Ever shopped for software with your team when some of you cared deeply about functionality and interconnectivity, and others cared most about price? Or deciding on a new hire when one of you prioritized soft skills and the other pushed for technical mastery? It’s a battle, and one of you is guaranteed to be disappointed.
Different people are motivated by different things. Obvious, right? Yet we often forget that when talking to prospects, blasting them with the same pitch as if all shared our preferences.
Back to our software illustration, what if the sales rep pitched you heavily on the product’s affordability, celebrity clients and awards, if all you cared about was, “Can it automate that task I hate and never want to touch again?” No bueno.
No wonder prospects stop opening your emails and scrolling past your ads and memes. Even worse: Those same prospects might buy the exact thing you’re selling from a competitor because the competitor nailed their motivations.
What to do if you’re not a natural mind reader and master of charisma? You borrow from behavioral science insights: DISC, to be specific.
DISC as a Mind-Reading, Desire-Driving Tool
In short, DISC is a personality assessment tool that stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Conscientiousness — four personality types that value different things and respond in specific ways. Each of us fall into one of those four types, although we also have a secondary type.
How they break down:
- Cares about ROI, outcomes
- Wants quantitative evidence
- Blunt and honest
- Gets to the point; turned off by fluff
- Persuasive, people-person
- Enjoys prestige, wants you to make them look good
- Optimistic, likes to collaborate and take action
- Fears loss of influence or approval
- Dependable, values stability
- Prioritizes trust and relationships
- Enjoys advising and supporting others
- Doesn’t like to be rushed
- Slow, analytical, objective thinkers
- Values facts, organization, accuracy, details
- Fears being wrong
- Enjoys independence, opportunities to grow and show their knowledge
How can this knowledge help you sell?
Understanding the personas you’re targeting enables you to hit the right points that make your target say, “Yes! You get me! That’s what I need!” It’s one way we help Sapphire clients pinpoint what resonates best with their prospects: Rather than basing their content strategy on hunches, DISC gives them the best chance of connecting with buyers’ emotions and earning a Yes.
The how-to basics: Before crafting your marketing content or sales pitch, identify the decision-makers you’re targeting, and which DISC quadrants they fit into. Sometimes, you also need to sway a secondary audience — team members influencing the buying decision (e.g. a non-techie CEO that must approve an IT purchase). Think about their DISC profile as well. Keep in mind people can fall into more than one quadrant — I and S, for instance.
Once you’ve identified the DISC types you’re targeting, use that insight to craft messaging that speaks to their values.
What about other personality assessment tools?
Like DISC, Myers Briggs is a popular personality test we often see in hiring/employee screening scenarios. For selling purposes, we advocate using DISC for a few reasons:
- Myers Briggs is focused on the individual, instead of interpersonal interactions.
- Myers Briggs offers 16 possible results, while DISC offers infinite possibilities depending on where you land in the four quadrants.
- “[DISC] is easy to understand and it works,” argue behavioral consultants at the Discovery Report. It’s also easier to apply and remember, they add.
Finally, keep in mind your audience will have different types of learners: Visual (65%), Auditory (30%), and Kinesthetic (5%). It’s helpful to create content in different formats to cater to all learning types.
Know that feeling when you come across a meme, article or message that feels like someone got inside your head and wrote something that resonates 100% with you? That’s the experience DISC enables you to deliver. It’s also the experience that puts money in your pocket and attracts customers that believe so much in what you do, they’ll bring others along.