Employers and employees alike have used personality assessments for years. Employers like these assessments because they help gauge how employees fit within a team or department; employees like them because they both affirm strengths and suggest ways to improve upon weaknesses.
Although dozens of personality assessments exist, not all assessments are created equal. For salespeople, the DISC assessment provides a particularly powerful tool for improving performance.
What is the DISC Assessment – and What Can It Tell You?
“DISC” stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance – the four behavioral traits on which the assessment focuses. Created by psychologists William Moulton Marston and Walter Vernon Clarke, the assessment offers a way to better understand yourself and your responses in interpersonal and leadership situations.
The DISC assessment is not a comprehensive personality analysis. Instead, it focuses specifically on the skills and traits you display in interpersonal relationships. By narrowing its focus, the DISC can help you:
- understand what support you need to be most successful;
- connect with customers and co-workers more effectively; and
- improve interpersonal communication in all areas of your life.
- Improve your closing ratio.
The focus on interpersonal communication and relationship building makes the DISC particularly useful for salespeople.
How to Leverage Key Strengths/Weaknesses to Improve Performance
The four main DISC categories come with the following strengths and weaknesses – and offer the following opportunities for each:
- High-D people tend to be driven, ambitious and strong-willed, sometimes at the expense of understanding others.
- Low-D people tend to be unobtrusive, cautious and agreeable, sometimes at the expense of failing to speak up or missing an opportunity.
- Low-D people also have a tendency to be less assertive at the close, and readily accept a prospect’s reasons NOT to buy.
High-D salespeople can leverage their ambition to seek new prospects and land deals, but may need to practice listening and responding in the moment. Low-D salespeople may find they’re good at finding compromises and making clients feel heard, but may need to practice asserting themselves “in the moment.”
- High-I people tend to be enthusiastic, warm and persuasive, but may skip over facts to make others happy.
- Low-I people tend to be logical and incisive, but may overlook the importance of obtaining mental and emotional “buy in.”
High-I salespeople often have charismatic personalities, but may struggle to manage details. Low-I salespeople are likely to know their details cold – but may be so cold they have trouble connecting with certain prospects.
- High-S people tend to be patient, laid-back and loyal, but may have trouble taking initiative or leading the charge.
- Low-S people tend to be impulsive, restless and eager; they may love seeking new prospects, but have trouble completing the deal.
High-S salespeople excel at making clients feel supported without feeling pressured, but they may struggle in an environment where “rainmaking” is a must. Low-S salespeople, by contrast, may love the “meet and greet” but need structure to follow up on new prospects.
- High-C people tend to be detail oriented, conventional and demanding of high standards, but may have trouble being innovative or flexible.
- Low-C people tend to be unsystematic and creative, but can struggle with routine or accepting that a “tried-and-true” process really is the best option.
High-C salespeople can easily leverage their high standards to advance their own careers, but must take care not to smother other team members or clients with too-rigid demands. Low-C salespeople benefit from taking some time to think carefully about the team’s processes and appreciate the ways in which they are already sufficient for the task – and how they can be improved.
Each of us tend to sell based upon the composition of our own DISC. However, every prospect buys based upon THEIR DISC. Are you able to quickly recognize the behavioral style of your prospect, and make the necessary adjustment?
What is your behavioral style and how can you leverage it to sell more?
Want to improve your sales? Hahn Training, LLC can help you analyze your approach, create a plan and build toward effective change. Contact us today for a complimentary DiSC Assessment.