Today’s Dear Coach is about the benefits of using behavioral analysis in your business. As a coach, I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me because they are struggling with their sales or with leading their team. Once I dig a little deeper into what’s going on, I often find that the problem is rooted firmly in miscommunication and a misunderstanding of how others around them make decisions. The good news is there’s a simple, bang-for-the-buck tool that you can use to head off these problems, and it’s called the DISC assessment.

For well over a hundred years, psychologists and social scientists have studied and classified human behavior. In the late 1920s, the psychologist and inventor William Moulton Marston found himself more fascinated by the behavior of average people than he was by abnormal psychology. Based on his research, Marston found four primary characteristics that motivate the behavior of typical people. He described them as Dominance (D), Inducement (I), Submission (S), and Compliance (C). For a more modern take, I refer to them as Director, Influencer, Supporter, and Contemplator. Instead of intelligence, mental health, or values, the DISC assessment measures your behavioral style. The four categories of scoring reflect how you respond to challenges, how you influence others, your preferred pace, and your compliance with rules and procedures.

When it comes to your business, think for a moment how powerful it would be if you led a staff meeting knowing how to appeal to every person in the room. Or made a presentation to a prospective client using information and language that accurately connects to what they value. Or what if you were able to anticipate your current clients’ needs, the types of service they’re really looking for, and were then able to increase your retention and recurring revenues? These are very real examples of what you can achieve for your business when you know how to genuinely connect with others.

We’ve all heard of the “Golden Rule”: Treat others as you wish to be treated. The problem with that rule is it assumes everyone shares your perspective and values. I prefer the “Platinum Rule”: Treat others as they wish to be treated. So as an example, let’s look at what happens in a sales situation when you are not conscious of how you behave in relation to the person you’re presenting to. The following are four common scenarios I have repeatedly encountered as both a consumer and a coach. See if any of these sound familiar:

  1. You speak quickly and bottom line everything thinking that you’re being respectful of the prospective client’s time. In reality, they find you brusque and aggressive. You do not get the sale.
  2. You are chatty and reveal personal information about yourself thinking that you’re establishing a rapport with a prospective client. In reality, they find you self- centered and unprofessional. You do not get the sale.
  3. You are quietly reserved and keep opinions to yourself thinking that you’re not bragging or being too forceful. In reality, the prospective client is left feeling that you are not qualified or confident. You do not get the sale.
  4. You provide lengthy analysis and information to a prospective client thinking that you’re helping them to make an informed decision. In reality, they are overwhelmed by details and feel unheard. You do not get the sale.

Regardless of your business or industry, everything comes back to people. Your products, services, systems, financials, and sales are greatly influenced by your ability to communicate clearly, and that’s why behavioral analysis is such a powerful business tool. You can learn how others think, what motivates their behavior, and ways to meaningfully connect with them. Apply that knowledge to your sales efforts, and it can be a huge boost to your bottom line. For step-by-step details of how to apply the DISC in your sales efforts, check out my book on Amazon. It’s called DISC: Leverage Your Nature, Increase Your Sales, and the link will be in today’s show notes.

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Small Business, Big Voices: Episode 8