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What Is The DISC Assessment Profile And How Can It Help My Sales Team?
The DISC Assessment profile is an important training opportunity for any sales team. It is one of the tools many sales reps have started to utilize as its reputation for personality assessment has grown among sales leaders and their companies. So what is the DISC Assessment and how can it help your sales team?
Mads Singers is a management coach. He has been in the management field for 15 years and has worked with industry giants such as Xerox, IBM, and more. For more than seven years, Mads has been running his own business.
What is DISC?
DISC is a behavioral framework similar to Myers-Briggs. It’s a framework to help people understand themselves and other people. The acronym DISC stands for:
- D: Dominance
- I: Influence
- S: Steadiness
- C: Conscientious
Everyone is born unique; however, there are traits that certain groups of people share. If you look at a sales team, for example, you can see that many members have similar personalities. Salespeople, as a whole, tend to be assertive and focused. Typically, they are also comfortable around other people. These are traits that most successful people have so sales managers tend to be drawn to these types of personalities when hiring sales reps.
DISC is immensely effective when looking to hire the right people for the right jobs. Many assume that people are motivated by money but the truth is that people are motivated by goals and having the ability to achieve their goals.
Facing the challenge
There is a challenge when you are selling to someone who is not like you. Salespeople need to understand the different ways other people think. Sales don’t just happen from a meeting. Rapport has to be built and it’s not as easy when the seller and the buyer don’t connect to people in the same way. For instance, people from software and technology companies aren’t your typical salespeople. They don’t talk as much and they want to cut straight to the point. This can be a very abrupt style of communicating for buyers who need more of a relational approach. For such different personality types, it’s harder to build rapport because the style of communication is so different. The salesperson has to be mindful that they will not always get to sell to a client the way they themselves want to be sold to. It’s up to the salesperson to uncover what style is needed for each unique client.
Different Personality types
There are four personality types reflected in the DISC Assessment:
- D - Dominance
The high D personalities are very driven people. These are the people who don’t usually smile a lot because they’re constantly thinking. They are focused, law-oriented, money-oriented, and power-oriented. They are the people who will do whatever it takes to get whatever they want to get. You will find a lot of these people at the highest level in big organizations because they are willing to do whatever it takes to meet their goals. These personalities push people to the extreme but they are willing to work just as hard or harder.
- I - Influence
High I personalities are typically salespeople. They tend to be loud and talk a lot. They are the storytellers. Sales managers hire these personality types because of their ability to network and talk to strangers. Because of this they usually know a large pool of people. In sales, referrals are essential and high I’s know how to call in favors. They have a very positive mindset and know-how to inspire people to follow them toward their goals.
- S - Steadiness
The high S groups are the moms and uncles of the team. They are the ones who are more focused on others than on themselves. Their happiness comes from drawing out other peoples’ joy and they don’t adapt well to change. High S’s are people-focused but aren’t the ones who are going to start a conversation. They’re in the corner wanting someone to initiate the discussion first
- C - Conscientious
Lastly, the high C personalities are the accountants and financial people. They love learning every minute detail and will ask a lot of technical questions. They are generally shy, however, and prefer not to have verbal communication. They are very detailed and want to know everything about everything. Salespeople who don’t know their product well fail to make a sale with Cs.
Hiring the right sales reps
Most salespeople are high Ds and high Is. These are the people who have a mix of high drive and are also excellent networkers. One challenge with having an assessment test for salespeople before hiring them is that most people will tell you what they think you want to hear. Some can tweak their tests to have a result similar to what you’re looking for. The other challenge is that people don’t know themselves well enough to give accurate answers.
Just realize that natural behaviors do not change. Even when your personality changes, your natural behaviors stay the same. There is hope for people who are hiring. People can learn coping traits. Someone who is naturally loud, for example, can train themselves to be quieter around quiet people.
Identifying the person you’re talking to
There is an easy way to connect with someone who has a different personality trait or communication style. Watch them and mirror their speech and/or body language. Try to adopt some of what you observe as you’re talking.
When you meet a person with a different personality and you want to sell to them, adjust more to their behavior to build a significantly stronger rapport with them. If you are a high D and talking to a high S is a challenge, mirror them and they will likely warm up to you.
From a management point-of-view, you can hire people even when they don’t share the same personality as long as they help you build value for your business. If you want to be more effective with people around you, try and behave more like them. It doesn’t mean you turn into them but you’re going to have a much better relationship if you can match the behavior.
If you are selling to someone different than you, you can mirror behavior to help build rapport. #SalesTips
“What Is The DISC Assessment Profile And How Can It Help My Sales Team?” episode resources
Reach out to Mads Singers via his website. He also has a training course called Management Mastery that’s designed for business owners. If you have more sales concerns, you can also talk to Donald about it via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns.
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