We’re often asked which DiSC style makes the best leader or the best sales person. Recently a blog posted about which DiSC profiles should fill various positions in a real estate office. We know that a person of any style can be a great leader or effective in sales. But they need self-knowledge and the ability to read and respond to the priorities of others. Let’s look a bit deeper.
One DiSC style might match the stereotype or pre-conceived notions you have about a role. The best leaders are D styles. The best teachers are S styles. The best accountants are C styles and the best sales people are i styles. These are stereotypes and of limited use. In reality, the most successful person in any role is one that has a deep understanding of themselves and the ability to drawn on each style within them. Remember, the DiSC model is a circle. We all have a bit of other styles on which we can draw.
Good sales people need to draw on all the styles. Sometimes they need to generate excitement about a product to get it noticed (i style). Sometimes they need to show a frustrated customer that they are sincere in their desire to help (S style). Sometimes they need to pull out all the facts to make a convincing argument (C style). Sometimes they need to push a bit to close the sale (D style). I believe no sales person remains in one style during an entire sales cycle.
Everything DiSC Sales profile
Priorities and strengths
There are indeed different strengths and priorities individuals with various DiSC styles bring to their jobs. The first three pages of the profile report cover your sales priorities, your sales strengths and challenges. So one style might easily show dependability, sincerity, and build good relationships and need some training and support to be more focused on showing competency, getting results, and taking more direct action when needed. Rejection might be harder on this style, but nurturing long term relationships with customers might come more easily.
What about the style of the buyer or customer?
The style of the buyer, customer, or client is half the sales equation. If your sales staff can’t adapt to different buying styles, they aren’t going to be as successful as they could be. Can your sales staff quickly type a customer and then confirm their style through additional interactions? A C-style customer is likely to be overwhelmed by someone using an i style of selling. An S-style buyer might feel rushed and offended by a strong D-style of selling.
A full 15 pages of the Everything DiSC Sales profile are devoted to understanding your customers and adapting to their styles. This is reflective of the current needs of businesses that are being challenged to be more customer-centric rather than product-centric. With the rise in power of the consumer, today’s challenge is to show you understand their needs, their problems, their interests.
“The essence of selling is figuring out how what you’re offering will help customers accomplish their objectives–not your objective, their objectives. Anything else is pointless and self-serving.”
How One Entrepreneur Learned to Sell (in a Barroom)
Instead of trying to hire for the perfect sales person by DiSC style, we recommend customizing your sales training to support the challenges each DiSC style faces. Increase their self-understanding and their ability to understand their customers. Provide flexibility in the support you give your sales staff. Use DiSC to help a sales team better communicate and understand each other. Sales managers can use their knowledge of styles to better motivate and manage their sales staff.
If you want an assessment that focuses on an individual’s approach to critical sales practices, we recommend the PXT Select pre-hire assessments for sales. Along with a candidate selection report, the assessment also produces reports that can be used for feedback and coaching.
If you’re trying to build a sales team that functions as a team rather than as individual competitors, or you’re trying to work better as a team with your marketing team, we recommend using The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team. This will build upon and incorporate the work your team just completed with the DiSC Sales profile.
by Kristeen Bullwinkle and the DiSCProfile.com team