6 min read

Do you know how often your sales people turn customers off?

Do they know?

How to Understand and Approach the 4 Main Buyer Styles.

Have you ever been turned off by a salesperson?
Learning and applying behavioural intelligence to understand the 4 main buyer styles helps increase sales.

As Certified Professional Behavioural Analysts (CPBAs), we understand the importance of learning about and applying behavioural science to personal and professional relationships. We've worked with many from C-suite leaders, sales teams, administrators, professional service firms, to the U.S. Marine Corps, and with each of these groups it was easy to see the value and ROI for learning about behavioural styles. But not everyone gets it. No matter where you are, it's easy to find examples of the "sales fails" that result from a lack of behavioural intelligence.

Even with the growth of online marketing and artificial intelligence (AI), good sales professionals continue to be in demand, and their skills can be amplified with new technology. However, the human touch doesn’t guarantee success. Can you recall an experience where you were “turned off”, and opted not to buy a product or service because of the behaviour of a sales person?

Do you know how often your salespeople turn customers off?

Do you think they do that intentionally? With their compensation likely based on establishing a successful relationship with the client, they probably don’t mean to offend.  But the best of intentions are of little value when you don’t have the knowledge to carry them out. I once walked out of a car dealership, resolving to change car brands and end a relationship that spanned over 12 years and 3 vehicles. My previous sales manager, Gord, was no longer there and the new guy was an awful listener – more like a vacation timeshare salesman at month end. He most certainly wanted to keep me as a customer, but his behaviour drove me away.

Studies show that clients change suppliers mainly due to their dissatisfaction with the human interactions, rather than with to the product. The behaviour of a sales professional has an enormous amount of influence on the client or customer’s decision to continue or to conclude a relationship.
Studies indicate that:

  1. Buyers and influencers tend to feel comfortable with and buy from sales professionals that display behavioural styles similar to their own.
  2. Sales professionals tend to sell more effectively to people with behavioural styles similar to their own.
  3. When sales professionals adapt their behavioural style to that of the client/customer, their sales increase.

In short, a behavioural style clash can result in a sales crash.

Whether it be in financial services, real estate, professional services or B2B, most traditional sales development focuses on the same few areas. Salespeople everywhere focus on following up on target marketing, identifying and understanding needs, building trust, qualifying, handling objections, closing skills, etc. Although these sales competencies are important, the ability to use them in a way that uniquely matches each customer will largely determine their effectiveness. If you want to build trust with your clients, the ability to understand their behaviour and adapt yours to match it will be a critical success factor.

The 4 DISC Buyer Types

There are a variety of  4-quadrant behavioural profiling systems (like DISC) that are available to help you learn about your behavioural style. Full Disclosure: We use a special integrated psychometric instrument with Motivators and DISC that is highly validated by TTI. (Sales Leaders, see below for how you can receive a complimentary profile.)

The D (Dominance) Style

Tends to be: extroverted, fast-paced, strong, direct personality style, task-focused, direct communicators, and comfortable with taking calculated risks aligned with their goals.

Best Approach (to communicate with the D style):

  • Be prepared, brief and on point.
  • Focus on alignment of product or service benefits with their objectives. Listen, then maintain a fast-paced response.
  • Be direct with responses, staying on track.
  • Maintain eye contact, strong tonality, and a firm handshake.

The I (Influence) Style

Tends to be: outgoing, fast-paced, extroverted, creative, conversational, optimistic and people-oriented.

Best Approach (to communicate with the style:)

  • Use a friendly approach with engaging tonality (not monotone). Listen to their ideas and goals.
  • Use references from people they know or admire in similar purchasing situations. 
  • Focus on big picture benefits for them (or for their organization if B2B).
  • Don`t dwell on all details, but do offer to send them the follow up information.

The S (Steady) style

Tends to be: relaxed, introverted, people-oriented, reserved, a good listener, indirect communicator, a team player and  risk-averse.

Best Approach (to communicate with the S style):        

  • Use a sincere, friendly, calm approach.                                        
  • Listen patiently without interrupting.
  • Don’t pressure them to make a decision immediately. (Sometimes it is better to send them information in advance, or follow up later, allowing them time to review.)
  • Use a relaxed conversational pace.
  • If you offer guarantees, don’t over-promise without fully delivering as you will be challenged to earn back their trust.

The C (Compliance) Style

Tends to be: analytical, detailed, task-oriented, introverted, and more interested in quality and accuracy of  work than the pace.

Best Approach (to communicate with the C style):  

  • Use a professional, conservative and direct approach.
  • Use a measured, patient pace, allowing them to ask detailed questions. Be prepared with facts and data to support your presentation points.
  • Listen carefully and respond to questions with attention to details requested.

If you’re a sales professional, behavioural science can help you and your team…

1)  Gain some self-awareness about your own behavioural style, and

2)  Understand the different styles of clients, customers and prospects, to engage them more effectively than the competition.

You’ll be rewarded with superior sales, increased business and referrals.

P.S. If you're in sales leadership and planning a team meeting, we'd be delighted to provide you with a complimentary profile. Just drop us a note here>. (https://www.xlteamwork.com/complimentary-sales-leader- profile)


XLTeamwork.com, works with organizations to enhance Team, Sales and Leadership Effectiveness at Conferences and Meetings. #sales #salesmeeting #salesconference #salesteam #salesdevelopment #salestraining #salesmanagement.