Buying Style #1 – The Decisive (D Style)
The four buying styles are based on the DISC behavioral model, and they control how we like to communicate and be communicated with, how we prefer to make purchasing decisions, and the speed with which we prefer to make them.
The first buying style is called the Decisive. These buyers have a clear picture in their mind of what results they want. They are often seen as “Type-A” people, preferring to make buying decisions very quickly. They are more often interested in “winning” or “promoting their own agenda” so they like to buy when they feel they have “gotten their way,” so to speak. They are attentive to actions or communication that will speed up those results. Discussions about details and minutiae are distracting to these individuals. They prefer to discuss top-line, big-picture concepts when considering the value of any offering.
Selling to Decisive buyer (looking for results and efficiency):
- Be practical and efficient (avoid theory)
- Highlight opportunities for change and adventure
- Avoid overly emotional discussions or opinion-based arguments
- Accentuate independence and competition
- Challenge their idea, perhaps, but not them personally
- Stick to the big-picture, bottom-line business at hand
- Be quick and to the point (do not waste their time)
- Likes new, innovative things
- Let them be in control
Decisive buyers are Innovators = they will buy unproven, brand new, cutting-edge solutions that have not been proven by anyone else in the market. They revel in the chance to be the first to try things. Sales key = Let them lead…NOW!
The odds of running into a Decisive buyer are 10-15% in the general public.
On connection and speed:
When Connecting with Decisive buyers don’t try to connect very much. This buying style prefers more professional relationships, may distrust you if you start asking all kinds of questions about their family and seek to become their new best friend. Coming on too personally is to be avoided with this style.
Regarding pace, when dealing with Decisive buyers you can move quickly and have a shorter sales cycle. They don’t require as much evidence; are prone to making rash decisions with less rational thought and more instinct, or gut intuition. Be aware that if you take too long in your sales cycle, you will hurt your chances of closing the sale. Decisive buyers don’t like to take too long to make a decision, and hate getting caught up in the details.
Buying Style #2 – The Interactive (I Style)
The second buying style is called the Interactive. These buyers want to shape and mold events and enjoy “getting their way” when it comes to negotiations or buying something. Unlike the High D, however, High I’s tend to go about this by working with or through people – much more collaboratively. They are interested in people and like to interact with others, understand others and to be understood by others. They are most receptive to making a buying decision when they feel a sense of connection with the person, are in a more social environment and have had the opportunity to express their emotions, thoughts, fears or excitement about the offering first. Like the High D, this person is also particularly inattentive to details, preferring to stick to the big-picture and emotional benefits of the solution.
Selling to Interactive buyer (looking for interaction and an experience):
- Avoid challenging them or personal conflict
- Don’t aggressively close or push
- Be enthusiastic and express emotions
- Let them talk!
- Highlight potential improved appearance, social standing, approval by others
- Have fun!
- Accentuate the “newness” factor
- Name dropping is not a bad thing here (if done tastefully, of course)
Interactive buyers are Early Adopters = almost as brazen as the Decisive buyer, but they really appreciate social proof as well. Be sure to point out how your solution allows them to “join others” who are leading the way, pushing the boundaries and blazing new trails. Sales key = Listen twice as much as you talk!
The odds of running into an Interactive buyer are 25-35% in the general public.
On connection and speed:
When connecting with Interactive buyers you can connect more. Actually, doing so will improve your chances of signing their business. Not doing so will hurt those chances. Regarding pace, when dealing with Interactive buyers you can move quickly and have a shorter sales cycle. They don’t require as much evidence; are prone to making rash decisions with less rational thought and more instinct, or gut intuition. Be aware that if you take too long in your sales cycle, you will hurt your chances of closing the sale. Also, Interactive buyers hate getting caught up in the details.
Buying Style #3 – The Stabilizer (S style)
The third buying style is called the Stabilizer. These buyers are more passive and introverted and interested in the how and why of a solution (i.e., the details and minutiae that the I and D couldn’t care less about). Their primary interests are in maintaining stability within themselves and whatever situation they find themselves in. Messages that don’t address the specifics, or that champion radical change, are likely to alienate rather than resonate. They prefer to buy things that will increase the stability in their lives, provide more security, and are well known and well proven. They prefer to “take their time” more than any other dimension so any offering should give them plenty of time to decide.
Selling to Stabilizer buyer (looking for security and stability):
- Avoid conflict (with them or trashing anyone else, even those not present)
- Reassure and reduce risk as much as possible
- Provide structure, step-by-step details and security
- Give them ample time to decide (as in days or weeks in some extreme cases)
- Accentuate your support and commitment long-term (think family)
- Be sincere, modest and unassuming
- Don’t get too personal too fast
Stabilizer buyers are Early to Late Majority buyers = not wanting to be on the front lines like the high D’s and I’s, the Stabilizer buyer prefers to wait until they can be certain that the risk has been minimized, others have tried it first and they are joining the majority. Sales keys: slow and steady wins this race!
The odds of running into a Stabilizer buyer are 45-50% in the general public.
On connection and speed:
When connecting with Stabilizer buyers you can connect more. Actually, doing so will improve your chances of signing their business. Not doing so will hurt those chances. Regarding pace, Stabilizer buyers prefer to take it slow, not be rushed and get familiar with all the variables before making a decision. Push this buyer too fast and they will balk. You have to take it slowly and provide lots of security and certainty with this buyer.
Buying Style #4 – The Conscientious (C style)
The fourth and final buying style is called the Conscientious. These buyers are also more passive and introverted. Like the High S, they too take a much more detailed (the most) and accuracy-based approach to their buying habits. Their buying decisions are very much driven by questions of accuracy, detail, reliability, level of proof, etc. Without sufficient data to prove any statements made to a High C, you will fail to achieve their buy in. Why is a favorite question for a high C buyer. Prove it is the second most common one. They are very concerned with doing things accurately. They are receptive to offerings that provide proof that the solution works, proposals that are meticulously detailed and absent of ANY grammatical mistakes or typos.
Selling to the Conscientious buyer (looking for accuracy and information):
- Provide high levels of high quality evidence and proof (data, facts, statistics, etc.)
- Connect to solving problems
- Make sure zero typos, grammatical mistakes or forgotten deliverables never happen
- Ensure accuracy, reliability and dependability
- Avoid pointing out any mistakes they may make
- Be organized and logical
- Be unemotional
- Establish trust, through proof
The Conscientious buyer is the Late Majority to Non-Adopter = if there is one style that may never adopt it is this one. They require the most proof, the most evidence and the most “selling to” before they have enough data to decide to buy. They require plenty of facts, data and proof. Sales Key = Data, Proof, Facts…with ZERO errors!
The odds of running into a Conscientious buyer are 20-30% in the general public.
On connection and speed:
When Connecting with Conscientious buyers don’t try to connect very much. This buying style prefers more professional relationships, may distrust you if you start asking all kinds of questions about their family and seek to become their new best friend. Coming on too personally is to be avoided with this style. Regarding pace, the Conscientious buyer likes a slower pace. They don’t like to be rushed. They want plenty of time to consider the facts, analyze the options and study the data. Failing to provide this buyer with ample time to conduct their research or carefully weigh their options will push them away and ruin your chances of making a sale.