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Selling with Style – How to close more sales.

October 19, 2010
Would you change your behavior to achieve more sales?

If the answer is YES, keep reading.

Behavioral research suggests that the most effective people are those who understand themselves, both their strengths and weaknesses, so they can develop strategies to meet the demands of their environment.

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Research also proves that salespeople who are aware of their own style and learn to blend with the prospect’s style are able to increase their sales.

In sales, we need to communicate effectively about the value of our product or service and what the benefit is to the buyer.  

How you communicate your message through your gestures, your tone of voice, your pace of speech and your words will create positive or negative impression with the prospect.  In fact, your body language and tone affect 93% of the message and your words are just 7% of the communication.

What this means that the best-written sales presentation is not about the words, but about how they are delivered, and, most importantly, how the delivery matches the prospect.

So in creating effective communication, we first need to be aware of our own behavioral style.

There are four major styles,  You can remember them with the acronym D-I-S-C which stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance.

The first type “D”, is Dominant.  This is your CEO Type, very little patience with people.  He/she wants the job done now, no reasons, no excuses, don’t do it tomorrow, yesterday would be preferable.  The D type is the person who looks at the organization’s needs and drives it toward those goals.  He or She will exhibit ambitious, forceful, decisive, strong-willed, independent, and goal-oriented behavior. 

27% of the US population is Dominant.  Some famous High D’s are Barbara Walters, Michael Jordan, Hillary Clinton and Sam Donaldson.

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The second type, the ”I” type, is the Influencer.  The Influential person is the one everyone likes to be around.  Instead of being task oriented, the Influencer is people oriented.  He or she likes to tell jokes, is the life of the party and can definitely liven up a meeting.

He/She will be expressive, enthusiastic, friendly, demonstrative, talkative, and stimulating. 26% of the US population is High I and some famous examples are Arnold Palmer, Bill Clinton, Oprah, Arnold Schwarzenegger.  

The third type, the “S” Type stands for Steadiness.  This person probably has been with the organization for a long time and will continue to be because the S person doesn’t like change.  The S person is your best team player and wants consensus, wants everybody to be happy before moving forward.

The S person will be patient, predictable, reliable, steady, relaxed, and modest. 23% of the US population is High S.  Some famous examples are Laura Bush, Michael J. Fox, Tom Brokaw, Mother Theresa, Gandhi, Mr. Rogers, and Magic Johnson.

The 4th style is the C style for Conscientious.  This is the person who wants you to adhere to every rule.  This might be the CFO who controls the budget.  The C type does not like change.

The C Type will be dependent, neat, conservative, perfectionist, careful, and compliant.  24% of the US population is high C.  Some famous examples are Diane Sawyer, Spike Lee, Ted Koppel, Jack Nicklaus, Kevin Costner, Monica Seles, Bernard Shaw, and Barbara Stanwyck

Less than 2% of the population would be considered a pure behavioral style, so we are all a combination of all 4 styles with 1 or 2 being primary.  None of the styles are better than the other because each style brings strengths and weaknesses to the situation.  Each can be a winner, and a team needs all four styles to win.

Salespeople who are aware of their own style and learn to blend with the prospect’s style are able to increase their sales.

Hiring Solutions interactive programs give organizations the capability to inventory employee talents and create personalize development plans that capitalize on unique individual strengths.

The first step is to know you.  Do you know your dominant style?  If not, Hiring Solutions offers the Success Insights Report for $90. 

The Success Insights assessment immediately produces a personalized report with valuable information unique to you.  It provides insight into the following areas:

• General Characteristics – Your preferred work style based on natural behavior.

• Value to the Organization – Your contributing behaviors.

• Checklist for Communicating – How others can effectively communicate with you.

• Don’ts on Communicating – What others should avoid when communicating with you.

• Communication Tips – How you can adapt your own communication to other styles.

• Ideal Environment – Your preferred work atmosphere.

• Perceptions – How you view yourself and how others view you.

• Descriptors – Words that portray you based on each of the four quadrants of behavior.

• Natural & Adapted Style – A four-quadrant comparison of your natural and adapted style.

• Keys to Motivating – The keys to what motivates you in the workplace.

• Keys to Managing – The needs you have that your managers must address.

• Areas for Improvement – Your possible limitations that identify areas for development.

• Action Plan – You create a customized plan from the report and discussion

• Behavioral Hierarchy – How your behavior style ranks within eight common areas in the workplace.

• Style Insights Graphs – An easy visual of your natural and adapted styles.

• The Success Insights Wheel – A visual illustration of your behavioral adaptation.

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The next step is to read the person you are speaking with:  As you talk to the person, there will be many clues to observe:  

1.  What is their title or position in the company?  Owners and presidents tend to be high D, Sales reps and sales managers tend to be High I, Comptrollers, accountants, operations directors tend to be high C.  Team members tend to be S types.

2. Are they extroverted or introverted?

a. Extroverted and friendly = I –happy to talk and chat about you

b. Extroverted and direct = D – first to command the situation.

c. Introverted and cooperative = S – happy to let you talk and will do what you suggest

d. Introverted and analytical = C – needs to see proof with lots of details, no chit chat

3. What is the appearance and atmosphere of their office?

a. Business like, functional, fast paced, prospect running late, may interrupt you, is the D type.

b. Cluttered, personalized, stimulating, with photos and awards, fast paced is the I type.

c. Relaxed, personal, informal with nameplate and photos of possessions is the S type. 

d. Formal, neat, orderly, uncluttered, unhurried, well prepared is the C type. 

The last step is to adapt your style to the person you are speaking with (or selling to).

When speaking to the High D type:

• Be clear, specific, brief and to the point

• Stick to business. Give an effective presentation.

• Come prepared with support material in a well-organized “package”.

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When speaking with the High I type:

• Provide a warm and friendly environment

• Don’t deal with a lot of details, unless asked.

• Provide testimonials from people they see as important

When speaking with the High S type person:

• Begin with a personal comment—break the ice.

• Present yourself softly, nonthreatening, and logically.

• Earn their trust—provide proven products.

When speaking with the High C type person:

• Prepare your “presentation” in advance.

• Stick to business—provide facts to support your presentation.

• Be accurate and realistic—don’t exaggerate.

By adapting to the communication style desired by the other person, you will be more effective in your communication with them.  You will be able to create great rapport with them more quickly and establish trust, integrity, and likeability.  

Remember, people buy from who they like!

To learn more about communication style, take the Success Insights assessment, or to book a Dynamic Communication or Selling with Style workshop, call Maryanne Preston at 239-851-6906 or  Visit 


One Comment leave one →
  1. October 28, 2010 8:06 pm

    Welcome to Blog World Maryanne! This is a great way to inform us on what’s going on. I’m already subscribed! Thanks!


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