People buy from people who are like them so we need to become as much like our customer as we can to build rapport. We have talked about ways to build rapport before in the telesales tips newsletters like copying a customer’s speed, talking the same auditory, visual or kinaesthetic language, asking open-ended questions and demonstrating listening skills. Now let’s look at another way to build rapport.
I was training a team in a large contact centre recently when one person said, “I really like this new script you have given us. It is much more concise and to the point and we have had a 33% increase in sales overall in our first week of using it. We have been taught to chat to the customer a lot more and ask them all about their pets before we start selling the idea of buying raffle tickets to raise money for the RSPCA.”. The light switch went on for me. Their trainer clearly did not have an awareness of the DISC profiling of the basic four different styles of people or customers. He was quite right to teach the chat style to his team to build rapport but only if the customer spoken to was an Influencer (I) on the DISC profiling system or a Steadiness (S) type of person on the Disc Profiling System. The S and the I are social people people who like to chat to you. However, if you are talking to the Dominance style of person (D) or the Conforming style of person (C) these people want you to get to the point, tell them why you rang and what the bottom line is, then get off the phone.
The 4 different styles of customers
In order to be like someone else we need to know our own style.
Which behavioural style do you think you have on the D.I.S.C. platform.?
Handling the D Customer (non-people oriented, managerial, the decision maker)
If your prospect is a “D” customer, you should be much more business-like and get straight to the point. The “D” customer is often abrupt, a fast talker and a quick decision maker and does not want to chat small talk. (Often the CEO or the Manager) (“How are you?”at the start will irritate him)
Make sure you are well prepared for questions.
Handling the I Customer (people oriented, chatty, networkers, influencers)
If your prospect is an “I” customer, he is friendly and wants to spend time on small talk. You should show personal interest in the person as they like to talk about themselves. Be friendly and ask questions that relate to him personally. Give him the opportunity to talk about himself. He will think then that you are a very interesting person. (Fine to ask this person “How are you?”)
Handling the S Customer (people oriented, e.g. the tea lady who looks after others)
The “S” customer appreciates the more informal, low pressure approach where the human element is evident. Talk to him about his family and himself. This person needs to have confidence and trust in you before they will buy. Relax your pace to match the slower pace of the “S” to really build the friendship. (Fine to ask this person “How are you?”)
Handling the C Customer (non-people oriented, the accountant type, facts and figures is all he wants to hear)
The “C” customer is very detail oriented so make sure you do your homework on facts and figures before you see him. He is not keen on social interaction so get to the point quickly but diplomatically. Don’t speak too fast. Allow him to be the expert. (“How are you?”at the start will irritate him)