By Cheryl Savit, Savvy Words for KitchenVisions & Kevin Cradock Builders
PRO NE board member Eric Adams and President Cathy Follett welcomed members to the first meeting after the summer break. 72 members and guests attended the September meeting which featured Greg Nanigian, President and CEO of Greg Nanigian and Associates, a Sandler Training® affiliate.
Nanigian divided everyone into four groups and assigned each one as Eagles, Parrots, Owls, and Doves. The groups then had to answer a series of questions based on their “bird” profiles, including listing their characteristics and how to handle putting together an Ikea product.
The purpose behind the exercise was to discover each group’s DISC profile which explains communication and personality styles. Nanigian then went on to explain how to use this information in a sales context.
He likened each bird to a main trait as follows:
D-style – Dominant would be the Eagle
I-style – Influential would be the Parrot
S-style – Steady would be the Dove
C-style – Compliant would be the Owl
Each style has several traits associated with it, according to Nanigian, who shared a handy quick reference card with attendees.
The goal of the DISC assessment is to understand which profile best fits your personality and behaviors, and then to learn and understand the profile that best fits your sales prospects. Nanigian says that the best path to success is to communicate and interact in ways that suits your prospect. For example, when selling to a D-style prospect, be on time and prepared, direct and candid, and touch on high points. Give facts in a logical flow but don’t overuse data. Offer two or three alternatives, offer compliments and keep business and social separate.
On the other hand, when interacting with an I-style (influencer) be prepared for small talk and socializing. Allow extra time, use third party stories and humor. Likability is important with influencers. When interacting with S-style (steady) prospect, be patient and listen intently with few interruptions. Draw out their opinions and highlight the importance of your relationship with them. Emphasize reliability and deliver on your word. Finally, when interacting with a C-style (Compliant) prospect, focus on the product and service quality, giving details before final recommendations. Be organized and logical, but allow them time to think and ask questions.
One other piece of advice Nanigian offered was where to sit when dealing with each type:
At a square table, sit across from Eagles and Owls (who are predatory). With the Dove, sit at the corner and sit next to the Parrot. The most important takeaway – listening is more important than any information you can impart to prospects because they will tell you what they need. One of the core tenets of Sandler Training® is understanding your prospect’s pain points.
Nanigian offers additional sales training through his company. He is also the author of the book, “Why People Buy: The Real Reasons Features and Benefits Selling Doesn’t Work.”