Just like with leadership qualities, people think that some 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 to succeed in sales, you can also develop and improve your sales skills using the 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 or lost sales leads all have their place. "D" personalities don’t like routine and should find ways to make this task enjoyable. They could set goals for activities and results, rotating different strategies, or partnering with someone they trust to hold them accountable. The biggest fear of "I" styles 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 on future calls. "S" personality types are 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 a high number of refusals. 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 follow a process and just make the calls.
Once you have someone on the phone, the gateway to future sales is creating rapport with them. "I" style salespeople are natural at this, so the only thing to sharpen might be how authentic you come across to potential clients. If you are seen as pandering, you might be tuned 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 also prepare to deal with impatient "D" prospects. 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" has the potential to kill rapport quickly. "C" style salespeople love to do research on their prospects. This helps to find connection points, but they should limit themselves when asking questions. Otherwise, they’ll be seen as imposing and could lose potential customers. Most importantly, all DISC style salespeople should learn how to actively listen when building rapport with leads.
Along with building trust and rapport, it's important to find out the needs of your leads. Simply jumping into "intrusive" questions about their problems will yield little to no insight. "D" style salespeople are efficient but might want to rush through product features or ask abrupt questions. They should instead focus on learning from each question and not just on the end goal of a sale. “I” style salespeople simply want to enjoy the call, so they should channel their 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. "S" styles 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, "C" style salespeople 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 could potentially 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 strengths, minimizing your limitations, and flexing your style when you need to.
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