How are your Acting Skills?

So many individuals simply enter into a sales scenario and act like themselves.  After all, that makes sense, doesn’t it?  The only problem is, people prefer to do business with those that they are comfortable with.  What if they aren’t comfortable with our style?  What if we are too outgoing for them?  What if we aren’t enough?  What if we talk too much for their style?  What if we don’t talk enough?  When you’ve made your own purchasing decisions, and aren’t sure who to pick; haven’t you ever said to yourself, “I guess I’ll pick “this” person or “that” company, because I just feel more comfortable with them.” 

Now, if we can be more like our prospects, at the very least, we should get those on the fence.  We should also get those that are “between you and one other company”.  A technique we discuss often in our training is “mirroring & matching”.  Mirroring & matching is the technique of acting as much as you can like your prospects.  Before you think this is manipulation, think about how you might act with a close friend, or even a family member, when they are telling you a story.  When you’re bored, do you act that way?  If you aren’t as excited as they are about the story, do you act that way?  Or, do you do your best to make them feel comfortable?

To be effective in sales, and to have your prospects be more comfortable with you, we should act, sound and behave as much like them as possible.  One tool we use is DISC profiling.  DISC profiling has been around a long time and if you ask me, they should be teaching it in schools.  If you can become effective at reading the four profiles we will review here, you will become better at reading people and adjusting your style to meet theirs.  Let’s discuss the four styles:

Dominants.  We will refer to them in this article as “D’s”.  D’s are called Dominants because they like to be in charge.  They are about power and control.  They are typically impatient, don’t like small talk and everything is about speed with them.  They are visual in nature, use their hands to express themselves and are very direct.  Because of the characteristics, they drive powerful cars, which are usually black.  You would see them with awards in their offices, or pictures of them shaking hands with leaders.  Think Bobby Knight, Simon Cowell or even Donald Trump.

Influencers.  We will refer to them in this article as “I’s”.  I’s are called Influencers because they influence others by their style.  Everything they do is about people.  How they dress, act, sound and behave are all to be noticed.  It doesn’t mean they are pretentious, it simply means that they are “people” people, if you know what I mean.  They are early adopters of trends, enjoy joking around and are almost always friendly.  They react with humor when under pressure and use their facial expressions more than the other styles.  They wear flashy colors and styles and enjoy driving fast or trendy cars, typically red or yellow in color.  Think Jimmy Fallon, Howie Mandel or Jim Carrey.

Steady Relaters.  We will refer to them in this article as “S’s”.  S’s are called Steady Relaters because they are steady and relate well with people.  They don’t have high

“highs” or low “lows”.  They get along with just about everyone.  They don’t typically tell people what they are feeling and would rather not say anything.  They are fairly conservative in nature, don’t particularly like change, and sometimes worry about outcomes more than the other styles.  They are loyal and reliable.  Remember, they need to feel comfortable with you and your solutions.  Think Matthew Broderick, Jennifer Aniston or Tom Brokaw.

Cautious Thinkers.  We will refer to them in this article as “C’s”.  C’s are called Cautious Thinkers because they are cautious in everything that they do.  They are afraid of making mistakes, want to be exact with their decisions and take a long time to decide.  They think like engineers, think in details and like to see data to support their decisions.  From a sales perspective, give them options and allow more time to consider those options.  Also, give them deadlines.  They are more quiet than the other styles and don’t use much body language.  Frankly, they don’t even really want to shake your hand.  Think Jack Nicklaus, “Spock” from Star Trek or Mark Zuckerberg.

Once you determine who you are in front of, you can adjust your style to be more like theirs.  You don’t need to be ridiculous about it, completely changing your personality or style.  But, you can slightly adjust to accommodate.  As an example, if you are a D, and working with a C, you don’t have to go from loud to silent.  Simply lower your voice a bit.  If you are an S, speaking with an I, you don’t have to come in with a “fly-in handshake” while laughing hysterically.  Simply recognize that you may need to lighten up a bit, be especially warm with them and tell them who else you have been able to help (remember, they are “people” people.  They care what others do!).  Before you know it, you’ll be landing some projects with some that you wouldn’t have before.  Why?  Because people prefer to do business with people they are comfortable with.

Kirk Armstrong