The Keys to Improving Sales Performance: Knowing Yourself and Understanding Others

July 19, 2021

Grid of a variety of headshots on different colored backgroundsMick Hunt, My Strategy Box

Within every company, sales professionals work hard when prospecting to find new opportunities. When we land that very valuable first meeting with a prospect, making the sale becomes our number one priority. We spend time collectively researching the prospect and have a solid plan in place to execute the perfect presentation to ensure the win. Even with all the effort of preparation and planning, sometimes we don’t make the sale. That disappointment leads to us to replay the meeting in our heads, trying to determine what did we miss, what went wrong?

Of course, there are many reasons why our prospect might say no. Maybe the product wasn’t a good fit or money was an issue, unfortunately, that’s just the world of sales. But if we dig deeper, sometimes the issue was our ability to effectively communicate with our prospect. We failed to find that critical point of connection that leads to a signed contract. In sales, creating that connection with our prospects is the key to closing the deal. Developing the right tools to successfully identify and understand our prospect’s needs is crucial to creating that important connection, establishing trust, and facilitating communication.

Behavior assessments can build better communication skills

Before we can develop the skills to more effectively communicate with our prospect, we first have to understand our own behavior style and how we are wired for communication. In order to enhance and improve sales performance, many successful companies are turning to behavior assessments as a way to provide their employees a roadmap to help develop more effective communication skills. One of the most widely used tools in today’s business environment is the DISC assessment. The DISC assessment can provide valuable insight into an employee’s behavior and communication profile based on four styles:

D (Dominance): Results driven and competitive. They are often impatient, are not great listeners, and make decisions quickly.

I (Influence): Social and people oriented. They talk more than listen, can be emotional, are energetic and enthusiastic.

S (Steadiness): Reserved and structured. They are good listeners, calm, and like to maintain a harmonious environment.

C (Compliance): Quiet and task oriented. They make decisions systematically and logically, and are very disciplined.

The DISC assessment determines how we behave and communicate in both our Natural Style and Adaptive Style. In simple terms, our Natural Style is the behaviors we resort to when we are being true to ourselves. Our Adaptive Style is how we adjust our behavior when working with others. Understanding the difference between each DISC style provides the tools to improve our sales performance, by helping us establish better communication and therefore, better aligning us with our prospects.

Behavior assessments in action

Try this - during a meeting with a prospect pay close attention to their communication style. Listen to the information they provide or withhold, observe their body language, measure their time spent talking, and the questions they ask. These observations can help to uncover their DISC style and enable us to adjust our DISC style to meet them where they are the most comfortable. This may take some practice, but over time, you’ll begin to quickly recognize the DISC traits and determine if you need to pull back or enhance your style.

For example, when you meet with the prospect, do they want to have a social conversation and get to know you first (I)? Or maybe the minute you walk into the room, they want to jump right into business (D)? If you are not an I-style, it may be more difficult for you to spend time talking about your weekend, or if you’re not a D-style you may want to socialize first. Either way, by adjusting your style to mirror the prospect’s style, they begin to feel more comfortable, which in turn builds trust. This doesn’t mean you have to completely change who you are and your behaviors. It is simply an opportunity for you to make small adjustments that can lead to big results.

Improve business performance with behavior assessments

Behavior assessments are also extremely useful within a sales organization. Sales leaders and sales professionals should be aware of each other’s styles to foster better communication, establish better team building, and to utilize team member’s DISC styles where there is a specific area of need. When sales managers take the time to learn their team members DISC styles, they can lead more efficiently and develop their team to perform more effectively. The assessment can also be a great tool when hiring new employees. Employers can assess a candidate’s style to see if they will be a good fit for a certain role or if they will struggle to perform.

Behavior assessments help to generate better self-awareness and personal growth, while also helping to create an environment of teamwork and cohesion. We first have to know ourselves before we can understand others, and implementing behavior assessments in a company is a great way to improve sales performance and take the sales organization to the next level.

Do you and your team a favor and start utilizing Assessments. It will be game changing for both your team, and your prospects!

Cover of 2021 Issue 4 of Smart Choice Magazine, titled "The Marketing Issue: Weathering Any Storm"2021 Marketing Issue: Weather Any Storm

In this issue of Smart Choice Magazine, we’re providing advice from agency owners, Smart Choice State Directors, Content Marketing Experts, and more, to help you put together effective strategies to finish out 2021 strong. See why now is a great time to be an independent agent in this market and economy in the 2021 Issue 4 of Smart Choice Magazine.

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