Have you ever received a referral, called them up and it went all wrong? Well, I have, and it is not fun. Today’s blog is an introduction to personality styles and how developing an understanding can help make you more preferable. So here is the scenario. When you get a referral from your referral source, the first step is to have a conversation with your new prospect, right? WRONG! Don’t let your excitement cloud your judgment about the opportunity. As soon as you get the call from your referral source and before you even think of picking up the phone and calling the prospect, I suggest that you start digging around to find out everything you can about your prospect and his company. There are a few things you want to find out: How old is the company? What is the prospect’s main line of business? How successfully does it compete? What products or services of yours might be of most use or interest to the company? Will you be competing with other vendors for its business?
Now, and most importantly for your success, learn about the sort of individual you’ll be dealing with. What’s his personality type? Is he detail oriented?
If so, he might want to see a lot of collateral material or samples. Is he hard-driving and results oriented? He might just want to talk about your offerings, see your track record, and make a quick judgment. Does he like to have fun while doing business? Perhaps you’ll join him on the golf course. If he’s all business, the office environment is probably better. Don’t call up wanting to play golf if your prospect is a bottom line kind of guy who just wants a one-page proposal showing that bottom line. You will miss the mark.
Adapt yourself to the person you are meeting. This will make your meetings much more powerful and productive. The model we use for understanding personality styles is DISC. It stands for Dominant, Inspiring, Supportive and Compliant. I will give a brief overview below. We will dedicate one future blog to each style so stay tuned.
First, a quick history. DISC was developed by William Marston. His work was showcased in Emotions of Normal People in 1928. DISC has become known as the universal language of behavior. The basic power behind this is to learn that I’m me, you’re you, and how do you and I become we?
Below are a few characteristics of each style:
D’s are Determined, Driven, Results Oriented, Bottom Line kind of People. They are great leaders and starters.
I’s are Loving, Bright Dressing, Life of the Party kind of people. They will want to take you up on that golf game. Life would be boring without I’s. They lift us up.
S’s are Supportive, Caring, Loving, and Great Listeners. They are the people that everyone goes to when they need support. They have the shoulders we all cry on.
C’s are Competitive, Planners, Focused people. The C’s finish up what the rest of us start.
A few examples of the different styles follow:
|Clint Eastwood (movies)||Steve Martin||Mother Teresa||Mr. Spock|
|Mike Ditka||Bill Cosby||Abraham Lincoln||Bill Gates|
|Madonna||Jay Leno||Tom Brokaw||Benjamin Franklin|
|Lee Iacoca||Dolly Parton||Gandhi||Thomas Edison|
|Fidel Castro||Oprah Winfrey||Andy Griffith||Clint Eastwood (real life)|
Your job is to figure out what style you are and to figure out how to sell to all the different styles mentioned above. A little daunting? No worries, we are going to publish much more information in the blog on each style. The intent will be to help you figure out which style you fit into and, more importantly, how to adapt your style to those around you so you will get more referrals, build rapport faster and close more deals.