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Beautiful Differences in People (Part 3)

By Dave Mather Created: February 20, 2013 Last Updated: February 28, 2013
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Our previous columns laid the groundwork for understanding others based on the behavioural clues they give us.

We introduced the work of John G. Geier, Ph.D., and Dorothy E. Downey, M.S., authors of the DISC Personal Profile System, who grouped behaviours into four different clusters.

We discussed the C cluster of behaviours, which I assigned the colour Green. It describes “counters”—individuals who like to count and measure things. We also discussed the D, or Red, behaviours, identified with action-oriented individuals.

We move on to the S behaviours, which I assigned the colour Blue.

Blue (S) Behaviours

High Blue (High S) behaviours—behaviours scoring at the top of the S scale—are described as follows:

Male: protective, probing, wishful, stubborn, satisfied, pessimistic, suspicious, and logical

Female: probing, wishful, self-controlled, protective, patient, defensive, dependable, practical, determined, and clear-thinking

Life is more about choice than chance, and the more informed our choices, the higher our chances for success.

Low Blue (Low S) are as follows:

Male: eager, opportunistic, optimistic, humourous, resourceful, adaptable, trusting, and with wide interests

Female: expansive, initiating, imaginative, spunky, and rebellious

Very few people separate male from female in these studies, which is a mistake in my view.

‘Stabilizers’ in the Sales Process

The Blue-style salesperson is often seen as a stabilizer. Below are brief descriptions of their behaviours in various phases of the sales process.

Product knowledge: They possess only a routine knowledge of what they sell.

Opening: They tend to probe artificially, feeling that the customer has already decided.

Handling objections: They either ignore objections or tend to go along with them. Even though stabilizers have decided to see, hear, and speak no disagreement, they do make sales by securing the help of prospective buyers.

Customer knowledge: They often hope the client understands the difficulty of selling a product or service.

Persuasive techniques: They seek the client’s help to get their ideas across.

They also tend to avoid conflict. Stabilizers influence others through a low-key approach, nudging buyers gently but firmly.

They tend to accept rejection quietly, and they fear being forgotten or unappreciated. If they are not careful, customers may become dissatisfied, because the Blue-style salesperson may blame the customer when things go wrong. Another descriptive term for this selling style could be loyal pretender.

Geier and Downey suggest that a negative trigger for the Blue buyer is any attempt to group the prospect with others, such as by saying “everyone’s buying this.” They value themselves as unique individuals. They have a small circle of close associates and friends whose judgement they trust.

Inner-directed Individuals

The Blue style is inner-directed. As buyers or employees, they dislike social chitchat and like to set their own pace and stick to it. They prefer one-on-one conversations and distrust group decisions.

As employees, they reflect an extraordinary sensitivity and ability to communicate emotionally. In physical action, they move with moderation and deliberateness.

Blue-style individuals prefer activities that result in meaningful contributions. They look for ways to direct their skills into areas requiring depth and specialization.

It’s best to emphasize stability and stress the credibility of suggestions when interacting with Blue-style individuals, who prefer thorough salespeople who give them time to comprehend technical data.

To decrease their fear, it’s important to acknowledge their possible concerns regarding change. Theses buyers respond with a deliberate choice of words and resort to a safe position when conflict arises.

Social sales techniques fall short, as these people value privacy and independence and don’t mind eating alone.

Blue-style employees appreciate specific, accurate, personalized feedback from their managers, as well as praise from those they trust and respect. They dislike what they think is sweet-talk and insincere feedback.

They tend to form a coalition with others in order to ward off what they see as over-aggressive and insensitive attacks on their integrity. They love to move against the tide in a competitive situation and dislike it when they are taken for granted.

They may tend toward preoccupying themselves with planning events too carefully, thereby delaying implementation. They are driven by the need for familiarity, hence their reputation for stability.

Their great strength is their steadiness and commitment. They appear more analytical than intuitive. They generally use common sense in problem solving, and they work to develop loyalty by viewing decisions from others’ perspectives.

In any situation we have four possible paths to take. We can change the situation, change our perception of the situation, leave the situation, and/or change our own behaviour.

We’ve attempted to open the possibility of different choices when dealing with individuals significantly different from ourselves. Life is more about choice than chance, and the more informed our choices, the higher our chances for success.

This is Part 3 of a series. In our next column we’ll describe the most social-minded group, the I behaviours, or the Amber style.

Dave Mather is a Performance Improvement Specialist at Dale Carnegie Business Group in Toronto. His columns can be read at ept.ms/dave-mather

Find Dave on LinkedIn.

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