By: Executive Coach, Karen D. Nutter
Before I found my true passion in Executive Coaching, I spent many years as the VP of Sales and Marketing for a national company. One of the most important things I learned along the way, which served me well, was that people are more likely to buy from you if they can relate to you. Now, that may sound simplistic, but considering the spectrum of personalities in our society, even the “nicest” salespeople aren’t relatable to every potential customer.
Generally, people tend to gravitate towards like-minded people. Think about any networking or social event you have been to – the sports lovers are often in one corner, homemakers in another, the Gators fans are probably on one side, while FSU fans are on the other. It’s just natural for people to feel more comfortable when they are around people with whom they have something in common.
In sales, getting to know your customer can be the difference between making the sale and losing it. But, many salespeople don’t have a lot of time to spend getting a family history and a list of hobbies and interests. That’s when reading your buyer’s behavioral signals, and adjusting your approach to match, can help you close the deal.
Many companies I have worked with have successfully used DISC Assessments to help increase self-awareness of their leaders and employees, and to increase communication and productivity among their teams. (Learn more about DISC here) But, did you know that DISC can also be very helpful for salespeople?
When we know how to read someone’s behavioral style, we can adjust how we speak to and interact with them so that we are more relatable at their level. This allows us to provide the information they want about our product or services, in a manner that feels comfortable for them.
In my Buyer’s Signals workshop, I have each participant complete my online DISC Assessment, and then we review their personal behavioral style, as well as the other styles. We then look at common behaviors of each style and discuss how to apply this to customers.
For instance, if you have a customer who walks and talks fast, uses a lot of hand gestures when talking, and is very direct when they communicate, they are likely to have a “High D” behavioral style. If you, as the salesperson, have a High I (Influencer) behavioral style, you can adjust your style to better match your customer by:
Learning to recognize the cues of each DISC behavioral style, you can size up your customers more easily, and adjust your style as needed. When you combine this with recognizing some common body-language cues that indicate when someone feels defensive, disagrees, or is losing interest, you can tune-in even more effectively on your customer and what they need from you.
I am sure you’ve heard quotes about how people buy from people they know, like, or trust – by adapting your style to better match your customer’s, you become someone they know, like, and/or trust… and you close the deal!
“It’s not about having the right opportunities. It’s about handling the opportunities right.” ~Mark Hunter