkers).

1) Are perfectionists
2) Are very detailed, accurate and analytical
3) Maintain high standards
4) Must be won over with proof, facts and more data

Dominant: When working with high Ds, you need to tell them the bottom line, give them a few choices, then let them decide how to proceed. Make the ground rules and tasks clear from the very start. Present these logically, and make a clear up-front agreements. If problems arise with a dominant, deal with them immediately, and do it in person without equivocation, accusations, or ultimatums. Be prepared to listen( low skill for too many salespeople), since high Ds are always eager to share their opinions and ideas.

Influencer: When working with Influencers they like to talk and interact. They can be impulsive and intuitive, relying on feelings, but they are not logical decision-makers. They like to combine business with pleasure and don’t get down to business, but get around to business. They need to learn to ask questions (again often a low skill for salespeople).

Steady Relators: Be aware they are amiable, patient people who know how to keep the peace and avoid conflict. Since they practice and prefer constancy and consistency, they don’t like changes (be aware of this when selling to this type) or surprises. They are deliberate and can appear slow to make decisions (another selling tip to know). High Ss are loyal, with long-term commitments.

Communicate and work with Steady Relators by taking sincere interest in their personal goals and concerns, which can win you their loyalty.

Compliant: When working with Compliants, know they cautious thinkers, detail-oriented perfectionists and their high standards follow the book. Since they are busy getting one more fact in search of the perfect answer, they may be slow or even unwilling to commit to a course of action (another selling road block possibly). Compliants are analytical and orderly in their thinking and acting, relying totally on facts and figures.When communicating with High C’s, forget small talk and pleasantries. Get to the point and give them facts, facts and more facts, presented in an organized, logical fashion.

If you are a high D or I, your relationship with Ss is likely to be difficult. High Is are exactly the opposite of high Cs, and the high C will not trust you. If you are a high D you are also analytical and task driven, but the high C's demand for more detail and time to reach conclusions will seems particularly frustrating.

Keep these traits in mind when interacting with prospects on a sales call, and you might find yourself closing more sales.

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Gary Harvey

Gary Harvey is the founder and president of Achievement Dynamics, LLC, a high performance sales training, coaching and development company for sales professionals, managers and business owners. His firm is consistently rated by the Sandler Training as one of the top 10 training centers in the world. He can be reached at 303-741-5200, or gary.harvey@sandler.com.


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