Today’s clients are looking for a long-term relationship, so your ability to collaborate with your clients will make or break your career. A sale is a matching process. You match the right product or service to your client’s needs and your selling style with the client’s buying style. To do so, you must learn to adapt your style to that of your client.

The DISC styles “D” and “I” are often grouped together because they are both fast-paced and assertive. The “C” and “S” styles, by contrast, are generally quieter, slower to decide and less assertive.

However, it is not quite that simple. For example the “D” and “C” styles are alike in that they both tend to emphasize the need to accomplish tasks and get results. Whereas “I” and “S” styles put higher priority on personal relationships.

If you are a “D” or “I” style and want to deal better with an “S” or “C” style clients, remember they make decisions more slowly and privately. So, first try to be more relaxed and ask for their opinions and find ways to acknowledge that opinion in the conversation. Follow their lead vs take control. Make it a point to listen more than you speak. Do not interrupt, challenge or push the process along faster. Be tactful about any disagreement.

If you are an “S” or “C” style and want to sell better to a “D” or “I” style clients, you will need to pick up the pace. Initiate conversations, give recommendations and avoid beating-around-the-bush. Maintain eye contact, use your firmest handshake and speak strongly and confidently.

Here are a few more detailed tips for selling to each style.

Tips for selling to a D:

When it comes to a D prospects are decisive and fast-paced. What will irritate a D in a sales situation is indecisiveness and inefficiency. Don’t bog them down with excessive socializing or details – get to the point quick. Emphasize the results you can help them obtain, while always letting them feel like they’re in charge. In other words don’t waste their time.

Tips for selling to an I:

When an “I” makes a buying decision they base it on their fear of social rejection. They will consider how the buying decision will impact their status with others. Be friendly and social able. Show enthusiasm for the benefits your product or service can provide. The “I” style is not detail-oriented and are highly optimistic.

Tips for selling to an S:

When an “S” makes a buying decision it is usually based on how it will impact those around them. They want to make sure it is the right decision for everyone. It is important to listen to them and they need to feel that you understand their needs. They will want to talk over the details with someone before making the purchase. The “S” style are more loyal to you when other vendors coming knocking on their door.

Tips for selling to a C:

When a “C” makes a buying decision they are concerned about making the correct decision. They do not want to purchase the wrong product or service. They do not want to regret the decision or have others identify them as making a mistake. So be sure you have all your facts straight. You will need to answer analytical questions and show references if possible. They do not want to socialize. Be more slow-paced and formal in our approach with them. Focus on facts, logic and detailed analysis.

3 Key Steps in Applying This Method

  1. Understand your own behavior style in the sales environment
  2. Identity the prospects behavioral style
  3. Adapt your approach to best fit the prospects behavioral style needs