DISC teaches users powerful behavioural profiling skills which can directly improve performance and increase productivity in a variety of settings and professional frameworks. Users learn to positively persuade other people, build teams for special projects, improve hiring & selection, empower management and of course, drive sales.
In simplest terms, DISC is an invaluable behavioural profiling system that teaches users how to identify, and use to their advantage, the predictable aspects of communication. Based on the research of Dr. William Moulton Marston, DISC is the most widely-used behaviour profiling tool of its kind, supported by decades of research and continuous validation.
Our first engagement with a prospect is the most important meeting of the relationship, in fact, it may determine if there’s going to be a relationship into the future or not! Some advance research through discussions with colleagues or interviews given by your prospect may reveal their primary behavioural style. If the meeting is absolutely cold, you would be well advised to keep as quiet as possible. Ask open questions to get dialogue moving and use the responses from the prospect to gauge their style on the spot and adapt accordingly.
Once you know the prospect’s primary style, you can adapt to it when asking the more probing questions associated with qualification. You will need to ask questions about Budget, Authority, Need and Timing (BANT), and how you ask these questions will determine how successful you are with getting the information you need. If for instance you were meeting a C (Conscientious) style, you wouldn’t spend too much time on small talk, that would be wasting their time and they think highly of it. You will need to explain the logic of your questioning, these people dislike beating about the bush.
Presenting your proposed solution can take different forms and who you present it to may determine which form. For instance, we know that D (Dominant) style people are often in charge of businesses and it is highly likely you will find yourself in front of them. They expect you to be prepared, organised and to the point. Give them few choices and back up your offering with supporting data.
Decision making on the part of your prospect will be, in part, determined by their behavioural style. S (Steady) styles for instance do not like to be rushed, they like to consult with colleagues to get across the board buy-in. They like to form relationships with people, including vendors, so trust, friendship and credibility, all at a relatively slow pace, is important to them.
Participants take an online assessment where they answer a series of multiple choice situational questions. There is no time limit on questions, so you can relax and contemplate your answer. The important thing is that you answer honestly, this is not a test that you can pass or fail.
On completion you will receive a detailed 47 page report, outlining your behavioural style in terms of your Natural style and your Adapted style. Your Natural style is exactly what is says, this is how you behave without outside interference. This style rarely changes over the years and is a true reflection of yourself. Your Adapted style on the other hand, reflects your behaviour in your current environment. It may differ from your Natural style to varying degrees depending on how you are managing your environment. The report consists of 3 Parts:
Part 1: Understanding DISC, explains the four different styles and their descriptors (e.g. D = Decisive, Competitive, Innovative, Problem Solver). Other differences include Directness and Openness, Pace (slow or fast) and Priority (task or people).
Part 2: Understanding Yourself, is based on your assessment. It gives a general overview of your behavioural tendencies in the form of a narrative. This is followed by a table of descriptors, positioning you at different levels, relative to each style (there is some of each style in all of us). It also outlines communication tips, motivators, strengths, workstyle tendencies and preferred environments.
Part 3: Understanding Others and Adaptability, putting DISC to work. It explains the concept of adaptability and how to recognise another person’s style. How to adapt your style when engaging with a person, based on their style. It also explains how to adapt your style in different situations such as work, selling and social settings.
To understand the report on your own would be impossible without the proper training so if you buy an assessment, it should come with a debrief session with a DISC Practitioner. This can take the form of an individual 1-on-1 session (in person or remote), or a group, team-based session.
As a salesperson myself, I find DISC to be very rewarding. We meet people all the time and by applying DISC, we can improve relationships with people who otherwise can prove difficult.
But it’s not all about others, in Part 2 of the report, where it talks about understanding yourself, we can learn from our own behaviour. For example, I found that my I (Influence) style, the one described as Charming, Confident, Convincing, Inspiring (let’s say my selling traits), scored lower on my Adapted style than on my Natural style. In other words, I was suppressing these traits when I should have been promoting them. This was probably caused by other pressures relative to running my own business. The awareness caused me to rethink my behaviour and correct the balance.
But the core advantage of DISC from a selling perspective is to recognise the behavioural style of our customers and prospects and to adapt our own style when communicating with them.
Brendan Dunne, Founder and Princilal Consultant, Proactibe Pipeline