Business Development News

The Emotional Side of Buying

Adelaide Ness, The Rainmaker Companies


People buy with emotion and justify with logic. Think about it. Especially when it comes to service providers! 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 firms approach prospects in a blanket fashion; listing all of the services our firm provides and 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 to them in our nerdy language and that just does not work.


Understand Your Communication Style

Yes, it is 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 us. Essentially, we have to build like and trust. It sounds simplistic, but the real challenge is that oftentimes we do not know very much about our prospects and only have a limited amount of time to develop a relationship that will make them want to buy.


Start Building Better Relationships

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


What is DiSC?

DiSC is a very 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 truly understand their natural communication and behavioral style. You are probably thinking you already know your style, however, most people have some blind spots and everyone can learn something important and useful by completing the self-assessment.


A full assessment will provide you details about your preferred style of communication 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. A ‘D’ communicator is focused on 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’ communicator 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. An ‘S’ communicator 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’ communicator is focused on ensuring accuracy, maintaining stability, and challenging assumptions.[i]


Adapt to your Prospect’s Communication Style

Now, it would be nice to have every single prospect take the actual assessment so you can be certain of their preferred style, but that is obviously not realistic. However, 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 will start to note the clues that prospects offer that might lead you to determine their styles. Is their office decorated with pictures of their 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 is ready to talk business? Or, how about another prospect who always appears 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.


Differentiate Yourself & Your Firm with DiSC-Based Communication Strategies

Of course, credibility, reputation, and rapport are all still very important. But, in reality, on paper many accounting firms look the same. Using DiSC to approach how you communicate with prospects can be a true differentiator for you and your firm as you build relationships in the marketplace.


Want to learn more? Join us at our AAM Business Developer Bootcamp on October 26-27, 2017 in Nashville. We will review your personal DiSC profile and talk more about strategies using this powerful tool.