People do business with people they like. Also, the people we like and spend time with are people who are like us and do the things we like to do. In sales, one of the key ingredients to success is to make the buyer love you, or at least like you more than your competition. This article presents one approach about how to make that happen.
A hallmark in the sales training and development business is the DISC profile, which categorizes and labels peoples’ communication styles. William Moulton Marston, a physiological psychologist and creator of the first functional polygraph, created the DISC characteristics of emotions and behavior of normal people after conducting research on human emotions. His theory was developed into a personality assessment tool by industrial psychologist Walter Vernon Clarke, and then simplified into its current version.
You can take your own free DISC assessment online by going to http://www.123test.com/disc-personality-test/. We strongly encourage everyone whose success depends on interacting with others to complete this short assessment.
The DISC profile is founded on two dimensions; Assertiveness or Ego Drive (on the y axis), and Responsiveness or Empathy (on the x axis). See the illustration to the left. Communication/personality styles are placed into four quadrants based on the individual’s assertiveness level (ego drive) and responsiveness level to others (empathy).
You can see some of the characteristics of each style.
Historically, about 56% of us fall into the “Influencer” quadrant and another 36% of us are in the “Driver” quadrant. So when we run into a “Compliant” or a “Steady”, we really need to adjust our style.
The most difficult person to connect with is the one diagonal to you. For example, a Driver will have the hardest time communicating with a Steady, and a Compliant will have the hardest time communicating with an Influencer. The closer you are to one of the lines or to the middle, the more you are able to adapt to different situations and the more easily you’ll be able to alter your communication styles to relate to others.
Here’s how this relates to sales and getting your buyer to love you. Say you are an Influencer, which is a high % of salespeople, and you are trying to sell to a Compliant. Because of your high level of assertiveness compared to the Compliant, your buyer might think you are just another pushy salesperson. Additionally, your need to be empathetic to others compared to a normally low level of empathy on the part of the Compliant, your buyer may think you are wasting his time with small talk and/or non-specific things about
To get your buyer to love you, or at least like you more than your competitors, you need to do the following:
- Quickly assess your buyer’s communication/personality style – Is your buyer assertive, action-oriented and/or dominant? If so, your buyer is probably on the high side of the DISC matrix. Is your buyer friendly, open, gregarious, high energy? If so, your buyer is probably on the right side of the matrix.
- Modify your communication style to match your buyer - Once you identify your buyer’s communication/personality style, you need to modify your own to fit into the same quadrant as your buyer.
Some tips for altering your style to get your buyer to love you…
- If your DISC profile has you on the high side of the matrix and your buyer is on the low side, you probably need to slow the pace and be less assertive.
- If your profile has you on the left side of the matrix and your buyer is on the right
side, you’ll need to communicate in more creative, conceptual ways; and be
friendlier, gregarious and express more interest in the individual.
Remember, people do business with people they like. By quickly assessing your buyer’s DISC style and altering your own to align with your buyer, you’ll be able to relate more easily and effectively with your buyer and make a stronger personality connection.