DISC is a behavioural assessment tool that can help you to understand more about your own behaviours and interactions with others. We use DISC in different training courses such as communication skills and sales training. Understanding DISC can help you understand more about how you are perceived by others and how to adapt to people who have a different style to you. Below we explore the four different DISC styles and then consider what each style is looking for during the sales process.
DISC consists of four main categorisations of behaviours. We are all a blend of all of these styles but will have one or two that are more dominant.
Are you a D?
Do you drive others towards results? Have a competitive nature? Like to keep busy and want to succeed? Are you outspoken and direct? A quick worker? The leader of the group?
Are you an I?
Do you have a wide circle of friends and contacts? Make conversation with ease? Love to work in groups? Are you confident and like to be at the forefront of the action? Impatient and eager to start?
Are you a S?
Do you forge lasting relationships with others? Bring colleagues and team members together? Think practically about how to approach tasks. Are you a good listener and empathetic to others? Patient and take your time over tasks?
Are you a C?
Do you strive for perfection in everything you do? Prioritise the process and getting things, right? Have a good eye for detail and numbers? Are you challenging on data and facts? Always asking questions to deeper your understanding? Usually right?
There are probably a couple of the styles above that speak to you more than the others. We will tend to have one style that is our dominant and a secondary style that comes out in different situations and under stress. Knowing your style and knowing the styles of others can help you to adapt your communications to be more considerate of what the other person is looking for from you.
Let’s consider a scenario where you are selling a service to an individual, knowing their DISC style can help you to adapt your communications and where you focus in order to appeal to the other person.
Selling to a D
The high D style is direct and to the point. Don’t waste their time with lots of background information and unnecessary details. Say what you have to say and do it concisely. Tell the D how your offer will impact the bottom line and results of the business. What are the headline benefits and how much will it cost? Show confidence when speaking to a D, be sure in what you say and if you don’t know then say so upfront. D’s will trust you based on your competence – do they think that you can deliver on what you say? Show your credibility and prove you can live up to your promises. Don’t over promise because when you can’t deliver you will lose the respect of the D. D’s are action people, make it really clear what the next steps are and if they are keen, they should take action quickly!
Selling to an I
The I style is warm and friendly. They are a sales persons dream as they will usually be very open to you and your offering and display lots of positive signals. They will want to be your friend and can put you at ease quiet quickly. It is important to remember though that they are not actually your friend (yet)! Stay professional but you can also take a more relaxed and personal approach when dealing with an I. Ask them about themselves and find things you have in common. I’s build trust based on the personal connection and ‘feel’ they get about an individual. Up your energy and mirror their body language and vocal patterns. The I is interested in people and loves to hear stories – talk about the success stories of your biggest clients – even better if they are their competitors! Be enthusiastic and optimistic about your offer and always consider what role this person will play – they want to be valued and seen as important so emphasise why you need them!
Selling to a S
The S style values relationships but may take a while to warm up to new people. Take some time getting to know them and their background and build some rapport. The S style values team work so use collaborative language like ‘we’ and ‘us’ and emphasise how what you are offering will impact the people in the organisation. The S will want to ensure that people are looked after and have a positive experience. The S style is also practical so talk them through the steps of what you are proposing and make sure to emphasise any potential risks and how you have accounted for them in your planning. The S may be more risk adverse so prove that your idea works and reduce the risk factor for them.
Selling to a C
C styles are meticulous and have a keen eye for details. Before your sales pitch make sure you have cross checked everything. A small mistake, wrong number or spelling error could cause you to lose instant credibility with the C. Be sure to provide the C with plenty of background information and explain and prove what you say. C styles will ask you lots of questions so be ready to answer them. Give the C time to digest the information further and don’t push them for an answer. C styles may not give much away on their face, so you won’t necessarily know if they like what you are saying or not! Don’t let this put you off! Continue to deliver your message with confidence and professionalism.
Download – DISC Guide to Reading People
Download – DISC Summary Chart