Identifying the 4 Buying Behavior Styles to Sell More Effectively

Written by: Lisa Rose
Identifying the 4 Buying Behavior Styles to Sell More Effectively

[Don’t miss the downloadable version of the Behavior Style Communication Guidelines at the end of this post!]

Today’s buyers are more informed and have less time to give to salespeople than ever before. Combine that with the increasingly complex decision-making process, and your salespeople are left with a very narrow opportunity to make a positive connection with a potential buyer.

That’s why it’s a must for salespeople to be able to quickly identify the buying behavior style of their prospects—and adapt their approach to match.

The fact is, people make purchasing decisions differently.

If your salespeople don’t recognize this, and instead use the same approach with every person they call on, they’re losing out on a large number of business opportunities.

Research shows that prospects are more likely to buy when they unconsciously trust and feel at ease with a salesperson. But building trust and rapport looks different with each buyer behavior style, so let’s review what each of the 4 styles look like:

The 4 Common Buyer Behavior Styles

Your salespeople can identify an individual’s buying behavior style using the world famous DISC assessment. The tool classifies behavior into four personality types with common behavioral characteristics and attitudes.

“D” Types

Dominance, or Doer types are direct and to the point. They typically have fast-paced speech and a strong personality. They tend to think in terms of the bottom line and often have a quicker, more impulsive decision-making style.

How to improve communication with “D” types:

  • Minimize features – maximize benefits
  • Focus on how your product or service can help them reach their goals
  • Listen closely so they feel they’re being heard
  • Ask specific, targeted questions and don’t waste their time
  • Keep a fast pace to match theirs
  • Give direct answers without a lot of “fluff”

“I” Types

Influence or Talker types are friendly and talkative. They typically enjoy interacting with people and like chit chat. Influencers respond well to testimonials and hearing about benefits in an upbeat, positive way. They tend to be less detail oriented, and focus more on the big picture.

How to improve communication with “I” types:

  • Be friendly and animated with your conversation
  • Ask for their ideas and opinions
  • Don’t dwell on the details
  • Provide personal stories on how other people have benefited from your solution

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“S” Types

Steadiness or Pacer types are patient and easy-going. You can identify these individuals by their reserved, indirect, but people-oriented approach to others. They typically have a deliberate and methodical decision-making style, and can resist change or anything they perceive as a risk.

How to improve communication with “S” types:

  • Don’t pressure them to make a decision quickly
  • Listen patiently and take time to explain
  • Speak with a sincere tone of voice
  • Give direct answers
  • Show you’re interested in a long-term relationship

“C” Types

Compliance or Controller types are methodical and deliberate. They tend to focus on the details and are primarily concerned about doing things the “right” or “correct way.” This buying behavior style can be skeptical and is often concerned with analytics and the effects of change.

How to improve communication with “C” types:

  • Present data to back up claims about your solution
  • Avoid asking too many personal questions
  • Slow down and answer questions precisely
  • Use a diplomatic and courteous tone
  • Be conservative in assertions

View the video below to learn about the Selling to Different Personality Types training program

Using this Information to Have Better Interactions with Buyers

As a default, most salespeople approach buyers using their natural behavior style.

The first step is to help your reps to understand their own individual behavior style, and increase their sense of self-awareness. That way, they can learn to adapt their style to match the style of whomever they’re calling on.

When your salespeople can identify and adapt to your customers’ and prospect’s buying behavior style, they have an immediate advantage over the competition. That’s why our training program, Selling to Different Personality Types, is so powerful—especially in today’s competitive environment.

Here’s a quote from one of The Brooks Group’s long-time clients:

“We use “buyer styles” as a way to differentiate our salesforce from our competitors—it has become embedded in our sales culture to such an extent that we never have a discussion or strategy session without understanding the buyer styles involved. It’s the “special sauce” in our sales culture that allows us to outsell our competition, because we “sell” to our clients the way they want to be “sold.” Our competitors sell everyone the same way; while we tailor each client interaction based on that buyer’s specific preference for communication.”

-David Finch
Owner, ATCOM Business Telecom Solutions

The Selling to Different Personality Types training program will arm your team with the self-awareness—and the ability to adjust to prospects’ behavior styles—in a way that will transform their ability to win deals and grow revenue.




Behavior Style Communication Guidelines

Understanding the behavior style of your team members and prospects is essential to better communication and sales effectiveness. Use this easy communication guide to learn the RIGHT and WRONG ways to interact with each behavior style.

This guide will show you:

  • The behavior tendencies and preferences for each of the 4 behavior styles in the DISC model
  • Ways you can improve communication with each style
  • Communication approaches that may potentially cause conflict with each style

Have a question? Submit it to The Brooks Group Help Desk and an expert will get back to you within 24 hours.

Written By

Lisa Rose

Lisa Rose is a Group Vice President of Sales at The Brooks Group. Lisa has passion for helping managers develop a unique, motivational sales culture in their organizations. She can drive sales managers who merely put out fires day to day to flourish as visionaries who can motivate their team and generate results for their sales organizations.

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