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How to Use Personality Types to Improve Agency Sales

Posted by Mark Duval on May 4, 2016 6:30:00 AM
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Have you tried applying personality types to your agency sales process? Find out why your prospect's personality type can be a significant influence on your new business success, and how you can use it to your advantage.

We’ve all heard it said before: to excel in sales, you need to be a chameleon. But I don’t agree with that. What I do believe is that you need to provide the information the buyer wants, in the manner they want to receive it. To do that, you need to understand your buyer’s personality type.

To help us in our sales efforts at The Duval Partnership, we use DiSC®, a personal assessment tool that measures Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness in individuals. Full disclosure, this is the tool we use in our sales training for agencies.

For obvious reasons, I’m not suggesting you ask clients and prospects to take a personality test. That would be an awkward conversation, indeed. What I am suggesting is that you familiarize yourself with the general personality types and use this information to inform your lead profile, alongside other lead intelligence.

A quick overview of the four DiSC personality types & communication tips for each of them:

1. Dominant = D

About: The dominant personality type is often found in the C-Suite, in leadership roles such as CEO, CMO, or COO. The key characteristics that define this type are decisive, tough, impatient, competitive, and independent.

How to approach this personality type: When selling to a D-Style personality, keep it results oriented, stay on subject, be direct and brief. Focus on the task and stick to business.

2. Influential = I

About: Most salespeople are I’s. The key characteristics that define the influential personality type are: sociable, talkative, open, emotional, and talks more than listens.

How to approach this personality type: When selling to an I-Style personality, show enthusiasm, smile, and chat. Let them talk. Avoid becoming too detail focused or showing negativity, remain optimistic.

3. Steady = S

About: The steady personality type is often found in mid-level marketing. They are team players and are most interested in building consensus. The key characteristics that define the S-Style personality are calm, steady, laid back, caring and patient.

How to approach this personality type: When selling to an S-Style personality take your time, avoid pressure, and be sure to provide assurances and support.

4. Conscientious = C

About: An example of where you might find a C-Style personality type would be in the role of CFO or Procurement. The defining characteristics of this personality type are: precise, exact, and disciplined. This personality type tends not to express emotion.

How to approach this personality type: When selling to a C-Style personality type, provide detailed information, do not pressure them for immediate decisions, and keep the chatter or small talk to a minimum.

Using Personality Types to Improve Agency Sales: Summing It Up

Certainly, all of your prospects aren’t going to fit neatly into one of these four generalized personality types. Nevertheless, they have practical application, despite their broad strokes. If personality types are not already part of your lead profiling and persona development mix, you will find them useful as a safety check against delivering the wrong information in the wrong format, which will hit all the wrong notes. Perhaps you already incorporate personality types to some degree, but could go further to use them in shaping your messaging for greater impact.

Ultimately, this information can help prevent you from damaging opportunities to build agency new business. You improve your chances of connecting with your clients and prospects — and closing deals — when you speak their language and respect their preferred style of communication.

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Image credits: Ⓒllhedgehogll via istockphoto; modified by resizing, text overlay, cropping and filters.

This was originally published on LinkedIn Pulse by Mark Duval on March 31, 2016.

Topics: Biz Development Prospects & Lead Generation

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