Trust is a must – about personal styles, DISC, and matching in sales

Trust is a must – about personal styles, DISC, and matching in sales

 

In other posts we discuss sales techniques and methods on selling value. To sell value, and be able to charge extra for that value, the value must be fully perceived… felt.. by the customer. Whether we get across with our message or not, is influenced by our styles, our behaviors in different situations, and how well we fit.  Sometimes this personal fit is simply referred to as… the personal “chemistry” between people. Let’s have a look!

 

Trust – a must

 

When we meet new people, our brain reacts by asking two questions immediately and subconsciously. The first is about how we will communicate – considering openness, warmth and trustworthiness, and the second is about the competence and knowledge. “Is this someone I will get along with and trust?” and “Is this someone I can respect and understand?”. Entering into a personal relationship with the person, the first always trumps the other. If we don’t feel we will get along with the person, the competence dimension becomes irrelevant.

 

In Sales it is generally the customer side that determines the level of trust that is needed in the relationship for the sale to take place.

 

To generate trust we need to:

  • Understand how others perceive and appreciate our behavior
  • Know how to read the behavioral style of our customer
  • Learn how to adjust our style to the customer

 

There are many models and tools that help us understand styles and behavior. But few are as simple and as well documented as the DiSC model. The reason why the DiSC model is so suitable to apply on Sales is because DISC simplifies the reality and allows us to take quick decisions.

 

 

The DISC model

 

It is out of the scope for this manual to provide all the details of the model, but we encourage the reader to learn more about the theory and the tool to gain a good understanding of the personality styles and how to adapt our behaviours.

 

The DiSC model dates all the way back to the 1930s and based on William Moulton Marston’s findings and thinking. Although far from complete, it provides some basic insights into our ways and how it is likely that we react and behave in certain situations. It is one of the most used instruments, and while it is not really measuring or evaluating our personalities, it does describe basic human behaviors.

 

 

The DiSC model identifies four different behaviour styles (D. I. S. and C). Too make the model simpler and more accesible, it uses individual color codes for each style, and tells us four different ways in which we usually react to a given situation.

 

D – Dominance Style (RED) :

 

People with a dominant style in their base behavior will see themselves as strong in a non-friendly (e.g. professional) environments. This is why they tend to try to dominate the situation and the meeting. They are straight forward in their ways, not afraid to speak their mind, find it easier than many to see how to overcome different obstacles. They are challenge driven and goal oriented. They are willing to change, but normally only if they think it can help them to get what they set their mind on. A dominant style person will perceive himself as powerful, energetic, innovative, goal oriented and resolute. By others they however are perceived as arrogant, pushy, aggressive and insensitive.

 

I – Influential Style (YELLOW) :

 

Individuals with a strong influential style will see themselves as strong in a naturally friendly environment. In general they feel they have nothing to fear from the environment and people around. Therefore they want discuss things, have others to share their opinion and try to influence them through friendly persuasion. Their primary goal in any situation is to be understood, accepted and involved. A person with high Yellow will see himself as convincing, confident, generous, inspiring and open. By others, this person can be seen as selfish, superficial, egocentric and unserious.

 

S – Steady – stable Style (GREEN) :

 

People with a predominant stability style often see themselves as weaker than the surrounding, and when given the choice prefer to be in a friendly and conflict-less environment. They are concerned with not upsetting or change this environment, and want to preserve it to continue to feel safe and good about themselves. On the other hand, to change they must first be convinced that they don’t risk losing anything at all. As a sales person, the style is often perceived as a bit passive, and with difficulties to get to a close with the customer. A stability-style person will perceive themselves as loyal, good-listener, encouragingly and calm. But at the same time others can see them as stubborn and reluctant to change.

 

C – Compliant Style (BLUE) :

 

A strong compliant-style person tend to think that the surrounding is generally hostile and thus feel weaker. Because of this perceived weakness, they don’t exercise much influence on their own. They tend to prefer working by themselves and take great care to fit into existing and predetermined structures and rules to reach their goals. To avoid risk and conflict they will analyze each situation carefully before deciding to do anything that would change the given structure. A person with high Blue will see him/herself as fact-seeking, knowledgeable, systematic, diplomatic and reflective. On the other hand this person can be perceived by others as pedantic, avoiding, indecisive and reserved.