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The Emotional Side of Buying

Emotional Side of Buying

By Adelaide Ness

People buy with emotion and justify with logic.

Think about it. We are generally willing to pay a bit more to work with someone we genuinely like rather than someone we do not click with. And yet, most of our businesses approach prospects in a blanket fashion; listing all of the services our company provides, all the years of expertise, all the “things” we can do for said prospect.

Simply put, we tend to approach prospects from our perspective and not theirs. We talk about what we can do for them, but not how we can help them. We talk nerdy to them and that just doesn’t work.

Yes, it’s important for prospects to trust our capabilities, but it is even more important for them to feel a personal connection and a sense that they can work with you. Essentially, we have to build like and trust.

It sounds simplistic, but the real challenge is in the fact that we often do not know much about our prospects and only have a limited amount of time to develop a relationship that will make them want to buy.

DiSC is a wonderful tool that can be used to build more robust relationships and to communicate more effectively with prospects, developing that like and trust more quickly and ultimately leading to converting those prospects to clients.

What is DiSC?

DiSC is a simple model made up of four basic styles: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. The Everything DiSC assessment is research-validated and helps you understand yourself and others.

As a first step, anyone involved in business development activities should take the assessment to understand their natural communication and behavioral style. You’re probably thinking that you already know your style, but chances are you have some blind spots. Everyone can learn something important and useful by completing the self-assessment.

A full assessment will give you all of the details around your preferred style and the styles different from yours, but in a nutshell:

  • Dominance: The Dominant style is predominantly motivated by power and authority, competition, winning and success. The “D” is focused on getting immediate results, taking action and challenging themselves and others.
  • Influence: The Influencer style is predominantly motivated by social recognition, group activities and friendly relationships. The “i” is focused on expressing enthusiasm, taking action and encouraging collaboration.
  • Steadiness: The Steady style is predominantly motivated by stable environments, sincere appreciation, cooperation and opportunities to help. The “S” is focused on giving support, maintaining stability and enjoying collaboration.
  • Conscientiousness: The Conscientious style is predominantly motivated by opportunities to use expertise or gain knowledge and attention to quality. The “C” is focused on ensuring accuracy, maintaining stability and challenging assumptions.[i]

Now, it would be nice to have every single prospect take the actual assessment so that you can be certain of their preferred style, but that is not realistic. But once you have a baseline on your style, you can begin adapting your selling style to the way your prospect behaves. Even little things matter!

With this knowledge in hand, you’ll start to note the clues that prospects offer that might lead you to determine their style:

  • Is their office decorated with pictures of the family and accolades from their personal successes?
  • Do you notice that a prospect avoids eye contact with you when you great him?
  • Do you remember that another prospect likes to chat about her kids before she’s ready to talk business?
  • Or how about another prospect who always appear to be rushed?

All of these clues are indicators of your prospect’s preferred communication style and can help you develop a more personalized approach.

Of course, credibility, reputation and rapport are all still very important. But, let’s face it, on paper many businesses look the same. Using your natural DiSC style and tweaking how you communicate with prospects can be a true differentiator for you and your organization as you build relationships in the marketplace.

Additional information on taking the full DiSC assessment can be found here.

Adelaide Ness, M.A., is executive vice president of The Rainmaker Companies. You can reach her at or +1 (615) 373-9880, ext. 239.

[i] Information from Everything Workplace DiSC report delivered by The Rainmaker Companies.