It feels like yesterday and forever ago at the same time, but when I learned about the concept of personality-based communication and selling …. it changed everything for me, and I honestly believe that this was one of the biggest secrets to my rapid success.
The interesting thing is that I literally stumbled upon it as I was googling "How to get more listings" ... and saw this ad that was talking about personality-based selling. I clicked through, and I landed on Dr. Tony Alessandra’s website.
The page title was: The Platinum Rule® - Do unto others as THEY would like done unto them.
He offered a free personality test, and the rest, as they say, is history. This was in 2006, and I STILL have that report! :)
I learned so much about myself and about the people closest to me. It opened up a completely new world of understanding human behaviour to me, and as I kept researching the topic, I came across Dr. Sandy Kulkin, whom I later got to meet and listen to in person. I began to study and devour every piece of information I could find on the different behavioural styles, and the most startling discovery to me was that NOW I knew why so many salespeople fail!
Most salespeople sell the way they would want to be sold to. However, unless you happen to have the same personality style as your prospect, your chances of repelling them instead of retaining them as a client at some point, selling them something, are pretty big.
And, hey ... I'm sure this concept is not new to you.
But if I was coaching you right now ... I would say this: I don't really care about what you know and have already heard about ... what I want to know is how are you using this information in your everyday life and business?
Here's the deal:
The real estate business (especially a referral-based real estate business) is all about relationships. (LIFE is all about relationships!)
Your ability to connect with people in a meaningful way and quickly earn their trust is what puts you on the fast lane to massive impact and income. Understanding people’s personality styles - how they process information - is what will help you master that.
As you learn to ask the right kinds of questions and listen to the responses, you’ll be able to change or adapt your approach and meet the person you’re dealing with at their level.
Obviously, this is not about manipulating people. Not at all. But if you just found out that someone likes cherry cheesecake ice cream... why offer them vanilla?
People are different to an extent...
but we all have this thing in common where we instinctively move towards the things that bring us pleasure, and we instinctively move away from the things that cause us pain.
Having said that, the way we are wired is that we will spend our energy to avoid pain BEFORE we seek out pleasure. (I go into more detail on this in my book here.)
So, let me give you a quick overview for the sake of this blog post.
There are 4 DISC personality styles:
D for Dominant
I for Influential
S for Steady
C for Compliant
Identifying a High-D Style - DOMINANT, DECISIVE
very direct and to the point
driven - "Lead or get out of my way!"
gets things done but will often cut corners
focused on the task and the bottom line
result-oriented, doesn't get lost in minutia and drama
can come across as domineering and overpowering
clear separation between personal life and business
A High-D's greatest fear is being taken advantage of and losing control. To compensate for that, they will do whatever it takes to be in control of a situation (or people) whenever possible—at work or at home.
=> About 3% of the population are High-D
In the animal world, a High-D style would most likely resemble a lion.
Identifying a High-I Style - INFLUENTIAL, INSPIRING
very open and outgoing
chatty, loves to talk about themselves
very comfortable approaching strangers, trusts easily and gives away way too much personal information
charming, creative and artsy
inspiring, optimistic and encouraging
impulsive, makes rash decisions and doesn't always follow through
emotional, takes things personally
very flattering, will often tell you what you want to hear to be accepted
cares a lot about what people think of them
must like you personally before they will do business with you
A High-I's greatest fear is to be rejected by people, which is why they work so hard on trying to be liked by everyone.
=> About 17% of the population are High-I
In the animal world, a High-I style would most likely resemble a gopher.
Identifying a High-S Style - STEADY
happy to be with people without having to be the center of attention
loves to be in a support role
hates to take initiative
doesn't express feelings or opinions openly unless asked
dreads change and prefers for things to stay the same and know what to expect
needs time to think about things and how their decisions will impact their family etc.
A High-S's greatest fear is a loss of security, which explains why they are drawn towards a life that is steady and predictable, and where they know exactly what to expect.
=> About 69% of the population are High-S
In the animal world, a High-S style would most likely resemble a golden retriever.
Identifying a High-C Style - CONSCIENTIOUS, COMPLIANT
compliant and very conscientious
reliable and extremely loyal
detail-oriented to a fault
strives to be correct, meet deadlines and follow rules
likes to know what to expect
loves data, details, lists and spreadsheets
can come across as cool and reserved at first
needs time to warm up and develop trust
hates being wrong and has a hard time admitting it
slow decision maker - needs a lot of information
A High-C's greatest fear is making a mistake or, worse yet, someone who questions their work and actually finds a mistake. To avoid that pain, they won't make any fast decisions or give you an answer right away. They need a few days to research and make sure they make the right decision and their answer is correct and indisputable.
=> About 11% of the population are High-C
In the animal world, a High-C style would most likely resemble a beaver.
Obviously, no human being is limited to just one exclusive style.
Instead, people have one dominant style plus different levels of the other three styles ... which makes the discovery and adaptation process a little more complex ... but also interesting!
In addition to that, people usually portray a different type of behaviour in public or in a professional setting than they do at home, in a more relaxed environment.
And since opposites attract, chances are that the spouse/partner is the exact opposite style, which requires an even higher level of skill when it comes to listening and communicating.
To identify someone's potential behavioural style, look at the following indicators:
Is this person more people or task-oriented?
Is this person open or closed when it comes to expressing their feelings and opinions?
Is this person slow or fast-paced?
Someone who is task-oriented, fast-paced and open is likely a High D.
Someone who is people-oriented, fast-paced and open is likely a High I.
Someone who is people-oriented, slow-paced and closed is likely a High S.
Someone who is task-oriented, slow-paced and closed is likely a High C.
If you're up for some homework:
Based on your current understanding of the DISC, think of the 5-10 people closest to you: which of the four styles describes them best? (Spouse, kids, family members, friends, colleagues, broker, etc.)
Now, think of the last five clients you worked with. Based on your current insight, what do you think their dominant style might be? What about their spouse/partner? (As applicable.)
Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have changed about your communication style if you could go back? Why? How do you think that might have changed the outcome?
Shoot me an email with your biggest takeaways and what you're learning!
I'm listening ... and always cheering you on!
Alina Schumacher is a Certified High-Performance Coach™, host of The Alina Show PODCAST, founder of World-Class Agent Academy, and the author of How To Get Listings & Dominate Your Market ... Even if Nobody's Ever Heard of You! She helps driven Real Estate Professionals all over North America become world-class and build a 6-7 figure fully referral-based business - extremely FAST - using her proven 4-stage Market Domination Plan, which enabled her to not only become the #1 local REALTOR® in her market area shortly after immigrating to Canada and reaching the top 1% of all Agents in her province/board - but also, build, systematize and successfully scale her business into a thriving brokerage - while continuing to homeschool her three children.