Just like with leadership qualities, some think people either have excellent sales skills by birth or not at all. While personality, often seen as an inborn trait, does make it natural for some salespeople to succeed in sales, you can also develop and improve your sales skills using the PeopleKeys' DISC Personality System as a guide. Here are a handful of key sales skills you can sharpen when you use your DISC Sales results to strengthen and flex personality styles:
Sales prospecting is one of the most challenging sales skills for anyone. Cold calling, asking for referrals, and reaching out to past closed-lost sales leads all have their place. The “D” personality doesn’t like routine, and so should find ways to make this task enjoyable to them. They could be setting goals for activity and results, rotating the different strategies, or partnering with someone they trust to hold them accountable. For “I” styles, their biggest fear is rejection, and their most significant strength is their social skill. Their focus should be on defining what prospecting success looks like, thus setting their expectations for the amount of rejection they may face. They should keep in mind that, even if you don’t get the lead today, your pleasant nature will be remembered in future calls. An “S” personality is built for routine, so they will naturally create and adhere to a call plan. They don’t like confrontation, so they should prepare themselves for the high number of refusals, but their steadfast nature will create success by working the process. Finally, “C” styles will naturally analyze potential success rates, but this may render them ineffective if they don’t take action. Give yourself a time limit for analysis and flex your “S” style to just make the calls.
Once you have someone on the phone, the gateway to future sales is creating rapport with them. The “I” style is a natural at this, so the only thing to sharpen might be how authentic you come across to them. If you are seen as pandering, they will tune out. Most “S” styles are good listeners and will be prepared with background questions. Their desire for positive personal relationships is a plus, but they should prepare to possibly deal with a “D” prospect who will be impatient. Speaking of “D” styles, they will benefit from outlining a “script” and researching the prospect ahead of time. Their need to get to the “bottom line” will kill rapport quickly. “C” styles love to research, so this helps to find connection points, but they should limit themselves when asking questions. Otherwise, they’ll be seen as imposing and lose potential customers. All styles should learn how to actively listen when building rapport with leads.
Hopefully, you have built trust and rapport, and can find out more about the needs of your lead. Simply jumping into “intrusive” questions about their problem will yield little to no insight. The “D” style wants efficiency and will either rush through product features or ask abrupt questions. They should instead focus on learning from each question and not just the end goal of a sale. An “I” style simply wants to enjoy the call, so they should channel that positive energy into asking engaging questions about the prospect’s challenges. As they learn more, they will be able to create better solutions, resulting in the approval they crave. The “S” style will once again be prepared; however, they should take care not to stick to the script. Instead, they should be open to learning more about the prospect’s problems and change the follow-up question based on the previous answer. It’s not a survey; it’s a discovery. At last, the “C” style will be curious about the details, and this will create excellent follow-up questions on-the-spot. They need to be careful not to dig too deep into irrelevant information. Overloading the lead with details can irritate them, and the sale will lose its momentum.
These skills are just a few that lead up to asking for the order. Knowing your personality style will go a long way to capitalizing on your strength, limiting your downside, and flexing your style when you need to.
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