Do you know who you are selling to?
It’s hard enough pitching a sale, particularly if you can’t even see the client, but just relying on feedback over the phone. We already have the “advancing the sale” article on the website, but coupled with this insight it might just help you to see the target in a different light. In the same way you need to know how to manage your manager, equally you need to understand the thought process of your potential new client.
D.I.S.C. is a simple psychometric test to analyse managers (and support staff) to help recruiters/employers balance the team to optimise the teams performance or sift out the wrong personality types for a particular role.
D: dominance, demanding, assertive, aggressive, forceful, competitive, need to win, fear failure, works unsupervised and requires clear instructions.
I: influential, charismatic, likes involvement, excellent communicators with a wide vocabulary, ideas and co-operative. Fear rejection and need love.
S: steadiness, security, personal, question and support, information gatherer trustworthy and sincere. Does not like change or surprises.
C: compliance, responds to authority, logical, qualified, requires proof, law abiding. Does not like disorder or confrontation.
OK, whilst you are reading this and if you are in your office you will now be looking at your colleagues and analysing them accordingly.
Naturally we are not all D’s or S’s or C’s but we are a lot of one and a fair bit of another. Imagine you were running a meeting and all your staff were D’s!! You would get nothing but interruptions, or if they were all C’s then you would be asked “Why did you say that, what proof can you offer to back up your claim?”
So now we know the 4 types, if you are in sales as a profession then you should be pretty high on either D or I and probably low on either S or C.
But the person you are selling to may not and very likely will not be the same as you, so now you have an advantage. The advantage is; partly knowing the person you are selling to is not like you and partly because you are looking for clues as to the type of person you are selling to.
So who are you selling to and how do you change your sales pitch accordingly?
Lets start with the most obvious one the D for dominance.
Typical ‘D’ personality types are often business leaders and will often force their will upon others, typical examples would be, Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher, your sales director! Or if they haven’t reached the top yet you can spot them on the way up, pushy sales executives, sports enthusiasts and entrepreneurs (they love winning and fear losing/failure). They may come across as arrogant or brash, the words “thank you” does not part from their lips often. Small on small talk, big on getting down to the big issues, so if you pitch to these characters do not waste their time with small talk, you will lose their interest and business in seconds. Just tell them how they can win with your business.
Typical ‘I’ personality types are charmers by nature, probably charismatic and very persuasive. Again many sales executives and sales managers, office managers, team leaders. To pitch a sales to these types use flattery, the need for love and a fear of rejection. An ‘I’ personality will indulge in a little small talk before getting down to business, but keep it short and inspiring and seek their involvement in the decision process. A typical ‘I’ personality would be an Estate Agent, entrepreneur, Customer services, retail manager, recruitment consultants, in fact in almost any business that deals with people in either B to C or B to B sales/account management environments.
The ‘S’ personalities are the ones you are least likely to sell to, not because they are not easy to talk to, in fact far from it they are very easy to talk to as most support staff are in any company. ‘S’ personality’s are often found in administrative roles, secretaries and research roles, (such as researching where to place an advert) or researching CV’s for a colleague in recruitment. They are not front line sales by nature nor are they senior managers or decision makers. However whilst you are researching your quarry it is very likely you will come across these types and here you must learn how to recruit them for your own networking and sales research. The ‘S’ type considers fair play and the need to understand their instructions as a high priority, but won’t necessarily communicate to others their information, they are slow to trust others and once they have decided they like someone will be very loyal. To cross a ‘S’ personality is like the kiss of death, they will not forgive and often not forget.
The ‘C’ personality types are very logical by nature, you can’t sell them anything without 100% proof and a rock solid guarantee. A typical ‘C’ personality would be qualified in a single field of expertise, would be a rule follower and possibly a rule maker, but never one to cut corners and break rules. If a ‘C’ personality was given a task it would be done to the letter, exactly. They are also quite creative but in a very narrow field of knowledge. Typical ‘C’ types can be Doctors, lawyers, nurses, IT programmers and teachers. Before they buy anything they will research the product or service thoroughly so have lots of statistics and facts ready to hand before you pitch. ‘C’ types do not like surprises and cannot cope with confrontation.
Obviously we are not all one single personality type any more than a horoscope prediction about a Leo or an Aries is true. As a Leo you may have big hair (like a lion) and roar, but also your chart has an ascendant star like Scorpio, thus bringing out other personality traits, this is also true of D.I.S.C. personalities.
Therefore you may be pitching to the office manager with a high ‘I’ but will also have a high ‘C’ or ‘S’. A nurse may have a high ‘C’ but may also have a high ‘D’ where as a Barrister will have a high ‘I’ and a high ‘C’ (need to know the law-C, but needs to charm the court-I).
High D and high I could be your boss, particularly if they are persuasive, charming, arrogant and completely forget to pay you on time. (Low C)
Another example of a C type is a traffic warden, why? Because rules are rules!!