Adapting Your Style
Many of us have taken a behavioral style inventory at some point in our careers. While the intent of these inventories may differ based on why we are taking it, most of the time they are to improve communication between people of different styles.
Our organization uses DISC to measure Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. The profile that results illustrates our behavioral style and a little more about what makes us tick. The assessments are usually very accurate, and knowing the styles of others helped us communicate better. For instance, someone who has high steadiness will be more patient going through details while someone with high dominance wants the facts and wants to make a decision now.
Even if you don’t use a tool like DISC with your customers (it would be very difficult to get them to all take an assessment, I’m sure!), there are characteristics people display that can help you to make a quick assessment as to a possible style, and how to alter your style a bit to optimize communication (and maximize the sale).
People with high Dominance (D) like a challenge, and are usually risk-takers. They like to make decisions quickly based on concise information. They usually are very direct in their approach, are task-oriented, and portray high self-confidence. When selling to a D, giving them the key benefits and other information concisely is important. Burying them with words or pulling out the 100-slide PowerPoint definitely isn’t the path to success when working with someone of this profile.
In our industry, there are a lot of people with high Influence (I). These are the “people people”—those you see at a tradeshow who jog down the aisle to hug the person they just saw at the last tradeshow a few weeks ago. They value relationships, and are usually enthusiastic and optimistic. When you’re working with a high I, give them a combination of concise information (or you’ll wind up in their office chatting all day) and benefits as they relate to people while helping your customer look good.