Is your Personality Style hurting your business?

When you first meet your clients as someone responsible for selling in your own businesses, or someone in a sales role in an organization, do you believe the best way to be is to simply to be yourself? WRONG. Being yourself means you are going to get it wrong three out of four times (75%) and when this happens, you shouldn’t wonder why you didn’t close the deal.

With certain client personality styles, you should not be getting into “shoot the breeze” or a “chit-chat” before getting down to business discussions. You need to be building rapport with purpose as you kick off conversations that are empathetic and meaningful to your client, and in a way that they want to hear it. After all, these discussions are about the client, not you.

You must be thinking, “Where am I going with this?” Well, as a human being you have a distinctive personality style that makes you unique. The same goes for your clients and colleagues whose personalities could be totally opposite to yours. Therefore, you first need to understand what your dominant personality style is, and if it differs to theirs, be able to adapt it when communicating with your clients and building that first key connection. 

If you are not adapting your style to that of your clients, they will not emotionally connect with you and it will be like oil and water – you won’t blend into one. Before we go further, let’s be clear on one point – this is not a sales tactic to manipulate a client. This is treating the client and communicating with them in a way that they prefer. You just need to work out what that way is.

Have you ever met someone and thought, “I wish they would stop talking so much and get to the point”; “this person is so boring”; or “what an arrogant leader — so full of themselves”. This proves that behavior is observable, because how could you possibly analyze a person’s intelligence, motivators, education and personal skills in such a short period of time?

Chances are that person has a different personality style to you, that is why they are rubbing you up the wrong way. This is a classic example of DISC personality clashes occurring.

There are four dominant DISC personality styles — Dominance, Influencer, Steadiness and Compliance. So how can you overcome these thoughts and feelings which are barriers to your sales success?

On the other hand, if you are communicating with a client that has the same personality style as you – then less adapting is required, as you should have a lot in common.

When DISC first entered my world

Twenty years ago, I took my first DISC personality assessment and it changed my life for the better; it was the catalyst in accelerating my sales success. When I brought it into my personal life, I could understand why my husband drove me nuts and made me realize what I needed to do ­­— understand his personality style, be adaptive and that would bring out the best in him! 

Today, as a DISC Certified Behavioral Analyst, I have interpreted, debriefed, trained, and successfully implemented the results of hundreds of assessments with CEOs, Business Owners and their respective teams, which often results in a “WOW” experience for them as each person suddenly realizes the strengths and blind spots of their own personality style. For us to understand others, it starts with us first truly understanding who we are. 

When it comes to effective communication and relationship building with your clients and colleagues, becoming a DISC expert is a game changer. So, what is DISC?  DISC defines human behavior and each letter stands for a distinctive personality style:

(D)  Dominance – How you respond to problems and challenges

(I)   Influencer – How you influence others to your point of view

(S)  Steadiness – How you respond to the pace of the environment

(C)  Compliance – How you respond to rules and procedures set by others

How many of you have more than one child? If you do, are they exactly the same? No, I hear you saying. So, do you have to use different strategies to get them to do stuff? Well, your clients and colleagues are no different.

What is DISC exactly?

  • It is the universal language of behaviour and emotions. The HOW of what you do. Not the Why.
  • It is the foundation of EVERYTHING.
  • There is no good or bad, right or wrong style in DISC. Winners come from different styles, so do losers.
  • It does not measure intelligence, values, skills, experience, education, training and personal skills.
  • It is an observable language. For example, think about what you do when you go to an airport, you watch people. By watching how people behave, dress and talk can tell you a lot about their DISC personality style.

An Owl and an Eagle don’t look or act the same

We have all come across salespeople who have outgoing, talkative, emotional, and enthusiastic personalities. They will sell in a way that feels most “natural” to them. Every time they meet with a client or get on a call, they sell in a way that they would like to be sold to without thinking twice about it. Most salespeople don’t think twice about the why and how of what they are saying to a client.

An outgoing, emotion-based personality is great when you are selling to a client who has that personality. But what if your clients are more reserved, analytical and more logically minded? What if they are more cautious to taking risks and less optimistic? Do you really think that that outgoing natured salesperson will be successful with this type of client if they don’t make any adaptions to their personality style? The answer is No.

Why does DISC matter when selling?

From a sales perspective DISC:

  • Gives you the realisation that the communication and delivery style of your personality will not always work on two different clients
  • Allows you to learn a relationship language for the good of others to help you understand your client’s needs more accurately
  • It encourages better client communication and authentic relationship building with emotional balance (meaning knowing when to adapt) that is empathetic and compassionate
  • Increases our understanding of others and how they prefer to be communicated to, their priorities and how they wish to be treated

Getting the above points right will dramatically increase your sales success. The superstar salespeople know that they must modify their behavior and the way they communicate based purely on the personality style of the person sitting in front of them to close more deals.

Michelle Strydom is a global sales expert destined to sell, lead and, coach With a sales career spanning over 20 years, Michelle Strydom, the founder of The SMG Group, is a brilliant and accomplished sales and business leader with an impeccable pedigree. She has mastered and honed her discipline at the coalface, as the head of multiple global sales and retention teams. Whilst most will say sales is difficult – Michelle will disagree – this is a profession that you not only can thrive in but also have fun whilst you reap the rewards of sales success. Having had zero understanding of what sales is all about, she went onto to become a top seller and Sales Leader on two continents. She now trains and coaches CEOs, Business Owners, Sales Leaders and Sales Managers who are struggling to improve their sales results, a highly effective and practical 8-step “Sales is Fun” process. She is also a certified Behavioral, Motivators and EQ Analyst with TTI Success Insights, and an Emotional Intelligence Certified Coach with Goleman EI. Her captivating energy, experience and passion for sales has entertained clients from all corners of the world. Michelle’s zest for life is “unquenchable” and she touches the hearts, spirits, and minds of all who come her way. Put it this way, once you have experienced her, you will never forget her!