I once went to a meeting with a friend of mine who was a really cool dude. You know the type… he wore a smart, trendy, suit with a T-shirt underneath and polished leather shoes with no socks. The plan was for me to meet his boss, with a chance of doing business with his company. It was what I thought would be an ‘easy sale’.
I assumed, as my friend was such a laid-back guy, that his boss would be the same. Oh. My. Goodness. I could not have been more wrong! I remember the moment his boss walked in the room as though it was yesterday. My friend and I had been sitting at their meeting table, chatting away and laughing about something that had happened the day before when I spotted a monster of a man walking towards us from the rear of the office. He was built like a bodybuilder – broad shoulders, muscly arms the size of my legs, wearing tight fitting trousers and polo shirt. He had a serious look on his face and was walking in a very determined manner. With every step he took, I felt smaller and started to get a sick feeling in my stomach. Maybe not such an easy sale after all! 😕
Because I thought my friend’s boss would be relaxed and laid-back like my friend, I didn’t prepare much for this meeting. I assumed (and we all know never to ‘assume’) that we would have a casual chat about potential business. Right now, as his boss was striding towards us, I just knew I hadn’t prepared enough. This guy would expect me to have done my homework on his company and put together a short, to-the-point, proposal on how I could add value to his business. He would not be the type to ‘chat’. He would not want me to waste his time. I wanted the floor to swallow me up and seriously considered running out the door!
You will lose the sale
The meeting itself was very short (not sweet) and I don’t remember much about it. Needless to say, I did not get any work with that company.
Not long after that disastrous meeting, I learned about Personality Types – in particular the DiSC Personality Profiling tool. I remember, after attending that first workshop, thinking ‘Wow! Why don’t they teach this at school?! Everybody needs to know this stuff.’ And, if you are a business owner or have a sales-related role, you most certainly need to know this stuff!
Why use a personality profiling tool?
I was so impressed, I went on to become a Certified Facilitator for DiSC. Before deciding on using DiSC as a tool, I did my research. There are a number of tools that assess people’s personality types. The one most people have heard of is MBTi or ‘Myers Briggs’. Whilst all tools are extremely useful, I found DiSC to be the most easy for delegates to understand and, more importantly, to remember and apply. In addition, delegates get to learn about their own personality type AND the personality type of others they interact with. They will leave the workshop, immediately able to identify, understand, appreciate and adapt to the four main personality types.
The thing is – we have all been taught the Golden Rule – basically, to ‘treat others the way we would like to be treated’. However, I realized – using the DiSC profiling tool – that we are all so very different and – in order to really get to know somebody and develop a strong relationship – we need to treat others the way THEY want to be treated. In fact, Dr. Tony Allesandra co-authored a book about just that. It’s called the ‘Platinum Rule for Sales Mastery‘.
So how exactly can the DiSC profiling tools help you to get more sales? Let’s take a look at the 4 DiSC personality types and learn a few tips on how to sell to each one.
What are the different personality types?
Using the DiSC profiling tool (and there is a copyright reason why the ‘i’ is lower case), we learn about 4 main personality types. They are:
- Dominant (fast-paced and task-focussed)
- Influence (fast-paced and people-focussed)
- Steady (moderate-paced and people-focussed)
- Conscientious (moderate-paced and task-focussed)
We are all a combination of all four styles, however the characteristics of one or two styles are usually more prominent and drive our behaviour.
How to sell to a Dominant personality type
People with more ‘Dominant’ characteristics are results-oriented and focussed. They don’t get involved in anything that will waste their time – and they certainly won’t allow you to do so.
You better have done your research and be prepared to show them how your product offering will add value to their business and deliver a decent ROI. If you can’t show them this, they’ll show you the door!
How to sell to an Influencer personality type
People with more ‘Influencer’ characteristics are friendly, optimistic and are well known for multi-tasking.
As they usually have lots of balls in the air, they are looking for ways to make their life easier. Show them how your product or service can do this and you’ll have their ear – and the sale.
How to sell to a Steady personality type
People with more ‘Steady’ characteristics are often the ones keeping the office running smoothly from behind the scenes.
As they are great supporters, you will do well to show them how your offering will help their boss and/or their business – ideally both!
How to sell to a Conscientious personality type
People with more ‘Conscientious’ characteristics are task-focussed and they pay attention to detail.
In order to close the deal with these potential clients, you will need to show them how efficient and effective your product is – and it better be good value-for-money.
An amusing overview of the different personality types
This funny little video will give you an overview of the four personality types. Can you recognise any of the characteristics in your potential clients?
How to master this stuff
In our signature programme – Systematic Selling Strategies – we cover one module on personality types to help you to understand and sell to your potential clients (and sell more to existing clients).
We also have a dedicated soft skills division – The People People – that delivers numerous soft skills courses, including one dedicated to Personality Types.
For all sales professionals, we recommend you take the online assessment ‘DiSC profile for sales’. As a result, you will receive a report – tailored to your unique personality type (a combination of D, i, S and C) – with 25 pages packed with valuable insights on how to close the sale no matter who you are selling to.
Get in touch now and increase those sales!
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