Monday, March 29, 2010

Sell the way they buy - part three: BLUE

Introduction: In the 1970’s I met two people who had a profound impact on me - John G. Geier, Ph.D. and Dorothy E. Downey, M.S. Their Personal Profile System is accurate, inexpensive, self-scoring and fun. Their four categories of behavior – D, I, S, and C are often referred to as DISC (pronounced like a computer "DISK")

In a follow-up study, Geier surveyed 100 males and 102 females ranging in age from 22-60 years with a mean age of 32.4. They fell into these four categories of behavior.

High S behavior (I call this behavior grouping BLUE) – They are represented by those scoring at the top end of the S scale: This behavior is described as:

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

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

Low S behavior (Low BLUE) - represented by those scoring at the bottom end of the S scale:

Male: eager, opportunistic, optimistic, humorous, resourceful, adaptable, wide-interests, and trusting.

Female: expansive, initiating, imaginative, spunky, and rebellious. Very few people separate male from female in these studies, which is a mistake.

According to Dale Carnegie, it is important to “talk in term of the other person’s interest.” It's important that we as salespeople sell the way others prefer to buy. Unfortunately, most salespeople sell as if they are selling to a mirror image of themselves. They aren't. By doing so, they are mismatched with their buyers almost 75% of the time.

Geier and Downey suggest a negative trigger for the BLUE buyer is attempting to group the prospect with others. If we say, “Everyone’s buying this . . .” this is a turn-off to them. They value the fact that they are a unique individual. They have a small circle of close associates and friends and they trust their judgment.

These social tendencies are not as easily identified as RED or AMBER, but the BLUE style is more inner-directed than the previous styles. We’ll look at nuances in subsequent blogs.

For now, let's just say these types of buyers dislike social chit-chat, and often like to set their own pace and stick to it. They like one-on-one conversations and are distrustful of group decisions.

It’s best to emphasize your stability and stress the credibility of your suggestions. They like it when salespeople give them time to comprehend technical data and appear thorough in their efforts. To decrease their fear, acknowledge their possible concerns regarding change. They respond with a deliberate choice of words and resort to a safe position when conflict arises. They don’t mind eating alone and value their privacy and independence.

Granted, this is high-level material not suited to everyone with these behavioral tendencies. However, it's a start, and opens our eyes to seeing the world as others see it. We’ll continue with the other three categories in subsequent blogs.

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