A good salesperson knows that a selling style that engages one customer may alienate another, and will instinctively adapt their approach to suit the customer – whether they’re an outgoing risk-taker, a cautious, analytical introvert, or something in between.

But many salespeople tend to sell only to their own ‘type’, and then wonder why they fail to close the deal.

DISC profiling offers a more strategic approach. By giving you the tools to understand your own natural style and identify your customer’s preferred style and pace, it enables you to adjust your pitch and successfully guide your customer through the sales process in a way that addresses their needs and makes them feel comfortable – and therefore more likely to purchase.

What is DISC profiling?

DISC profiling identifies tendencies and preferences, such as how people respond to challenges, how they influence others, how they respond to rules and procedures, and their preferred pace of activity. The DISC model uses four main reference points, or a combination thereof:

D = Dominance (direct, demanding, competitive)
I = Influence (gregarious, outgoing, sociable)
S = Steadiness (persistent, patient, sympathetic)
C = Conscientiousness (practical, procedural, precise)

Identify your type

The first step to using DISC profiling as a sales tool is to understand your own style. Think about how you behave in certain situations. For example:

• Dominant people value taking action and getting results, and tend to be direct, demanding, competitive and impatient.
• Influential people enjoy being the centre of attention, like to take action and tend to be enthusiastic, talkative, outgoing and optimistic. Unlike the behaviour of a ‘D’ person, their behaviour is collaborative.
• Steady people need stability and security. They tend to be reserved and resistant to change and enjoy working collaboratively.
• Compliant people value accuracy and detail and rely on data, rather than gut feelings, for making decisions. They tend to be analytical, reserved and cautious.

What is your customer’s type?

Next, think about your customer. Their body language and behaviour can give you clues as to their dominant type. For example, are they always in a hurry, are they talkative and enthusiastic, do they show little emotion, or do they constantly seek detailed answers to their questions?

While human beings are complex and don’t fall neatly into four categories, looking out for tendencies will give you valuable insights – both into your customers’ preferred style, and into your own most (and least) comfortable style. These insights will help you to identify behaviour that you need to adapt, or adopt, when selling to other types. If you’re a ‘D’ selling to a ‘C’, for example, you’ll need to curb your tendency to be demanding, provide detailed information, and guard against becoming impatient while they take their time to make a considered decision.

The Proven Group’s DISC in Sales Workshops

Our specialist team is accredited in using DISC profiling to improve customer relationships and boost sales, enhance workplace relationships and performance and aid the recruitment process.

We run DISC in Sales workshops that will teach you how to:
• Understand your own DISC behavioural style
• Identify the DISC style behavioural style of customers
• Persuade a customer who is a high D, I, S or C, if you are a high D, I, S or C
• Understand your selling environment
• Achieve ongoing sales success
• Solve your sales issues
• Address customer service challenges

There are many other applications of DISC, including as a tool for improving people performance. 

The Proven Group

The Proven Group provides award-winning services to employers and job seekers in Melbourne, Geelong and Ballarat. Our friendly, experienced team have an unmatched reputation for excellence in their fields of expertise and can assist with all aspects of human resources, recruitment and résumé-writing. Get in touch to arrange a confidential, no-obligation discussion.

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