The DISC assessment is a type of personality test, intended as a tool for improving productivity and team communication in the workplace. At Growth Idea, we use this tool to help understand different styles of working and suggested natural behaviours or preferences, so that we can more accurately match tasks to natural strengths.
However, it is also possible to utilise this understanding to enhance your mentality about sales and to utilise knowledge of different personalities to improve results.
This week, we take a look at how DISC profiles work and the natural behavioural style of each type.
DISC Profile Explained
Each DISC profile consists of two layers (see image below):
- Directness & Openness
This includes people with a more direct style vs indirect and open vs guarded tendencies.
- Pace & Priority
This includes people with more of a fast page vs slow pace nature, as well as being more task orientated or people orientated.
When layered upon one another this creates 4 profiles, with 4 dimensions to each style.
These 4 styles are as follows:
D – Dominance – faster-paced, task-oriented, direct style, guarded nature
I – Influence – faster-paced, people-oriented, direct style, open nature
S – Steadiness – slower-paced, people-oriented, indirect style, open nature
C – Conscientious – slower-paced, task-oriented, indirect style, guarded nature
Do we fit into a single style?
It is important to remember that this is not a rigid matrix, which describes everyone perfectly, the dominant style just suggests our prevailing, natural behavioural style and how we will most likely react in a given circumstance. We will each also have elements of the other styles in our results when taking the personality assessment.
For example, if it is suggested someone is a C type personality, it suggests that those traits will be more apparent in the behavioural style of that person.
Being able to adjust your style to others, based on their behavioural style is key. We all know that, from social experience, when someone comes across as very different in their demeanour to you, it can be quite jarring and difficult to communicate with them comfortably. It is usually easier to relate to those that are on the same level as you and exude the same energy levels as you. That same concept can be applied here.
Prospects will react more positively if you communicate with them based on their own profile, rather than your own style, if it differs. Being able to adjust your behavioural style is called Adaptability and can feel a bit alien but will get easier with practice. You will find great salespeople already do this on some level without realising it!
Doing this will help to build those all-important confidence levels in them and therefore increase the chance of a sale.
You can read more about building and maintaining confidence in prospects here:
Recognising behaviour in a sales scenario
Once you understand the different aspects of each, you can start to paint a picture of the kinds of behaviours you might expect to see in a person with each category of dominant personality type.
In a ‘High-D’ personality type, we can expect to see them be more demanding and daring. They know what they want and how they can get it and they will be more likely to talk about themselves and relate things to their own experience. They will exude self-confidence and value status. Detail is less important to a ‘High-D’ and any motives for purchase will most likely be emotionally led.
A ‘High-I’ is a highly emotional and sociable personality type. They are very open in their nature and talkative, with a creative mind. They are the ideas people in the room. They may not come across as particularly clear in their buying motives or their needs. This will be because they are partly rational and partly emotionally driven. Being liked and accepted is a key factor for a ‘High-I’ and they will usually have lots of friends and acquaintances due to being more outgoing and open.
The ‘High-D’ personality type is a good listener, very patient and friendly in their nature. They may not come across as a particularly decisive person due to their more relaxed style but they are great team players as they are keen to please. In a buying scenario, they may not be overly clear on their buying motives, which is a result of their more indirect disposition.
Someone that is more naturally a ‘High-C’ may be a bit more difficult to read in a buying scenario as they are very limited when it comes to expression or cues and they could be reluctant to communicate until comfortable. Unlike the ‘High-D’, they are very detail focused and analytical, which will mean that they come prepared and have done their research beforehand into what they are looking for. They prefer to have good logic and evidence for a purchase rather than opinion. You might find that they tend to ask open-ended questions.
I hope this understanding of how each personality type manifests is helpful to you and your sales team. Ideally, as the business leader, you should ensure that your staff are all trained to recognise these traits in your customers. We are certain this will help them to close more deals and get better results for the business, we have seen it in practice across multiple businesses and sectors!
If you would like to discuss using the DISC assessment to better understand your customers or even to increase co-operation between team members, please feel free to get in touch. We would love to help.