What is the DISC method?
The origins of the DISC method
The DISC method is not new. Known in the fields of philosophy and psychology, it was created to better understand the different behaviors of individuals.
The first to invoke this method was Empedocles, who suggested that human behavior had four elements: water, earth, air and fire. It was then Hippocrates who built a theory according to which moods have an impact on our behavior.
But it was not until the 20th century that the theory was clarified, thanks to William Moulton Marston and his book on “Emotions of normal people”. He explains that to determine the main behavior of a person, it must be placed on two axes:
- A vertical axis, which corresponds to the individual's perception of the world,
- A horizontal axis, which corresponds to the way the individual acts in the face of the world.
Roughly speaking, each individual creates a behavior that corresponds to the basis of our personality. It is built thanks to genetics and our past. But we also have a “protective” behavior that adapts to the situation (example: a new job).
William Marston's DISC technique therefore makes it possible on the one hand to introspect oneself and on the other hand to determine the typologies of the different customers in order to build a commercial strategy adapted to the profile. This behavior assessment tool is very useful in the areas of sales, recruitment and management.
The 4 customer types of the DISC method
In the 1920s - it's been a while - William Marston classified behavior according to 4 typologies from our two vertical and horizontal axes:
- How do you see the world? Some people are more hostile while others are more sympathetic.
- How do we deal with the world? Some individuals, for example, prefer to evolve alone when others will promote teamwork.
In order to facilitate the use of the DISC model as well as its understanding, 4 colors have been assigned to the 4 typologies. So an energetic and in a hurry person will be associated with the color red. Some people, more warm and demonstrative will be associated with the color yellow. Others of a calm and attentive nature will be associated with green and finally organized and thoughtful individuals will be associated with the color blue.
You will understand, each individual has a dominant profile, which itself has an associated color. Be careful though, the DISC method is not there to assess your intelligence or your skills.
It is a reading grid to better understand human behavior, determine the profile of your prospects and thus adapt your speech according to your interlocutor. Because yes, each type of customer requires adaptation.
You have to learn to deal with an aggressive client as well as a frugal client who would have a hard time pulling out the wallet.
D for Dominant, associated with the color red
The Dominant is a go-getter, a dynamic, independent and direct person. She doesn't try to beat around the bush and she's hard to please. The good thing about working with a dominant profile is that it is focused on the goal at hand.
He needs a challenge, but above all he is a type of customer in a hurry, who asks to see concrete results.
I for Influent, associated with the color yellow
The Influential is social and friendly in nature. He has very good interpersonal skills, he is very demonstrative and enthusiastic. He is an understanding customer but sorely lacking in organization and can quickly get lost.
He needs to be stimulated so that he can stay focused on the goal. A too formal setting will make him lose his enthusiasm.
S for Stable, associated with the color green
The Stable is a composed, calm and methodical person. He is a patient customer who should not be rushed into his pace. You have to be able to be available and particularly attentive to your needs.
He's a loyal person, but he's also a suspicious customer, so you'll have to learn to gain his trust.
C for Compliant, associated with the color blue
The conformer is an individual who enjoys order and following the rules. He is very organized and structured, both in his business and in his words. He remains nevertheless rather reserved, he is an observer more than a talker.
Get to know yourself better thanks to the DISC method
To sell better, it is necessary to know yourself and to know which typologies you correspond to. We all have behavior that overlooks everyone else, and that defines how we react.
Knowing it and learning to channel it is a major asset! Because once you get to know each other, it's easier to understand the people in front of you and adjust to their main behavior.
It doesn't take a genius to design the DISC method to be of more commercial interest. Thanks to it, you will be able to adapt your communication and increase your chances of concluding your sales! So don't hesitate to take the test!
The more you practice this method, the more comfortable you will be in defining the typologies of your prospects and adjusting accordingly.
Imagine, you have a Dominant profile (therefore red), you are therefore rather lively and raw apple. In front of you, you have a prospect with a stable profile (therefore green) of a calm and attentive nature. By being too direct with him, you risk scaring him.
You will therefore adapt to him, and try to calm your dynamism by being more composed and listening to the person. Take your time, slow down the pace of your speaking, and choose a more muted tone. You will then be able to more easily present your arguments, carefully selected according to your prospect.
Why use the DISC method?
Use the DISC method to communicate better
In sales or customer service, the DISC technique gives you the ability to optimize your customer relationship. You will communicate better by:
- understanding behaviors and adapting,
- selecting the right arguments that will hit the mark,
- using the correct tone and rhythm.
You will understand, with the DISC method you will be able to recognize the main profile of your prospect and to adapt your communication and your own behavior. You will also be able to know which client you will get along with the best. You will then save time on your sales process!
Simple details like your gestures and the look of your words can make all the difference! For example, an Influential profile will have a hard time getting along with a Compliant, organized, and rigorous profile if it doesn't fit.
