To achieve success, win sales and have others follow you, it is important to learn everything you can about people and their styles. The concept of reading and adapting to human behavioral styles has been around for thousands of years. More importantly, for decades, it has helped sales professionals in all industries sell more business, recruit qualified prospects and build profitable relationships that last a lifetime. Below are the simple steps you can follow that will help you to reach more customers.
Step 1: Know Yourself. Recognizing your behaviors in communication that may drive others crazy is the best place to start. Are you so focused on business that some feel you do not have a personal side? Perhaps you respond to emails so quickly that you do not notice typos? Do you get so caught up in details that things just do not seem to get done? Maybe you do not want to upset the status quo, so you acquiesce to other’s preferences, possibly making it look as though you cannot take a stand. Knowing the impact your communication style has on others allows you to control and adapt behaviors to meet the needs of those to whom you are communicating. In other words, be easy to listen to!
Step 2: Know Others. Most people have been raised to be polite. Therefore, out of courtesy some people may adapt to the styles of others, thus creating a false sense of approval in communication. Using a four-quadrant model called DiSC; you can ask just a few simple questions about the observable behaviors of another person. Start by looking at different dimensions by drawing a line vertically down the middle of a sheet of paper and another line horizontally through the middle of the first line. Label sides introvert and extrovert. Label the top using tasks and people. Then ask yourself “Is the person fast paced, outspoken, louder and a natural teller” or “Is the person moderately paced, reserved, quieter and a natural asker?” Then ask does this person prefer working alone or with others. This should help you determine what direction in your grid the other person’s compass points towards. If it points to the left, this person naturally gravitates towards tasks and can work very independently. If the compass points to the right, the person may be more comfortable working in groups or a collaborative environment because this person is very people oriented.
Step 3: Adapt Communications. What does all this mean to a you, your managers, your team members, or your sales representatives? People are wired differently, which means they are driven and motivated differently. Below the DiSC styles are introduced along with some helpful tips for working with the various styles.
Introducing the four DiSC styles:
- D – The model implies that someone who is fast paced, a natural teller, and comfortably tells or delegates the tasks is referred to as a D style, meaning they are very dominant, determined and direct.
- I – Someone who is fast paced, a natural teller, but more often tells things about people such as stories and jokes is an I style, because they are very influencing, inspiring and interactive. They love being part of everything and they do not like details.
- S – Someone who is moderately paced and a natural asker has an S, or steadiness style. They are very steady, they like security and safety. As askers, S people will ask about you, your family and your weekend. They are not ones for risk, but they are loyal and make great team players.
- C – Lastly, if you find there is someone who is also an asker but they ask about tasks or details. This person has a C style, meaning, conscientious, careful and cautious. They ask you for the details: the process, past performance and the next logical step.
Tips for working with various DiSC styles:
- Working with the D Style: You need to be a little more direct and to the point, be on time and do not take too much of their time. Show them what is in it for them and emphasize the bottom line as a result of what you are asking them to do. They are motivated by challenge. When making a decision, give them a simple choice of “Option A” or “Option B”.
- Working with the I Style: If you are working or selling to the I style, you should be prepared for small talk and look for an opportunity to transition to the business at hand without cutting them off. They like stories and pictures. They are motivated by challenge and they love public recognition when they win. In other words, they like the stage and the plaque on the wall.
- Working with the S style: You need to emphasize how their work or decision can positively impact the people around them. Point out facts that emphasize the safety of your product, company or service and identify how you will support and service them.
- Working with the C style: C’s wrote the carpenters rule: measure twice, cut once. They need lots of facts and data to move forward with you. They do not like small talk, and they are motivated by quality. You should be extremely organized in your approach: show factual past performance and give them all the research they need prior to decision making.
There are many tools you may use to help you learn about others. DiSC style tips were shared because there is statistical proof that this model works to improve communication. The idea of reading and adapting to human behavioral styles is not a new concept. It has been proven to help sales representatives and managers who know how to recognize and adapt to other styles become successful.
After reading the above, you should have a better idea of how knowing, understanding and adapting to behavioral styles helps you and your business to gain success. Success, better communication, and increased productivity will come through learning everything you can about the people you desire to work with.