One of our consultants recently completed a training programme for the sales team of a large manufacturer. The company had been using Extended DISC over the last couple of years in their recruitment process. The organisation was therefore aware of the accuracy and reliability of Extended DISC reports and was receptive to the suggestion by our consultant that the sales team could benefit from a better knowledge of Extended DISC methodology.
Each member of the sales team completed the on-line questionnaire and received their Extended DISC Behavioural Assessments before attending the training.
The training programme was based on one of our standard PowerPoint presentations designed for “Sales and Communication” training and was conducted over a six hour session. The content of the programme consisted of:
Understanding the four basic behavioural styles (D, I, S and C)
Interpreting their own reports to really understand themselves
Identifying the behavioural styles of customers
Communication and the various styles
Listening and the various styles
Adjusting our styles - How to sell to the different styles
Factors that motivate the buying decisions of the various styles
Immediately following the training, there was a noticeable improvement in communication between the individuals and the overall morale of the team. They appeared to be more focused and the sales manager reported that sales immediately increased by some 11% in the first month. That increase was again surpassed in the second month following the presentation, by another 1.5%.
As a result of this exercise, the company has now included the Extended DISC System as a core element in their training programmes.
How did a strong knowledge of the DISC Styles make all the difference?
People are naturally wired to hear differently, speak differently, and work differently.
For example, if you're communicating with a C style customer and you're a D type sales person, you'll want to be patient and understanding of their need for copious amounts of information.
If you're dealing with a D style customer and you're a natural I style sales person, you'll want to adjust to your customer by keeping the small talk to a minimum, getting to the point, and steering away from emotive selling.
If you understand who you are and how you need to adjust, it'll be a game changer.
So what is the ideal behavioural style for a sales person?
- For tough competition, direct one-off selling, and price competition, choose a person with “D” characteristics
- For abstract products, relationship selling, and new account opening, choose a person with ”I” characteristics
- For a long term process, serving an existing customer base, and after sales service, choose a person with “S” characteristics
- For technical selling, information providing and an expert role, choose a person with “C” characteristics.
So everyone can sell but obviously each style does have natural attributes enabling them to succeed in specific situations. Extended DISC can help find the right people for the specific task.