The goal is then to synchronize in order to communicate better.
If I fit a Compliant profile and don't change the way I act, I won't be able to get along with an Influential profile. I have to release the pressure a little, show myself more open and more inclined to affective demonstrations.
Thus, knowing yourself and knowing the DISC profile of your customers will allow you to synchronize more easily with them.
This will be very useful to you at every phase of the sales process: to generate your leads, to get in touch, to hold your meetings, until the sale is concluded.
Use the DISC method for your sales pitch
Questions arise throughout your sales process. Whether they are open, closed or alternate or inducing, it is imperative to choose them well!
For example, by asking a leading question to a Stable profile, the latter can claim to be convinced without necessarily being so. Closed questions should be preferred with the Influential profile, which will tend to deviate from the topic without a strict framework.
This is the art of crafting a good sales pitch. And for that, you have to be able to adapt and personalize your speech. To achieve this, you can combine the DISC method with that of the SONCAS (E) method, a psychological sales approach based on the principle of active listening.
Thanks to these 7 psychologies (Safety, Pride, Novelty, Comfort, Money, Sympathy, Ecology), this technique makes it possible to determine the psychological profile of a person in order to activate the right levers and increase the chances of a successful sale. Just like the DISC method! And this will allow you to build a solid argument.
When you have identified the typology of your client, you can then adopt your speech according to the person you have in front of you by asking the right questions and practicing effective active listening! In fact, if you want to know more about the different questions to ask a prospect during qualification, we have an article on the subject.
With the SONCAS and DISC methods, you will be able to highlight your offer:
- By giving explanations and precise details to a Compliant profile,
- By exchanging on results and benefits with a Dominant profile,
- By using shocking arguments with an influential profile to titillate his enthusiasm,
- By reassuring a Stable profile on the security of your offer and its advantages.
Use the DISC method to manage your teams
A team is made up of individuals who share the same goals. But, as you know, each individual has his own perception of the world, has his own needs and has a unique way of communicating. Everyone will have a different way of analyzing and acting when faced with a specific situation or objective.
And this is usually what can lead to disagreements and misunderstandings. But thanks to the DISC method, you can create team cohesion and collective harmony. If in your team you have an Influential profile, you can combine it with a blue profile, which will crop the first and unstuck the second.
The DISC model is also used during recruitments. It makes it possible to identify whether or not a candidate's profile can complement your team or if it can easily be integrated. You can then have a team made up of each color!
Finally, as a manager, the DISC method can also be profitable. By knowing the profile of each member of your team, you will be better able to resolve conflicts. As we know only too well, poor internal communication is often the number one reason for conflict within a team.
Also, for an employer, it is not always easy to know how to properly motivate its employees. With DISC you will know exactly how to spark excitement in your team with this behavioral analysis. For example, a Dominant profile is much more stimulated by competition than an Influential profile, who will prefer to be rewarded through some recognition.
Use the DISC model in your sales process
Phase 1: First contact
Once your lead has been identified, you will have to contact him. And this first contact, in the different phases of the sales process, is extremely important! This is your first point of contact. You will be able to contact him through prospecting methods adapted to his client type.
This first contact will allow you to build the profile of your prospect, to know more precisely who you are dealing with and you will be able to start working on the second phase: the analysis of the need.
Phase 2: Know your prospect
Phase 2 will help you analyze your prospect's needs. It is crucial to prepare a future argument adapted to the profile of your client (Dominant, Influential, Stable or Compliant). But for phase 2 too, the DISC method will be very useful to you.
For example, if you know that in front of you your prospect has an Influential profile, you will need to lead the conversation so as not to diverge. Conversely, a Dominant profile will be able to tell you what it wants and how it wants it, just as a Stable profile will need you to establish an environment of trust in order to engage.
Phase 3: Convince your prospect
The convincing part will allow you to set up your argument, which you will have built through phase 2. This is where you will combine the DISC method and the SONCAS method. By mixing the different profiles detected, you can then give the right arguments to convince your prospect.
Since you will not argue the same way with a Dominant profile and with a Compliant profile for example:
- With a Dominant profile, you have to get to the point and show results.
- You must adhere to the calm pace of a Stable profile.
- The Compliant profile needs organization and rigor.
- The influential profile requires a framework conducive to exchanges and to be stimulated.
Phase 4: Close the sale
Finally, when closing the sale, the method remains essentially the same, regardless of whether your client is Dominant, Influential, Stable or Compliant. However, if you are facing a green or compliant profile, feel free to press the last important modalities, so that he can feel confident through the process.
One last tip? As a seller, whether you are Dominant, Influential, Stable, or Compliant, it doesn't matter. It is not because your profile is said to be "Influential" that you will be able to close a sale more easily because of your sympathy, that a profile called "Compliant" which will make it easier for him to structure his remarks.
With the DISC method, you are therefore aware of your strengths and weaknesses. You are then better able to work with them.